If there is one thing that engineers and project managers have in common, regardless of the field and industry that they are in, is the need for a personal project history. As an engineer, in the years you will be rendering your skills in the field, you will be acquiring new skill sets, handling numerous projects, attending certifications and trainings. All these gives you concrete proof of your growth as an engineer, and will be a good reference for your future employers (if you decide to move on to a different company), if you want to apply for a promotion in your current company, or maybe if you want to join international organizations in your field.
Sure you can remember at the back of your head every project you’ve done and every skill set you’ve learned. However, our short-term memories can only serve us to a limit. So the best way to have a good personal project history is to develop and maintain a project portfolio.
Here are some tips on what you should include in your portfolio
#1 Soft or Hard copy
Do both. But for your main portfolio, creating a copy on your computer and uploading into a secure online drive is best since it’s easier to edit if ever you need to add any details. Also, this makes it accessible wherever you’ll go since you can view it on any device, and can be printed anywhere whenever you’re on the go.
Accompanying your online copy, you should have a scanned copy of all the certifications you’ve received from various seminars you’ve attended, and add it to your portfolio. Keep a clear book or envelope at home to store your original certificates.
#2 Online Footprint
Add links of your professional online footprints in your portfolio. This includes LinkedIn accounts, GitHub accounts, personal blogs, and even Reddit and Quora accounts if you have good posts.
#3 Add photos
They say a picture speaks a thousand words. If you have projects that have good pictures, add them to your portfolio. To remind you, this is a professional portfolio and not a scrapbook, avoid selfie photos.
#4 Categorize it
A good portfolio is always organized. Categorize your files into sections like Projects, Seminars, Certifications, Social Good etc. It’s your choice.
Don’t forget to update your portfolio whenever you have something new come up. We love procrastinating, but it’s always best to be prepared.