How to Make a Portfolio CD

by Wanda ThibodeauxUpdated September 26, 2017
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Digital technology has revolutionized business, not only in daily operations, but also in the way applicants are presenting their portfolio information. Instead of providing a bulky, inconvenient hard copy portfolio, applicants can digitize their data and present it on portfolio CDs. Making one of these CDs requires a little more effort than putting together a traditional portfolio, but a portfolio CD is much easier to replicate, and most companies appreciate the viewing ease portfolio CDs offer.

Make a list of your career goals. The portfolio should show you are capable of reaching those goals, so the goals ultimately shape the content you put into the project. Making a list also helps clarify the potential audience to whom you'll distribute the portfolio.

Go through your business and education records. Select items you think represent you well, such as your resume, reports, newspaper publications featuring you, documents showing information about your education, degree, certifications and licensure, awards, brochures, letters of recommendation, gratitude correspondence, testimonials, performance reviews and even audio or video files of your work.

Pick the best items out of everything you've selected, recognizing that not all you've accomplished might suit your future career path or conform to industry standards or regulations.

Organize your materials. For example, put everything related to education in one group and everything related to awards in another. Put the materials in roughly the same order they would appear if highlighted on a traditional resume.

Scan in any items that cannot be represented in text, such as photographs. Save the scan images as individual files on your computer.

Open a slide creation program of your choice, such as PowerPoint.

Create individual slides for each item you want to highlight in the portfolio. Import your images into the slides as necessary. Keep your overall formatting the same throughout the entire presentation, keeping text concise in consideration of the limited slide space. Not all slide programs allow you to play audio and video, so if you want to include these items, indicate in the slides that the files are elsewhere on the CD.

Write the title, introduction and table of contents material for the portfolio presentation and put the data on new, inserted slides at the beginning of the presentation. The title page should read something like "Portfolio for [Your Name], [year]." The introduction should explain who you are, your basic qualifications and education, and what aspirations you have for your career. It's much easier to make the table of contents slide once you're finished with the entire presentation, as you'd otherwise need to change the table of contents data each time you modified slide order.

Proofread your presentation and get second opinions from others in your field.

Convert the slide presentation into a PDF file. This way, even if the recipient doesn't have the slide creation or viewing program you used to create the presentation, he can still view the materials, as Adobe Acrobat Reader is fairly standard software. A variety of independent software programs, such as CutePDF Writer, allow you to convert to this format, so use the one most convenient for you.

Put the PDF file of your presentation, along with any referenced audio or video files, onto a CD. The exact procedure to do this depends on whether you use features directly built into your computer's operating system or a standalone burning application, but you should be able to simply drag the files you need into one spot and select "Burn," or something similar. Double-check that all files are labeled clearly and logically before finalizing the burn process.

Items you will need

  • Original portfolio data

  • Scanner (optional, depending on type of data and portfolio)

  • Computer

  • Slide creation software (PowerPoint or other)

  • PDF conversion software

  • CD burner


Burning at a slower speed usually results in fewer burn errors.

Consider your color scheme carefully. Avoid a scheme that consistently clashes with colors in your images, and stick to plain black for text.

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