Selling Your Liberal Arts Education

The hallmark of a liberal arts education is the preparation it gives you for lifelong learning.

While your technical skills may quickly become obsolete due to the rapid pace of technology, the skills you learn in liberal arts courses will become increasingly relevant in your professional career.

Almost every occupation requires strong analytical, communication, organizational, team management skills; in addition to the ability to solve problems, adapt to new situations and work within the diverse global framework of the world today.

Market your ability to learn: you can take information that is given, break it down, build on it, and create something new!

One of the best ways to market your liberal arts education is by using a portfolio.

What is a portfolio?

A portfolio is a collection of materials displaying your accomplishments and professional development. In addition to your résumé, a portfolio serves as a marketing tool that demonstrates your growth. It may be used in job, internship or graduate school interviews to serve as a catalyst for discussion by providing visual images. Portfolios help concretize your experience and help you provide evidence to support your selling points. Although it is not usually required to have a portfolio, in some careers, such as editing, publishing and writing, candidates will be expected to provide one. If you are in doubt about the necessity of a portfolio in your career, please contact the Career Center to obtain some advice.

Electronic or Hard Copy?

With technology, you have a choice of format. Choosing a type of portfolio will depend on your technology skills and goals. It is often helpful to contact someone already in the field of your choice to obtain their suggestions before choosing a format/strategy.

What should be included in a portfolio?

  • Table of contents
  • Résumé
  • Copies of reports, presentations, spreadsheets
  • Brochures, flyers or agendas of workshops or lectures that you attended or participated in
  • Community service projects or participation
  • Academic/Athletic honors, awards or recognition
  • Writing samples
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Thank you notes, evaluations, or other acknowledgments of a job well done
  • Newspaper articles
  • Photos, CD’s of projects
  • Copy of transcript or a description of relevant courses completed
  • Summary of capstone or research project
  • Summary of involvement in campus activities and other organizations
  • Job and internship descriptions and sample projects
  • Certificates awarded for special training, projects completed
  • Memberships or affiliations