How to Create Your Career Portfolio in Microsoft PowerPoint

Whether you’re looking for a new employer, changing industries, or becoming an online freelancer, a career portfolio can set you apart from hundreds of competitors. By creating a visual presentation of your skills and accomplishments, you can create a unique document that will inspire people to invite you for an interview.


But what if you don’t know how to use Adobe Photoshop or Canva? Do not worry; you can create an engaging career portfolio using Microsoft PowerPoint! Here’s how.

1. Choose a clean template

If you know Microsoft PowerPoint, you can create a career portfolio from scratch. But, to make your life easier, choose from the thousands of free templates you can download from Microsoft.

Launch PowerPoint and from the home page choose New. In the New tab, you will see template options to choose from. You can also search for other models if you don’t see anything you like. However, make sure your model is clean and free of distractions, so your employer/client can focus on your details.

As an example, let’s create a writer’s career portfolio. Click on your favorite model (we will use Orange burst), then select the Create button that appears in a new window.

2. Personalize your presentation

You don’t have to keep the original image on the template. Unless you are applying for a farming position, the stock image of oranges in a dish from the Orange burst template is not appropriate for most positions.

Right click on the stock image, hover over Change picture, then choose one of the appropriate options. If you already have an image saved on your computer, select This device. But if you don’t have one ready yet, choose From stock images Where From online sources to source Creative Commons photos online.

You can also choose From icons if you want to use a black and white icon (but we don’t recommend it) or From clipboard if you have already copied an image and want to use it instead.

We’ll use a Creative Commons typewriter stock image from Bing for this example. Once you have selected the photo you want, you can also change the look of your slide by clicking Design > Design ideas.

Once you’ve decided on a final look, replace the text on the first slide with your details. Write your name and the position you are applying for. You can also add your cropped profile picture in a perfect circle. This is optional, but helps the person reading your profile to see you.

To do this, go to Insert > Shapes. From the drop-down menu, choose Oval, then click anywhere on the slide to insert a circle. After, right click the circle you just create and choose Format the shape.

In the Format the picture pane, select To fill > Image or texture fillthen under Image SourceChoose Insert. In the Insert pictures window, click From filethen insert your portrait image.

Make sure you are using a high quality image and that your details are clear and easy to read. Paying attention to detail is essential because it is the first impression you will leave on your future employer or client.

3. Describe your details

After showing your name and position, add the rest of your information in the following slides. We will add the following information:

  • About: This indicates exactly what you are doing.
  • Live: This shows your professional history. If you are a recent graduate, you can include other experiences such as internships, school projects, a thesis and even informal employment.
  • Wallet: This section can consist of a single slide or several slides. The portfolio section is crucial if you are applying for a creative position. But even if you’re not targeting creative work, you can use it to show the employer/client a preview of your production.
  • Education and formation: Lists your educational background and other relevant training you have completed.
  • Contact: Enter your details.

Your writing should always be concise and simple. Avoid using jargon and focus only on relevant information. Don’t include skills or experiences that aren’t important to what you’re applying for. Also, make sure your text is easy to read. Avoid cursive or stylistic fonts and use a large font size.

Add your next slide by going to House > New slide. From the drop-down menu, select Content with caption to add a slide showing your details. This type of slide is usually split in two: you can use the left column as your table of contents and the right column for your main content.

In the left column, select the “Click to add text” and write your name. If you added a profile picture on your first slide, copy it from there and paste it above your name. Then select the text box under your name and write the sections that we have listed above.

To highlight the current section your reader is on, change its font color or add an underline. For this example, we change the font color to light red, make it bold, and increase the font size.

4. Add an About You page

The About section contains your purpose and what exactly you can offer. You can divide this into two sections. Write the first in paragraph form, explaining to the client/employer what you generally do. This part can be as short as one sentence and only gives an overview of your expertise.

On the other hand, the second section is in bullet form and lists your exact skills for the job. You don’t have to list everything you do, just choose the five most important things that impact your candidacy.

5. List your experience

Create a new slide to describe your work experience. Instead of adding a new blank slide, duplicate the last slide you created to save time. Do this, right click the last slide you created in the slide preview pane, then choose Duplicate slide.

After creating the new slide, delete the main text you created in the last slide. Also, don’t forget to update the highlighted section of your table of contents.

List your chronological work history in this section. However, you don’t have to write everything down, just include your recent and relevant experience. If you don’t have work experience yet, distil your life experiences, such as important school projects, internships, and informal jobs, and list them as your relevant experience.

6. Insert your best work samples

After listing your experience:

  1. Create the Portfolio slide.
  2. Again, use the Duplicate slide techniques to save time.
  3. Remember to update the highlighted section and delete the main text from the previous slide.

The Portfolio page(s) is where you insert samples of your work. If you’re a visual artist, it’s as easy as adding images of your work. But if you are a professional, use screenshots of your production or achievements. Just make sure you haven’t signed an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) and are allowed to share what you add here.

Don’t be afraid to use multiple slides to showcase your best, but limit yourself to no more than five slides. If your content doesn’t fit in a screenshot, feel free to include a clickable link.

7. Describe your education and training

For this section, note your education and other relevant training and certifications you have obtained. You should always include your highest level in this section. If you earned a bachelor’s degree, include that in your list, along with any graduate and graduate degrees you earned.

For training and certificates, you should only include them if they are relevant and issued by a reputable institution.

Your career portfolio should always contain information on how you can be contacted. After all, if the person reading your document likes what they see but can’t connect with you, their purpose is ruined.

It is essential to add your email address, phone number and professional social media accounts. If you have one, don’t forget to add your website. Finally, you can also add your personal social media pages here, but only if you prefer.

To make your portfolio more professional, you can use icons instead of words to represent your information. Once you’ve removed the previous text from the duplicate slide, click “Click to add text” text box and add the details you need.

After adding your details, go to Insert > Icons to add the relevant icons. A new window will appear where you can search for the icons you need. Select the icons you want, then press Insert to add them to your slide.

Once your portfolio is complete, go to Case > to safeguard. Type your file name in the given form, then click the drop-down menu of file type options and choose PDF (*.pdf) for faster sharing.

Clean and simple is the way to go

When creating your career portfolio, always get straight to the point. When your document is simple and easy to understand, your client or employer will better appreciate your skills, experience, and what you can bring to the organization.

A great career portfolio can land you an interview for your dream job. But if you don’t know what to put in there because you don’t have any work experience, here are some tips to help you.