Identifying Your Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Life Experiences

Part two of a series on building your digital portfolio of accomplishments

Previously: How to Build a Digital Portfolio

In this post, we’re discussing the first step in building your digital portfolio: identifying your knowledge, skills, and abilities so you can showcase them!

A digital portfolio is a collection of files (documents, photos, videos, etc.) that you can use to reflect on your experiences and demonstrate your skills and accomplishments to potential employers, investors or customers.

Reflecting on experiences takes time, and expressing this in writing can take even longer. However, this time investment will pay off when you work on your self-marketing materials, prepare for interviews, or gather background information when developing your social innovation. It’s an important step towards being able to market yourself as as a job seeker, an entrepreneur, a social innovator, or whatever it is you want to be.

Let’s begin!

Identifying your life experiences

If you don’t have a long work history, reflecting on activities that you have participated in will help you gain insight on skills you have gained outside of paid work experience.

Think of activities you have participated in during the last three years. These can include school, hobbies, sports, volunteer work, travel, etc.

Ask yourself the following questions and look for themes (e.g. a preference for working with people, you are adventurous, you enjoy helping others):

  • What have you liked and disliked about each activity?
  • What skills did you gain from the activity?
  • How can you apply these skills to a future job?

Write these down! Here is a helpful table that you can easily copy by hand onto a piece of paper, or paste into a notes app on your device.

Activity Skills I Used What I Learned Skills I Can Apply to a Future Job
Example: Volunteered at a community clean-up event Teamwork skills, organizational skills, communication skills How to work with a team, how to accomplish a goal, how to organize a group of people Working as a team member, setting and achieving goals, communicating with a team

You’ve officially started building your portfolio! Don’t lose what you have written down – we will come back to it when it’s time to pull it all together.

In the next blog post, we’ll talk about how to document your learning experiences for your digital portfolio. Stay tuned!

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