The Importance of a Portfolio for Speech Pathologists
Many professions include a portfolio of their work when they begin looking for new job opportunities. Graphic artists create a collection of their best art work, researchers will include published articles, and educators may include student assessments or research projects. It may take a little more creativity to build a portfolio as a speech pathologist, but the benefits are well worth the effort.
Why do I need a portfolio?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of speech pathology is expected to grow by 21% through 2024. This means there will be a greater number of people entering the field than before, and setting yourself apart from the influx will make it easier to find your ideal position.
The training one receives in school is clearly evident on the resume. It is the on-the-job training and experiences that make each speech pathologist different. Highlighting what you’ve learned, implemented, created, and refined over the course of your career allows potential employers to assess your specific skills in relationship to their needs. If you simply have a static list of education information, work locations, and responsibilities, it will be much more difficult to make a favorable and lasting impression on the hiring agent.
What should I include in my portfolio?
You should include information that demonstrates the scope of your experience, your unique talents, and the skills you have developed which better serve your patients.
A traveling speech pathologist is likely to come across a wider variety of unusual cases. Documenting the diagnosis and treatment for these patients can illustrate adaptability and the capacity to research. Include pre and post treatment assessments and the methodology you employed throughout treatment.
Individuals with experience overseeing the work of other therapists and pathologists can include information on assessment methods, review procedures, remediation, and how the team was motivated. This might include examples of employee reviews, yearly calendars, newsletters, or team emails.
When creating a portfolio, it is important to keep in mind the privacy of the patient and your coworkers. Take out identifiable information such as names, patient numbers, or employee contact information. This information is not pertinent to the portfolio and shows a lack of ethical consideration if it is included. The exception is for patients who have signed a consent to have their information used in such a way. If you have this consent, be sure to include it with the appropriate documentation within the portfolio.