Career Portfolio Overview:

Students completing a certificate or degree in the Aviation & Travel Careers Program are required to prepare a Career Portfolio that you will want to update throughout your program of study (and your career!). The Career Portfolio documents your credentials, qualifications, and skills. In addition to your resume, cover letter, and letters of recommendation, the portfolio should include examples of your certificates, transcripts, volunteer work, awards, ten-year background history, and student learning outcomes (SLOs).

Students in ATC 102 Career Communications/Portfolio will put together the foundation of their Career Portfolio. All students should, however, continually update their portfolios throughout their program, and instructors may ask to see them in any ATC course.

Obtain the following:

A 1-inch notebook, preferably with a clear cover that you can insert a title page

Non-glare page protectors (at least 30)

A set of page-protector dividers (5 sections) with tabs that extend out beyond the other page protectors so that the tabs are visible.

Note: The Career Portfolio notebooks with all of the above can be purchased at the counter in the Cypress College bookstore or you can purchase the items in an office supply store.

Hot tip! You may want to have two notebooks: a large one to keep all of your original coursework and documents and a smaller one that has your best work that you use for employment interviews.  Remember: Employers do not want to see everything you have ever done––only your best work.

Download the Portfolio Title Pages (see templates at the right)

Update the title page with your name and address.  You may also want to use color or a border for your title page, but keep the style professional looking.  Be sure to include the table of contents pages for each section as well.  You may modify the sections, but make it clear where to find information. Be sure to select a professional font that you will use throughout your portfolio (i.e. Arial, New Times Roman, Helvetica).

Load the title page in the front of your notebook.  Load the main table of contents page into a page protector as it should be the first page you see when you open the notebook.  The load the table of contents pages for each section in the divider pager protectors.

Gathering copies of your transcripts, diplomas, certificates, and a few quality samples of your work if you have them (can be from school or business).  Make copies (color is best) and place the copies in the appropriate sections of your Career Portfolio. Keep the originals in a safe location. Label your work and anything that may not be easily understand (see label samples)

Update your resume, cover letter, and ten-year background history.  You may use the templates to the right. The cover letter should be in the front pocket of your notebook.

Note:  You may elect to organize your Career Portfolio in a different way to better highlight certain skills, but please discuss this change with your instructor to be certain you meet the Student Learning Outcomes required for the course and the program. 


Notebook Presentation

____Title Page with Statement of Originality and Confidentiality
____Cover Letter (inside front pocket of your notebook)
____Table of Contents
____Quality Notebook (about one inch thick)
____Page Protectors and Visible Typed Tabs

Section 1: Credentials

____Educational Plan of Study (Certificate/Degree Checklists)
____Experiential Learning (Service Hour Log, Flight Logs, or Internship Report if applicable)
____Letters of Recommendation or one letter requesting a letter of recommendation

Section 2:  Mission Statement, Goals, and Skills

____Personal Mission Statement (a.k.a. Work or Service Philosophy)
____Professional Goals
____Skills (Achievement Verification of Basic Skills / Program Standards) (bonus points)

Section 3: Student Learning Outcomes (Work Samples)

____Educational Work Samples from Cypress College or other college (Labeled)
____Other Work Samples (from job if applicable)
____Course Descriptions / Copy from Cypress College Catalog

Section 4:  Awards, Certificates, Degrees, and Diplomas

____Awards (if applicable)
____Certificates /  Degrees
____Community Service / Volunteer Work
____Professional Memberships
____Letters of Appreciation (if applicable)

Section 5:  Additional Documentation

____Personal “bio” and career story (typed)
____Ten-Year Background History (detailed employment/residence addresses/contact)
____Interview questions (typed responses to most common interview questions)

These are the items that must be presented at any 135 charter or airline interview (due to the requirements of the 1995 Pilot Information Act) along with some other suggestions:

  1. Cover Letter
  2. Resume with flight times
  3. Copies of all pilot certificates and medical
  4. DMV print out for the last 10 years
  5. FAA Record print out (will show any violations, revocations, etc)
  6. References
  7. College transcripts
  8. Maybe copies of  the last pages of pilot logbooks (though all logbooks are brought to an interview)
  9. Copies of FAA written exam test results

Also recommended:

  1. FAA WINGS participation certificates
  2. Any other aviation related documents (pictures with the Flight Team, articles about themselves in newspapers, etc.)


For the CFI Students:
(the above plus)

  1. Lesson Plan samples
  2. PowerPoint presentation samples
  3. Student Critiques received

(Download Sample Templates)

Sample Mission Statement:

My goal is to convey my initiative, determination, and commitment to the travel industry by seeking opportunities to improve my skills through activities such as enrolling in the Cypress College Airline & Travel Careers Program, by participating in extra-curricular activities for self-improvement such as the Disney College Program, and by volunteering for an active role in the Travel Club to complete the Advanced Flight Attendant Certificate.

Career Portfolio Testimonial

When I went to the second and last interview with United Airlines in Chicago, I gave the recruiter one thing that nobody else did––a career portfolio. This portfolio contains everything about me, such as my resume, transcripts, diplomas, and everything essential. At the end of the day, the recruiter told me, ‘Well, we would definitely consider your educational background and your work experience in the airline industry for the position, but I have never seen any candidate that is so organized, so well-prepared, and so dedicated. Because of your portfolio, we would like to make a conditional offer to you today to be one of our finest flight attendants!’ At that time, I felt like I was the king of the day!! Thank you Kathleen and Jane for making me create my portfolio!!

– Tony Wong, UA FA

Resume Tip by Joe Turner at

You should also have a USP (Unique Selling Proposition) near the top of your resume. Also called a “Personal Branding Statement,” this is a short, one-sentence “pitch” that describes who you are in about 15 seconds. You USP should state the single greatest strength you offer and the biggest benefit that you bring to an employer.

Example: “Hospitality business development professional with a strength in creative sales and marketing techniques that generated $500,000 in new revenue for my employer in 12 months.”

You can outweigh the formal education by showing exactly how your specific work has benefited your previous employer. The bottom line is that employers today more than ever, want to have problem solvers on board. Though you may have no degree, you can prove yourself a resource that fits into their larger profit and loss picture. If you can demonstrate that, you can get hired.

Sell Results Instead

While these employers may have different requirements for equivalent experience, a good rule of thumb is to demonstrate past performance and proven results in your previous work. To accomplish this, your goal is to show how you either make money or save money for your employer. From your past work experience, develop as many specific instances when you actually have done so. If you can attach a dollar-value to several of those, so much the better. Put these in your resume.

Here are some actual examples:

  • “Responsible for generating 13 new accounts by creating database and mailing piece”
  • “Booked $150,000 in new business for 2007 by contracting with 2 major groups for the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2007.”
  • “Increased revenue by 38% from new social market bookings.”
  • “Chaired meetings and headed the negotiation discussion that resulted in the settlement of a long protracted contractual and legal issue with the subcontractor and client.”
  • “Improved cash collection and debt aging from average 100 days to a more manageable 30 days and realized savings of about $276,000.”
  • “Reduced turnover by 45% over previous management within 15 months through my training program and development plans.”
  • “Won the Leadership and Excellence award in 2007 for outstanding achievements during my project management role.”
  • “Increased our customer satisfaction survey scores by 32% on average by training my team on the proper way to provide a great customer experience.”
  • “Reduced non-beneficial spending costs by 40% by effectively researching and analyzing accounts payable data.”