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Professional Communication Portfolio

Course Code: CMNS 4000
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Communications
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

In this capstone course, students will further develop their knowledge and skills to produce and present their portfolio of exemplary work. Individual students will work closely with the course instructor to create a detailed and tested plan for generating work and/or securing a job as a professional communicator.

Course Content

1. Review of Professional Readiness

Students will review

  • market analysis for professional communicators
  • networks and networking
  • job-hunting/freelancing strategies
  • cover letters and resume-writing
  • professional writing and writing-related associations
  • basic business skills

2. Business Skills for Writers

Students will

  • identify methods of work delivery
  • review and draft proposals for writing jobs
  • review and draft writing-project contracts
  • calculate the cost of a job and prepare an invoice
  • learn how to set up a professional office
  • understand basic tax requirements for self-employed communication professionals
  • identify the features of a small business plan of particular importance for self-employed communication professionals

3.  Portfolio Preparation

Students will

  • explore current job options for work in various fields
  • finalize a personal job-search plan
  • produce various job packages for specific job opportunities
  • make job application(s)
  • practise interviewing skills
  • participate in simulated job interviews, using videotapes
  • finalize a personal business-development plan
  • examine different styles of portfolio construction (different content and different formats)
  • construct a generic portfolio
  • construct a job-specific portfolio
  • present the generic portfolio

Methods of Instruction

The course will be seminar-based, with frequent guest speakers to enhance networking opportunities. In the seminar, students will be expected to share their findings, experiences, and writing. Students will also be expected to attend and report on a number of professional association activities during the term. At least one in-depth interview with the instructor will be required.

Means of Assessment

Students will demonstrate their mastery of course material through assignments, involvement in group work, and participation in a public event at the end of term.

Students are expected to be self-motivated and to demonstrate professionalism, which includes active participation, good attendance, punctuality, effective collaboration, ability to meet deadlines, presentation skills, and accurate self-evaluation.

Evaluation will be based on this general format:

Individual/group projects 30%
Portfolio presentation 30%
Statements of undertaking (i.e., contracts) 30%
Professionalism/participation (as defined above  10%

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course will

  1. acquire further knowledge of current and emerging opportunities for professional communicators
  2. enhance their skills in job search and work creation
  3. prepare and present a portfolio of exemplary work

course prerequisites

Acceptance into the Post-Degree Diploma in Professional Communication

and permission of the Professional Communication program coordinator



curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.