For the past week, I’ve been preparing my professional portfolio to show possible employers my work. When I thought about what I would put in it, I became filled with fear. Questions like, “Will I have enough to fill it?” and “Will they think it is too bland?” filled my mind. After my daily freak-out, I decided to put my mind at ease and simply start compiling all of my work. It quickly began to pile up and my crisis was averted. However, there was still the problem of organizing it all and deciding what was worth actually placing in a clear, plastic cover.
Thankfully, over the semester, my professors have provided me with a large notebook full of handouts, guiding me through the murky waters of the professional world. I also must give “mad props” to a terrific article I found while Googling information on what to put in a PR portfolio.
Below is a brief list of a few key things to consider when building a portfolio.
- A solid resume is key.
- Tailor each portfolio to the specific job you are interviewing for. Much like a resume, it will be subject to change.
- Put the most outstanding pieces of your work in and toss the mediocre work. Remember, you are showcasing your talent.
- Always use clean, simple, easy-to-read font. If the font you chose has the word “curly” in it, you should probably reconsider.
Also, here is a handy list of the top ten tips the article provides:
- Always show your best work. Quantity is not a substitute for quality.
- Show your ability to think strategically and in broad terms.
- Communicate that you can execute on that strategy or vision.
- Make sure your portfolio matches the position you’re looking for.
- Create a portfolio that can speak for itself (in case you don’t get an opportunity to show it).
- Get qualified feedback from a reliable source in the industry before the interview.
- Be open to negative feedback and use it as an opportunity to learn and improve.
- Remember that the content of the portfolio is more important than the case.
- Save original samples and make multiple copies to mail or leave behind.
- Finally, how many pieces should be in a portfolio? “Enough to prove you can do the job,” said Ed Prentiss, president and founder of Brainco: the Minneapolis School of Advertising, Design and Interactive Studies.
To all of my fellow PR colleagues preparing to enter the business world, I wish you luck and hope your portfolio building is going very well.