It’s time to spruce up your portfolio!

29 May

Newly-graduated, journalism-type majors need portfolios. I don’t care what you say or what you do or don’t want. In fact, I’ll say it again. Newly-graduated, journalism-type majors need portfolios.

Journalism degrees (e.g. public relations, advertising, any sort of writing, etc.) are not nearly as much about what you know, but rather what you can produce. It is not enough to say “I compiled a thirty-page research document” or “I monitored coverage and produced a PowerPoint clip report.” Having work to show is crucial. Anyone can write thirty pages, and PowerPoint isn’t hard to learn. Doing it and doing it well are two very different things.

Likewise, saying “I can write a press release” is not impressive. What PR grad can’t? Rather, can you write an engaging press release that attracts media attention? (I can, and I can prove it!) So when you go to include a press release, or thirty-page research document, or PowerPoint clip report, also include some form of evaluation. What media attention was earned? How many people in your target audience were reached? What was the estimated ad value had you purchased that same media coverage?

While having an online portfolio (see mine here) is convienent and a LinkedIn is crucial (connect with me here), there’s something to say about having a traditional, tangible portfolio. It’s almost like receiving a handwritten thank you note instead of an email–personal and genuine. Hint, hint: a handwritten thank you note is equally important.

I found this while Googling "thank you notes."

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3 Responses to “It’s time to spruce up your portfolio!”

  1. sarawaltemire May 30, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    It’s so true! I try and keep my portfolio updated by gathering the most engaging pieces I have done as I do them. Although I must say, it can be awkward knowing the appropriate time to use it in an interview setting.

  2. mrblisterdundee June 4, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    I’m not required to show a portfolio for graduation, but I always keep a digitized copy updated. Then I take the five best examples and show them off at interviews.

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