Portfolio 101

A few blog posts ago we talked about ways you could make this a productive summer break and make the academic year an easier one. On that list we suggested that you get started on your portfolio, and for those of you ahead of the game we suggested you update your portfolio. Now, I don’t know about you but this is a task that I find a little more difficult then the rest of the suggestions on our list.

Your portfolio should represent to a potential employer your capabilities, who you are on a professional level, as well as give them a glimpse of your personality. Knowing how complicated this could be, we provide our members with “Elements of an Effective Portfolio.”* This short guide helps them to get started by providing simple elements to include in their portfolio that will leave any potential employer impressed. And while we will be evening out the playing field by doing this, we have provided you with these elements below. Hope it helps!

Resume

Courtesy photo

By including your resume as the introduction to your portfolio you immediately introduce potential employers to you. As always, spelling, grammar, neatness and clarity of writing are essential. An eye-catching format is also crucial for this first piece of your portfolio.

Personal Code of Ethics

A personal code of ethics identifies your boundaries, gives potential employers an up-front statement of your standards and provides a reference for future ethically-questionable situations.

Public Relations Materials

You will obviously want to showcase your PR talents in your portfolio, so be sure to include good examples of news releases, media leads, biographical profiles, feature stories, public service announcements and any other PR-related material you’ve produced.

Research Materials

Research is the number one step in the public relations process. Showing potential employers that you are research-savvy provides just one more way to “wow” them. Examples include media tracking, surveys, focus groups, research reports and more.

Examples of Creativity

Creativity is essential in public relations. Showing examples of your design work, photography, photo-editing examples and other creative pieces is key.

Additional Writing

Writing and PR go hand-in-hand. Any additional writing—whether it be from an English class or a journalism class—will earn you extra points in an interview.

Awards and Achievements

By including awards and achievements in your portfolio, you will display your affiliations, convey involvement, provide examples of character and showcase various areas of success.

*“Elements of an Effective Portfolio” provided to us by the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).

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