Avoiding Portfolio Pitfalls

Whether it is online or a hard copy, portfolios are necessary in this industry to showcase skills and talents of individuals. Portfolios allow potential employers and colleagues to see what accomplishments a student has developed throughout their college experience. When creating a portfolio, here are some tips to impress employers and get the job:

  1. Do not throw it together last minute.

Take time to package and organize a portfolio to represent who you are. People judge who you are through your portfolio, so make it presentable. No one wants to hire a sloppy worker, so do not your portfolio sloppy. Not packaging a portfolio could be the reason you are not getting hired.

  1. Do not overwhelm the employer with useless information.

According to a survey conducted by The Creative Group, employers do not want to see samples that do not show value to the company. When choosing samples, know the company and job description to choose certain samples that will best show what value you could bring to the company. Telling a potential employer you are valuable, and demonstrating your value, are two separate and different concepts and could make or break the interview.

  1. Do not let the sample speak for itself.

Depending on the type of sample, value can be subjective. When displaying your pieces, add an explanation that highlights the thought process behind the sample. By justifying creative decisions, it allows employers to have more depth and understanding of who you are, as well as what value you could bring to their team.

  1. Do not ignore the value of an online portfolio.

Currently, an online portfolio is a must. While it is still important to bring a hard copy to the interview with specific examples of valued samples, the online portfolio is an extension of brand identity, and should provide an overview of your skills. The online portfolio also makes it easier for potential employers to find samples of the work and skills you have produced because it is only a click away.

  1. Do not pigeon-hole yourself.

It is important to understand the idea of “360-degree branding,” according to Adweek. This concept means that you need to show a variety of skills and opportunities. Show press releases and news articles. Show the campaign you lead for that local organization. Show any design work or advertisements you have worked on. By showing all aspects of a skill set, employers will be more likely to see you as well-rounded.

Adapted from: http://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/portfolio-dos-and-donts-86607/

Amanda Troncone is a sophomore public relations student, and serves as the professional development coordinator for Waynesburg University Public Relations Student Society of America. She hopes to someday partner her passion with public relations to pursue a career in the non-profit sector. Follow Amanda on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.


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