How To Put Together A Winning Portfolio

 

For you creative Lala Loves out there, there is no better time than now to start organizing your professional portfolio. Whether you are headed to a career fair or just landed an interview, having a primed and ready-to-go portfolio will put you ahead of the crowd and will ease stress when it’s go-time.

There are a lot of websites that individuals can put their portfolios on. Here’s a list of our favorites with details regarding what’s great about each:

  • Pressfolios
    • The first 12 stories are free
    • Capable of displaying uploaded PDFs (for offline clips)
    • No coding experience required
  • Muckrack
    • Searchable options to find journalists and bloggers (for Marketers and PR Professionals)
    • For journalists and bloggers, be able to showcase all of you work at once (whether it is a link to a clip or a PDF that needs uploaded)
    • Keep track of the number of times your article was shared on various social media platforms
  • Clippings
    • Customizable pages to make your work your own
    • No coding experience required
    • Keep track of who is viewing your profile, the amount of time that they do so, etc.

Whether you decide to put your portfolio online or to have a hardcopy of your work, the following tips apply to both:

  • The little things are really big things – be sure to pay attention to details in your work.
  • Keep your portfolio to around 10 samples, and error on the side of having less than too many.
  • Let’s be honest – editors are busy people and most likely won’t read past the first few pages, so make those count.
  • Have your portfolio contain a variety of styles of work. Don’t just focus on all your breaking news clips, but have variation.
  • Instead of covering every genre of story but settling for a not-so-great clipping, be sure to include only the good stuff. It’s better to have six good stories over adding a seventh just to show you can only-sorta write features.
  • Ask a professor of yours to review your portfolio with you before taking it to a job fair to see what they think of it.
  • Keep your portfolio up-to-date. Include recent clippings (as well as older, good ones) to showcase that you are an active creative.
  • Feel free to include some non-client work, especially if the number of your published clippings is slim. Self-initiated work is ay-okay.
  • Include testimonials, if applicable. If you’ve made dozens of clients happy with your artwork, or have heard nothing but good feedback from readers that’ll give you credibility, by all means include it.

Also, it is a good idea to bring a hardcopy of your portfolio to the career fair or job interview, instead of relying on the employer to pull it up online for you. Here are some tips for creating an equally beautiful and classy hardcopy portfolio as that of an online one:

  • If your clippings include images or infographics, be sure to print in color. That extra quarter spent on printing reveals a more polished look when all the clippings are put together, especially opposed to black and white.
  • When including images, graphic designs, or artwork in general, be sure to include context as to what the project was all about or annotations/notes.

And there you have it: a polished, ready-to-go portfolio that will put you ahead of the pack.

 

Feature Image Courtesy of: Carly Hutchcraft

Jessica Sauer

Contributor, Indiana University-Indianapolis Major: Journalism Her heart belongs to:music, Indiana, the great outdoors, SpringHill Camps, sunshine, headbands, campfires, mornings, photography\videography, rainy days, family, and my Savior and Lord.

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