With the warm weather, and exams but a fleeting memory, many students find themselves hitting the office instead of the beach, looking for internship opportunities. Today’s Teacher’s Pet post is all about how to put together the best portfolio, and what the heck to do with it once you’ve walked through the door.
As a general rule of thumb, a portfolio should include a combination of writing samples, your resume and a selection of references. Choose your best, most powerful and results-driven pieces; no need to include everything you’ve ever penned.
If you haven’t sunk your teeth into published work yet, feel free to use class assignments and course work, but remember to nix your essays. Portfolio pieces should be shorter in length, and demonstrate industry-quality writing similar to what you would do on the job. From press releases to blog posts, include a sampling of your best work that touts your versatility. The more variety you show, the better we (or the hiring office) can assess your skills and abilities, hopefully landing you that coveted internship or first job.
Other good rule of thumb: if it doesn’t fit through the door, your portfolio is too big.
Is your best work not on paper? Did you plan an event? Write up a case study, including the event goals, the process you underwent and all the (great) results.
As always, follow the KISS rule: Keep It Simple, Stupid, meaning no coloured paper or fancy fonts, especially the dreaded Comic Sans. While pink, scented paper may have worked for Legally Blonde’s Elle Woods, we suggest you stick to the plain Jane-style instead. You want us to take you seriously, right?
We’d hire her, just NO pink press releases.
When toting your newly prepped portfolio to an interview, mention you have brought it along at the beginning of the interview. If you are asked for examples of when you overcame a challenge, or led a team, don’t be afraid to refer to specific content in your portfolio that specifically supports your answer.
Don’t fret if there isn’t time to flip through your portfolio during your interview. Be a savvy job hunter, and bring a second copy for them to review once you’ve left. Hopefully you’ve also left a lasting impression!