I’ve been to a few interviews recently and taken with me my portfolio of work that I spent ages trying to perfect. I’ve had positive feedback on it so far, so wanted to share my tips and what to include…
Table of contents
This is pretty much essential to make sure your portfolio is easy to navigate and the reader knows exactly what everything in there is.
A copy of your CV
I think this is essential to include, even if the person you are meeting already has a copy. You might also want to take a few spares to leave with them if needed – it will show you are prepared too, bonus points!
Work out what makes you unique
Have you worked on a particularly interesting project? Or maybe you had a volunteer role relevant to your career path? Use this to set yourself apart from other graduates and include it early on in your portfolio. Remember, there may be lots of similar graduates going for the same role, so you need to stand out!
Keep it organised
My examples of work are grouped by job role. So for example, the first section is things from my social media volunteer role, the next section has examples & coverage of the CIPR award that I won, the next is some documents from my work experience placement… You get the idea.
Yours doesn’t have to be organised this way, of course – maybe you could sort it by type of work, or maybe by client – it’s totally up to you.
Don’t be shy, use everything!
Don’t be shy about including a piece of work, if it demonstrates any skills relevant to PR then you can add it in. Whether it’s coverage in a newspaper, your own blog or a university assignment, it all shows your personal skills.
I got asked in one interview if I had statistics showing if my social media work had been effective. I didn’t … but as soon as I got home that was the first thing that got added to my portfolio. Concrete data showing how well you have done is essential to include, if you can.
Ask previous employers, tutors or your current boss if they would write a recommendation to include. Make sure they are from roles relevant to the job you are applying for, or mention skills that will be used in the role.
Make it look professional
You want to make a good impression with this document, so make sure it is organised, looks tidy and is well presented. Nobody wants to look at a folder with pages falling out or one that has been used as a coaster for your morning cuppa!
Make sure you use it!
The interviewer may not specifically ask to see your work, but try to use it to your advantage anyway. For example, if they ask if you’ve had experience writing press releases, answer the question by showing them (and explaining yourself too!)
Any key tips that I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments or tweet to me!
Until next time…