Portfolio tips and more: PRSSA’s career tools

NO Excuses!   In addition to the resources on PR109.com, there are hundreds of great resources for creating job search items to help you get hired.  One of my favorites is the Public Relations Student Society of America’s career tools section of their web site. Here are some great resources for those seeking internships and jobs!  Learn how to create the perfect cover letter, resume and the ALL-IMPORTANT professional portfolio!  Be sure to take advantage of prssa.org’s excellent career tools at: http://www.prssa.org/career/career_tools/Portfolios (from prssa.org)

Gathering material is the most challenging aspect of putting together a good portfolio. The best advice in this regard is–keep everything! You can decide later what to include. Organizing “press kit” portfolios will allow you to either send them to employers or leave them with interviewers. Again, be considerate of their time. In your press kit portfolio you do not need to include everything that you wrote while in college, just the most outstanding piece that screams with talent. This will impress the employer more than a large portfolio that appears time-consuming.
A good portfolio:

  • Must include a writing sample—if you must, use an academic writing sample and clearly mark it as such
  • Includes a brochure, newsletter or copy of a Website that illustrates desk-top publishing or technical skills
  • Is organized and free of typos. Even if it is outstanding, a typo will jump off the page
  • Is clearly labeled with your name, address and phone
  • Highlights what you would most like to be doing in the future
  • Is representative of your skills
  • Provides the employer with a good mix of your skills and talents

A Professional Portfolio is:

  • A reflection of you as a professional person
  • A record of your professional development
  • How you perform/excel on the job or in the classroom
  • What you have accomplished (i.e., tangible artifacts/evidence)
  • Your efforts at developing new skills

Why create a Professional Portfolio?

  • To market your capabilities in job interviews
  • To negotiate promotions and raises
  • To apply for bonuses, scholarships, or grants
  • To document the quality and quantity of your professional development
  • To demonstrate prior work or learning experiences for educational credit

What can be included in a Professional Portfolio?

  • Items typically found in most professional portfolios include:
  • Resume
  • Evidence of professional affiliations
  • Licenses or Certifications
  • Letters of reference
  • Evidence of specific skills (e.g., public speaking, leadership, writing)
  • Work samples (e.g., class projects, items produced during internship or co-op experiences)
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