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Advertising/PR Portfolio Tips

Liz Skinner, Account Associate

One of the most important things to learn before landing that huge job interview is how to set up a well-rounded portfolio. As communications majors, our portfolios can range from a graphic design ad that is easy to print out to videos that you aren’t able to print out. So, the question is – How do we make a portfolio for the ads that we can print out? Some tips to make your portfolio stand out compared to others’ is to have an organized set up, use your best work while still having backups, and look professional.

My first tip for creating a virtual portfolio is to stay as organized as possible. Being organized is not only relevant to your portfolio but to your creator career as a whole. Keeping a separate folder right on your desktop is key. This is important because you don’t want to be digging through files looking for the right thing every time. Start out with a base folder that is labeled portfolio. From there you can make sub-folders for some your work, resume, and recommendation letters, and a backup folder for the “what ifs”. Keeping everything labeled is crucial when dealing with a potential customer or employer because you won’t have to turn your computer around several times during a meeting to figure it out. Instead, you will have your folder right there.

Second, and most certainly just as important, are backups. You’d think – why have backups when your best work is all you want to show? The NFL, NBA, and MLB don’t just have starters, they have subs on the bench that are ready to go at any point if something crashes or if the other team has tricks up their sleeves and you want to put in someone with an entirely different skill set. Backups aren’t any less than your original work. Yes, you may think they are not your best work, but to others it can be the best they have ever seen. If you are in a meeting and your interviewer asks for a more specific example of your work but you only put your best in the folder, you will have to dig for it. Why dig for work when your backups can all be in one neat place right at your touch? Keeping many different styles of your work is important to show the well-roundedness of your skills.

Last, but not least, the biggest part of a portfolio is to have everything set up professionally. You may ask, “I know how to look professional but how do I get my portfolio to look professional?” To stay professional, you want to make sure you are set with everything needed in just the right order. We already sorted out the folders for work, but being professional is not all about appearance or how good your work is. It’s also about attitude. Attitude can be a major decision factor among employers since the vibe you give off can show what can be expected from you on a day-to-day basis. Being confident is important in showing that you know what you’re talking about and that your work is extraordinary to you. Along with attitude, making your portfolio pop with a bit more “you” is key. You want to dress up your pages such as your resume with colors and vibrance, and include cover pages for your work. This will help you stand out from other interviewees. These tips can help you differ from the others. Add your style and show them all you have got. Don’t forget that appearing physically professional is just as important as your portfolio being professional. There is no time to slack off on either.

Keep your head high, be honest, and don’t forget about these tips to pull you away from the average advertising and public relations creator. 

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