Job Seeker: What Should Be Included In Your Portfolio?

10/7/14

Interviewed by Scott Proietti

This week, the conversation centers around the importance of job seekers having a portfolio. What really should be included in your portfolio? Dr. Michael Sweeney is here to help! Sweeney is currently the Associate Director for Graduate Studies at Ohio University.

Michael Sweeney (Pictured Below)

Job Seeker

1. In your opinion, how important is it for a job seeker to have a full portfolio prior to applying for jobs?

MS: It depends on the job, and by what you mean “full portfolio.” It is very important for a job seeker to be able to demonstrate that he or she can do what the employer expects. A portfolio that demonstrates that range of skills will give a candidate a huge advantage over another candidate.

2. What all should be included in a typical portfolio?

For print journalism jobs, I like to see clips that demonstrate hard-news writing, deadline writing, enterprise writing (which could include investigative) and feature writing. For broadcast, an audition tape should include field stories, breaking stories, anchored stories, and stories directed and/or produced, all in a package that totals no more than 90 seconds. For PR and advertising, the portfolio should include creative pitches and evidence of results.

3. Why should job seekers create a portfolio? 
  • Keep a detailed record of their work so they can tailor their pitch to the job
  • Demonstrate work skills
  • Demonstrate professionalism
4. Where and how should a job-seeker begin building his or her portfolio?

In college! Begin with work done at the college paper, TV or radio station, or pr/ad club. Continue with internships. There should be a solid portfolio before the first professional, full-time job interview.

5. How can networking help a job seeker during his or her job search?

Networking can help you learn about job openings sooner than they are posted. It can help you learn if you are truly a good fit for a job and would like the working conditions. And it can give you an advantage during the interview process if it can put you in touch with good connections.

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