By Sarah Clarke

So you have been hitting the pavement or searching online, applying for as many internships and positions that you can and you have finally landed an interview. You have heard about using a portfolio, but is it necessary for a career in PR? The answer is yes, according to
Portfolios help to create an impact on the employer when you are applying for a position and it gives you a chance to showcase your skills and abilities. It also helps show that you are committed to the cause; portfolios take time and determination to create and these are skills that all employers are looking for.

What should you include in your portfolio? suggests that you start with a clean, black hard-copy binder. Separate your portfolio into sections by including tabs and creating a ‘table of contents’ so that your portfolio is easily accessible to employers. Samples of your written work, public relations plans and research should also be included to show that your skills reach across all disciplines. Also include any design related elements in your portfolio. This will catch the employer’s eye and leave a lasting impression, even if they don’t actually read the contents in the portfolio.

Your portfolio should always showcase the skills you are highlighting in your resume and cover letter. As you speak about your skills, flip through your portfolio to show the employer. The physical aspects used to back up your claims will impress the employer. Career Management professor Nathan Mallett suggests you guide the employer through your portfolio. Some employers will not even look at portfolios unless you show them yourself. Think of ways to integrate your portfolio into the interview conversation so that you are prepared.

A portfolio may take time to put together, but it is worth it in the end. Have fun with it and take pride in the things you have created. After all, you never know, it could help land you an internship or your dream job.