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.
10/7/14 – Interviewed by Scott Proietti
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.