When building your journalism portfolio, the question on the lips of every aspiring journalist is how to make it stand out to employers.
Your journalism portfolio should include: your CV, a short personal profile, samples of your work, contact details and links to connect with you on social media.
To get started, you need to choose a host for your portfolio! Some good options are:
How you build your portfolio depends on what stage you are at in your career:
- Contribute to your school or university’s student publication. Read how to make the most of student media here
- Get work experience at local or national publications and try to write some articles for them during your placement.
- Pitch your ideas to publications. Find out the best places to pitch for aspiring journalists here
#2 BUILD A BRAND ONLINE
Ensure that if employers are searching you up, they find the best information about you. Maybe put all your best work to be viewed on one portfolio website on the internet. Be generally aware of what your online presence would show to an employer. (3/7)
— PressPad (@PressPadUK) April 20, 2021
Now, let’s take a closer look at what work you need to select for your portfolio and how to present it for a job interview.
Quality not quantity
Employers will probably only spend a few minutes looking at your portfolio, especially during the interview, so select your best work.
You need to detach yourself emotionally from your past work in order to select the most relevant clippings: ask yourself which ones your interviewer will be most interested in seeing.
Make it user-friendly
Your ability to build a strong portfolio is a good reflection of you as a potential future employee in terms of organisation and presentation.
If you have an online portfolio, it must be easy to navigate. Potential employers should be able to read your best work within two clicks.
Make it clear where and when each article was published.
Showcase a variety of work
Nobody wants a one-trick pony, so your journalism portfolio is the perfect platform to show you are comfortable covering a range of topics in an assortment of formats.
However, you can tailor your portfolio to the publication you are applying for – for example, if you are applying for a job in travel or sport, ensure that a large part of your portfolio is focused on travel/sport and lead off these.
Do you prefer factual news reports or in-depth feature pieces? Or do you love reading the work of opinionated columnists? Vote below! 🧐 #TuesdayThoughts
— School of Journalism (@TheJournoSchool) March 16, 2021
Make your portfolio appealing but choose a theme and stick to it. A well-presented and consistent portfolio will be remembered for the right reasons.
If you are looking for inspiration, you can check out other people’s portfolios online by typing ‘journalism portfolio examples’ in your search engine.
When building your portfolio it’s also important that you keep up to date with the news and the media industry! Check out our guide to the best journalism newsletters to subscribe to.