Career Pathways

Portfolios

A portfolio demonstrates you are skilled at putting together an effective communications package and demonstrates that you can create content and tell stories across multiple platforms and applications. Whether you have focused your education on broadcast journalism and media or advertising, your portfolio should show that you have multimedia production skills. Assemble examples of your best work from courses and internships and include evidence of your signature work in these key areas:

  • Writing
  • Design
  • Copywriting
  • Editing
  • Interviewing
  • Fact-gathering and checking
  • Photography and videography
  • Video editing and production
  • Delivering news for multimedia channels for mobile devices
  • Social media

Clarify your professional aspirations and then build your ePortfolio with your targeted organizations or roles in mind. When you are researching your target organizations, take notes on their overall presence, website, social media, news coverage and audience demographics.

Once you have researched your target organizations, select your best work to showcase your abilities. If your work is not strong in a key area, consider bolstering your skills be taking a free course through VCU's Lynda.com and VCU Cabell Library Innovative Media.

VCU Students and alumni can use VCU ePortfolio and blog publishing portal at Ram Pages for free, which uses the WordPress platform. The platforms most popular among journalists include WordPress, Pressfolios, Clippings.me, Tumblr, and Storify. Broadcast journalists use a YouTube channel for their reel.

You'll stand out from the crowd of job seekers by highlighting professional-grade work. Give your work a reality check by getting feedback from working professionals and your professors. Hiring managers will look to see if your work shows emotional maturity, well-formed relevancy, and critical thinking.

General portfolio tips

  • Your name. If you are a William and go by Wills, use William (Wills) Windsor.
  • Make navigation easy for potential employers to explore your work.
  • A photo of you in action in your professional setting.
  • Social media buttons for your LinkedIn, Twitter, and/or YouTube and/or Facebook (if you use this professionally).As an undergraduate just getting started, you can use coursework to show your skills. Juniors and seniors should be working to transform your portfolio with a stronger professional identity with internships and relevant other experience including freelance projects.
  • Include a downloadable resume.
  • Use your bio to market yourself as a curious and inquisitive person.
  • Mentioning personal or side interests can work in this area if they are not political, religious or too personally revealing.
  • Being a recent graduate or having a certain degree does not distinguish you. Don't focus on this accomplishment when all of your competitors have the same credential. Focus on your work.

Proofread your work carefully and get feedback from others, such as a career adviser, professor or internship supervisors. You'll need to continually revise it and keep it up to date to ensure your experience is relevant to the job market. VCU Libraries offers an in-depth guide to developing a portfolio.