Want a career in PR? Work on your portfolio while in college
Don’t leave college without a portfolio of writing samples. In fact, you’ll probably need it before you graduate, so you can apply for the best internships.
You can create an online portfolio, but you should also have a hard copy you can duplicate and leave at job interviews.
What should you include in your portfolio?
Ideally, you should have, at minimum, two letters of recommendation and at least three writing samples. You need to have at least one press release in your portfolio — they’re old-fashioned, yes, but people still want to see that you know how to write one. You can also include articles you wrote for the college newspaper or newsletters for internship projects, as well as blog posts.
So, how do you acquire portfolio-worthy writing samples while still in college?
- Write for the school newspaper. Or school website, or any print or online publication associated with the school you attend. Believe it or not, college newspaper articles I wrote and displayed in my portfolio landed me my first agency internship and first communications job.
- If you are involved in volunteer projects, work on the public relations or marketing committees. Write a press release for the event. Document your involvement (in writing and with a camera) for your portfolio and resume, and do work that is recommendation-worthy. Then get the recommendation!
- Try to get writing assignments during your internships. If you do the mundane tasks you are assigned well, and volunteer to do more, chances are good that you will get a writing assignment. Look for opportunities to contribute to newsletters and blogs, and be proactive.
- What to Do At the End of Your Internship (journalistics.com)
- 10 Ways to Make the Most out of Your Summer Internship (lisatakesnote.wordpress.com)