Job candidates are reporting fewer requests to see portfolios of their work. Instead, employers are increasingly turning to your social media presence as the new measure of your ability to excel in the fast-changing PR world. Therefore, you need to be prepared to meet both expectations.
While I encourage students to have both print and online versions of their portfolios, some recruiters and agency executives are now going beyond portfolios.
Although some will debate the relevance of Klout scores, one recruiter recently told me that his agency head checks the Klout ratings of prospective employers, and he actually rejected a potential candidate whose score was under 40. No matter how you feel about such ratings, they’re a fact of life so you should make sure to give some attention to your Klout score.
PRINT OR ONLINE PORTFOLIO?
A recent inquiry to this blog asked about the proper way to present a portfolio—in person via hard copy or online. Although e-portfolios are easier and less expensive to produce, I suggest that serious candidates also should have an actual physical portfolio.
Some Boomer and Gen-X interviewers prefer seeing the actual work during the interview process rather than calling up the online version before or after interviews. To get around the possibility that no one will review their portfolios, some candidates bring I-Pads to interviews so they can quickly call up their e-portfolios. If you bring your own portfolio support device, be sure to practice the hand off. One agency executive who wasn’t familiar with how to handle an I-Pad told me the hand off was awkward and she dropped it. “Give me something that can’t break and make me feel guilty,” she advises. “If I liked what I saw in the hard copy, I will share a link with my colleagues.”
So am I recommending even more work? Yes. Until online portfolios are universally accepted, you need to prepare for any possible situation. In addition, ramp up your social media presence since many feel it will become the “decider” between candidates with similar portfolios.