How to Create a Digital Career Portfolio

  Tim Conway

While conducting a job search in the ultra-competitive PR field, results matter.


During interviews, you can demonstrate results gained by mimicking the slogan on Missouri license plates:  Show Me.  Your objective is to share best-of samples to “tell your story” to hiring authorities.


Separate yourself from others through use of digital Career Portfolio.  This persuasive tool consists of artifacts that you’re proud of from:  college courses (e.g., group projects); campus organizations (such as fliers or news coverage); internships; study abroad; and community service.


To produce a memorable Career Portfolio, follow these steps:


  1. COLLECT:  your mission is to compile top achievements (focus on past 3-4 years; don’t include high school since this period is considered “old news” by employers).  For example, pull:  academic transcripts when you earned 3.0 GPA; Dean’s List letters/award certificates; complimentary e-mails from clients; positive comments by supervisor in annual performance review.


  1. FILTER:  select 7-10 items that relate to in-demand skills and character traits (e.g., research, writing, speaking, editorial placements, customer service, problem-solving, attention-to-details).


  1. DESIGN:  assemble contents in format that is easy-to-skim for busy executives.  For instance:  appealing cover page (your name with target employer logo); succinct Table of Contents; Personal Goals (e.g., PRSA, foreign language); lay-outs with minimal copy/art; photo caption/text box to describe each accomplishment. 


Other effective methods:  show on-the-job progression via flowchart (especially promotions and salary increases); compose success stories with outliner of Situation, Task, Action, Results; include resume, references and contact information at end.


Access no-cost templates at:


Microsoft Powerpoint


Apple Keynote


Visual CV





For royalty-free photographs:


Getty Images 



If you’re not artistic, partner with graphic designer to ensure pages are appropriate/consistent.  For those pursuing consumer PR, display photos of popular brands and grocery stores.  An Investor Relations candidate should have conservative lay-outs with Wall Street theme. 


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