If you’re applying for any journalistic positions, you need to have an online portfolio that you provide the link to on your resume. An online portfolio is more comprehensive and professional than attaching writing samples to an application or email, and can boost your chances of being scouted out and recruited for a job. If you’ve been hesitant about building your portfolio because of lack of time, money or website skills, there’s no need to worry; creating a free portfolio can be broken down into a few easy steps.
1) Find a site to host your portfolio on
There are plenty of free or low-cost platforms that you can use to display your portfolio. Two key considerations you should keep in mind when choosing one is the number of writing samples you want to include, and if you have any multimedia work you want to add. You can work off the following list of website services that offer free versions:
The free version will let you put 10 “clippings,” but for $5.99 a month you can upload unlimited clippings and have a host of other useful features.
Muckrack is completely free for journalists, and includes networking features to connect you to other journalists and pitches from public relations professionals.
Like Clippings.me, Journo Portfolio has a free version that allows up to 10 articles, and the next tier at $4.99/month allows you to upload an unlimited number of articles.
2) Select your writing samples
It’s good to have a cultivated collection of 10 to 20 pieces that truly exhibit your best work. You can update these as time goes on, but it’s better to keep it small than inundate people with a never-ending page of content. Make sure the articles reflect your range of topics and writing styles, and keep in mind what the culture is of companies you plan on applying to. Most importantly, portray an honest picture of yourself and your writing style while showing that you can work with different tones and genres.
3) Keep your look simple but interesting
Your portfolio should not be overly cluttered or designed with extreme patterns or colors, but you should make sure the design is clean and appealing, and that you incorporate images where possible. If there are any photos, videos or other multimedia components to your writing, be sure to incorporate them. Also, check to see how your portfolio looks on mobile devices.
4) Add the details
You should have a headshot, a brief bio, and if possible, a resume (either embedded or downloadable) on your portfolio site. If you have any audience metrics for the articles you’re including in your portfolios, include that with the writing sample. Finally, try to organize your work by publication or subject.
And voila — after just a little bit of time and effort, your portfolio is ready. Don’t forget to include the link on your resume (as well as your social media profiles and email signatures, if you wish) and to update it regularly. The next time you send in your application, you can feel confident that your work is being well represented.