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:
- 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.
- 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).
- 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:
For royalty-free photographs:
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.
- PRESENT: rehearse with samples to address typical interview queries, such as “Describe when you applied leadership talents in workplace …” or “Do you have proof of those organizational abilities?” or “”When have you collaborated with peers to deliver presentation?”
Reality Check: Creating high-quality Career Portfolio is significant undertaking. In fact, to complete varied tasks — deciding flow, editing copy, picking logos/art — allocate 10-20 hours over three weeks.
Why spend the time? Main reasons:
- Decent resume will secure interviews; Career Portfolio locks-in job offers.
- Human Resource experts claim “previous behavior indicates future success.” So offering tangible evidence will convince skeptical decision-makers of your value.
- Few job seekers use Career Portfolio, so you’ll gain an immediate edge.
By a deploying Career Portfolio, you’ll boost performance during interviews. Soon you’ll perhaps be earning a bigger paycheck as spokesperson for Missouri.
Tim Conway, who operates Ignite Young Adults, has taught undergraduates at DePaul University (Chicago) for five years. During 2007, he assisted author Dr. Bill Coplin to draft guidebook “25 Ways To Make College Pay Off”. This winter/spring, Tim will facilitate Career Management seminars at DePaul on making career change, job hunt process and bold self-marketing techniques.