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Developing a Creative Writing or Journalism Portfolio

written by: Syden Therese•edited by: Amanda Grove•updated: 6/25/2010

Learn some useful tips on how to create a professional, but chic and interesting, portfolio for creative writers and journalists!

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    Developing a Creative Writing or Journalism Portfolio

    Every creative writer and journalist knows that a portfolio is crucial to career success. What better way to promote yourself through your talent and individual style? In a world where resumes have templates and portfolios have become boring, how can you snag that creative and unique job with a professional, but fun, portfolio? Read on for some ideas on what should be included in your creative writing portfolio.

    Start your portfolio creation at the foundation: pick a nice, sleekly displayed portfolio book. Make sure that your specific book has clear protective pages in order to shield your precious work from accidental spills. A variety of book colors are available, and for each job a different color should be chosen.

    Are you applying for a position at a high-end boutique, which requires you to write summaries for their products? Go for a chic portfolio color that shows your interest in fashion and aesthetics. Something with a floral print or a bright magenta would work.

    How about a position at a business company as their press writer? Opt for something a bit more toned down, like a deep black or a light gray.

    Positions for eccentric companies, like radio stations, independent newspapers, and obscure blogs, use your imagination! For my first college portfolio, I used magazine cutouts as the title pages of each of my creative stories. Be creative! Portfolios are not only an extension of your resume; they’re the most important part! Show your future employers that you stand out from the rest.

    While you have room to be creative with the outside portion of our portfolio book, the inside should stay simple and classic. Creative writers showcasing stories, poems, and snippets of novels: use Times New Roman font face, 12 pt font size, double spacing, and black ink. This will keep the prospective employer’s eyes on your work, rather than its display. Double spacing can help tremendously, especially with those who like to write comments.

    For journalists, try and keep the original cutouts of your articles from the newspapers. If these are not abundant, always make photocopies of the original and keep them for future portfolios. Articles will most likely be smaller than a regular page, so paste your article onto a thick, black paper.

    Some useful tips:

    • Try not to crowd your portfolio with too much work. Keep it at 3-4 articles for a journalistic portfolio. For creative writers, gauge the length of your works. If you have a longer story and a few poems, keep the story and use two poems.
    • Leave a business card at the end of your portfolio for the employers to contact you.
    • If you are attending an interview, explain the meaning behind your articles and stories as much as you can. Work side-by-side with the future employer and stress the inspiration and the importance of your narratives.
    • Lastly, show lots of enthusiasm and pride in your portfolio! This is a reflection of who you are as a writer. Ensure that your prospective employer understands that this is your passion and you have put a lot of time and effort into it!