by Rob Vanisko

When applying for internships, it is always good to have something that helps you stand out from the rest of the applicants. Quite often, the applicant that stands out from the crowd and catches the attention of the employer is the one that lands the coveted internship.

As a Public Relations student in the School of Communication, I have built up a collection of writing and design samples over the past semesters. After I would turn them in to my professors they would just sit around taking up space on my hard drive. It was not until my graphic design professor assigned my class to make portfolios full of these samples that I realized their true potential. Having a portfolio is the perfect way to stand out in a crowded pool of applicants applying for an internship. It gives students a chance to show off their skills and creativity in addition to their resume.

Here are a few tips to follow when creating your own portfolio:

Be sure to edit your samples
One of the biggest mistakes that students make when creating their own portfolios is not thoroughly editing their writing and design content. No matter how good your portfolio may look, potential employers will always be deterred by typos or grammar mistakes. Show off your attention to detail by eliminating any mistakes in your content, whether they are writing or design samples.

Be creative without being obnoxious
It is always good to be creative on your portfolio to show off your individuality, but be sure to do it in a way that does not distract from the actual content of your portfolio. You do not want you portfolio to be boring, but you also want to make sure your overall design highlights the content rather than overshadowing it. A simple color scheme and overall design should do the trick.

Highlight your different skills
When building your portfolio, you should include different types of writing and design samples. For example, if you are a PR student, you will want to include a Press Release, a Backgrounder, a Media Alert, and a Fact Sheet. For your design samples, you will want to use a mix of samples from InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. This will show off your versatility in different writing styles and different design programs, making you a much more attractive candidate.