10 Apr

Finishing up your Portfolio Site

As you are putting your finishing touches on your Portfolio site, just wanted to remind you that the branding impression and required elements portions of the site are graded by Stacy and Meredith.

You’ll find the final prompt about ethics in media and more detail on the required elements on the portfolio blog assignment sheet.

The sites will be graded as though we were looking at you as a perspective employee—not a J202 student. So, here are some questions and tips to keep in mind:

Does your website easily convey the career path you’re striving for? For some this will be more broad (e.g., PR, journalism), for others this might be more specific (e.g., music PR, specific style of news outlet). Either way, within 30 seconds of being on your site, we should have a clear idea of who you are and/or what you’re striving for based on the introduction, images and other design choices.

Are you putting forward your best work? In-class writing samples (e.g., Stoughton pieces) are not the best examples of professional work and should not be used on the site. Instead, try to include examples related to the field you want to be in. For example, if you want to work in film, either include sample work or make sure your blog posts are tailored to that topic.

Is the website user friendly? Remember that you’re one of 105 “applications.” Things that make the user do all the work are generally not well received. These include:

  • Having to download a Word version of your resume instead of hosting it on your site (or another service).
    Listing links with no context or explanation on a page. (For example, writing just “resume.”)
    Not linking to a new window for outside sites, linking your own pages to new tabs.
  • Is the material appropriate for your audience? Related to this, think about:
    – Providing enough context: Make sure you provide enough of an explanation for your audience to understand what’s on your page. For example, had you ever heard about the IS prior to taking J202? Would someone outside of the J School know what an IS ASF is?

Photos: Are photos of yourself appropriate for your targeted working environment? Do you really need a photo of yourself on every page? Are the photos you’ve selected of yourself appropriate for a professional presence?

Language: Does the tone of your site match your career goals?

Social media links: What’s on your Instagram, Twitter, Snap Chat? Is this something you would feel comfortable sharing with an Human Resources director or your future boss?

Personal information: You want to show that you’re savvy. There’s no need to include your home address on the version of your resume that’s hosted online.

All this isn’t to say that you can’t have personality. What you want to aim to do, though, is present yourself as a smart, dynamic professional who understands what they are communicating through their web presence. If your dream job is working at Vice or the Daily Show, your site will look dramatically different from someone who wants to be the next Olivia Pope.