Creating a successful journalist portfolio is essential for aspiring journalists who want to stand out in a competitive sector. Whether you’re a recent graduate or an experienced professional, a well-crafted portfolio can make a significant difference to your career trajectory. In this article, we’ll provide you with six valuable tips to help you create a portfolio that showcases your skills, experience and knowledge.
I’ve always wanted to bring together in one place the diverse journalistic productions and experiences I’ve gathered over the course of my career as a reporter, producer, editor and data journalist. But it wasn’t until 2018 that I decided to invest the time to create this website. As you can see in the portfolio, I started my career as a journalist in Brazil, at Grupo RBS and NSC Comunicação, multimedia companies affiliated with Globo. But I’ve also had experience as a master’s student and as a journalist in Germany, at Deutsche Welle.
These digital, multimedia and print journalism experiences are so diverse that they require a customizable organizational space. That’s why I’ve experimented with various tools and services and I intend to share some tips to optimize the efforts of those who want to put together their gallery of journalistic work. I plan to constantly update this article to include links and new tips on setting up websites, free services, SEO to position your profile and suggestions for organizing your collection. So check back often to see what’s new.
Summary of portfolio creation tips
- 1. Which samples to start a portfolio with
- 2. Should the portfolio focus on quality or quantity?
- 3. Does the portfolio show what you do which is unique?
- 4. A multimedia portfolio is a showcase for your versatility
- 5. An elegant and attractive portfolio retains the reader’s attention
- 6. Start your portfolio now!
- Good luck!
- Read also:
1. Which samples to start a portfolio with
First of all, it’s important to select a diverse range of samples that demonstrate your versatility as a journalist. Include articles that feature different writing styles, topics and media to highlight your adaptability.
If you visit the portfolio page, where I put together the collection by year, you’ll notice two things: there are several years that haven’t yet been filled in, and a greater concentration of old and then recent content. This is because my first strategy was to ensure that old content that was no longer available on the web was on the internet. This is because, over time, newspapers have changed their websites and old links have been broken or not migrated correctly by the companies. There is printed newspaper content that hasn’t even been digitized.
So my initial strategy was to digitize them. But at the same time, this is a time-consuming task, and the most recent content was also growing. I then prioritized them. And there are still many pages under construction, of award-winning reports that are not yet on the site and will soon be published.
If I were to start this space again, I would start with the most recent and comprehensive content and then move on to the older content. What’s more, there’s a lot of content produced. As you can see from the home page, it’s estimated that more than 1,700 articles have been published in the press. This brings us to topic 2.
2. Should the portfolio focus on quality or quantity?
It sounds obvious, but it depends on your strategy. The ideal is to focus on quality, not quantity, if your focus is just on a space that acts as an extension of your CV. Select your best work and remove anything that doesn’t meet your high standards. Unless your strategy is also to ensure visibility in search engines, something I also value. It’s worth thinking about the fact that every news article is a rich source of keywords for the searches people make on a daily basis.
And, as I mentioned earlier, news companies are always moving the pages on their servers. Therefore, content that is available on the Internet today may no longer be available in the future due to a broken link.
3. Does the portfolio show what you do which is unique?
Thirdly, highlight your unique “selling points”. What sets you apart from other journalists? Emphasize your expertise in a specific area or your ability to cover breaking news efficiently.
4. A multimedia portfolio is a showcase for your versatility
Consider including multimedia elements such as videos, podcasts or infographics to make your portfolio more engaging. Is it interactive? Insert it. Remember that this is not only good for the reader who comes across your content, but also for search engines, which have more options of elements to index in the results.
5. An elegant and attractive portfolio retains the reader’s attention
Finally, make sure your portfolio is easy to navigate and visually appealing. A clean and professional design will leave a lasting impression on potential employers or clients. One of the premises I learned as a professional at RBS and Deutsche Welle is the importance of simple, elegant design to convey credibility and value, and how essential it is to stick to standards. So choose two to four colors that match (this Adobe tool is invaluable for this), two font styles and organize your content in a similar way so that the reader quickly understands your pattern and can identify points of interest more easily.
6. Start your portfolio now!
The right time to start building your portfolio is now! As I mentioned in item 1, the longer you delay, the more your collection grows and the less you’ll be able to organize it as you’d like. Think about the categories you’d like to highlight, the types of work or coverage (education, general, politics) or skills you’d like to highlight (multimedia, literary stories, research, video editing).
By following these six tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating a successful journalist’s portfolio that effectively showcases your talents and opens doors to interesting opportunities in the field. I’ll keep this post updated with more tips. Leave your impressions in the comments! I’ll be happy to help. Good luck creating your space!
- Portfolio: collection of stories published per year
- Data Journalism: Data-driven stories
- Correspondent in Germany
- Awards received for stories and digital projects