I know: in this day and age, it can seem kind of antiquated to have to use a print portfolio. But even though you have an online portfolio (and you do right?) you’d better plan to show up for interview with a print portfolio, ready to show off your work.
For copywriters applying to in-office jobs, putting together a print portfolio is something that they often forget … until they’re in the interview and have no way to show their prospective employer their work. Bad look, right?
It’s why we put together an entire course on creating your print portfolio in the Comprehensive Copywriting Academy. So, even if you’re planning to work freelance right now, you have every step you need if you stumble across the perfect in-house job that you don’t want to pass up!
So, if you’ve got an interview coming up and don’t have your print portfolio together, here are the basics of what you’ll need.
A 11″ x 14″ Portfolio Case
Sometimes called “presentation cases,” portfolio cases are available at any art store or online. You can get a portfolio case that has plastic sheets that you can slide work into, we recommend one that closes or zips so none of your work slides out as you’re carrying it.
Even better if it has a binder on the inside. The binder is for “archival pages,” which are essentially page protectors that you can slip paper samples of your work into (kind of like a photo album).
Key takeaway: It doesn’t have to be fancy. The real superstar of your portfolio is the work, not the portfolio itself.
Your Copywriting Samples
If you have print pieces, slip these right in the archival pages. If you have digital pieces, print them out at the highest quality you can and add them, too. You may have to hit a print shop to ge the quality you want.
Be as thorough as possible about putting work in your print portfolio. It can be easy to just upload images to your website and neglect to add them to your print portfolio. But just imagine being in an interview without a computer and wanting to reference a piece of work…that you have on your site and not in your hand.
A Strategic Order to Your Work
And that strategic order should depend entirely on who you’re showing it to. If you have a few specific pieces you want to make sure a prospective employer sees, you don’t want to waste time flipping past pages and pages of non-applicable work, right? That’s the #1 print portfolio mistake that copywriters make—and it can cost you the job.
You’ll want to include any samples that:
- Have the same or similar tone to this organization’s tone of voice
- Show the same or similar industry as your prospective employer
- Reflect your range, both in tons and in mediums
Before you have an interview, rearrange your print portfolio so that the most important pieces for your prospective clients to see are right up front. And, of course, take out any samples you no longer believe reflect your best work. There will probably be plenty of time to show them the less essential pieces (if it’s even necessary), but if there isn’t, you want to be sure they see the important pieces, right?
Your Turn! How have you put together your print portfolio? Let us know in the comments!
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Last Updated on July 4, 2023