Should I have a hardcopy or digital version of my portfolio?

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A professional portfolio helps to showcase your best work with a networking contact or potential employer. Whether you’re a communications specialist, writer, graphic designer or photographer, a portfolio allows you to demonstrate your expertise and skills with strategically selected work samples.

When I was a budding PR professional early in my career, I poured over my portfolio. I scrutinized and selected different examples of my work on many different types of projects, such as written news releases, social media projects and events to ensure my expertise and experience shined through. I combed through, scanned and formatted letters of reference and notes on my past performance to complement these samples with third-party references.

Then, I spent hours printing and compiling the work samples on high-quality paper, putting them all into a binder with customized tabs and plastic page covers. The finished product was in a large binder that weighed a ton and required constant maintenance to keep it relevant.

However, all this was before tablets were mainstream. A tablet with a nine-inch display is about the size of paper, but looks much more sophisticated.

The tablet has made the evolution from a hardcopy to a digital version of a portfolio possible. Thankfully, showcasing your work on a tablet can save a communications professional the trouble of printing materials and keeping up a binder. In an interview or meeting, using this technology in an innovative way by flipping through polished work samples can reflect positively on your professionalism, potentially having a positive impact on the image you put forward overall.

What are your thoughts on digital portfolios? Would you bring a digital version of a portfolio to an interview in other industries than the communications industry?

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