PDF Portfolio - What should a cover sheet have?

I’m preparing a portfolio PDF and know it should have a resume and a cover sheet, how are these usually treated, and how far should they be taken?

I like to keep it short and sweet.

A brief paragraph saying what you are doing and what is inclosed ie “The attached documents are my application for such and such a job. Attached includes a resume as well as a brief portfolio of my work”

Follow that up with a brief paragraph about why you are applying. “your brand is awesome because… My experience would be directly applicable for these reasons… In addition I feel brand x is a place I see myself over a period of years as I continue to learn, grow, and mentor others as a designer”

the seal it with a quick “I look forward to discovering if brand x and I are positive fit” or something like that.

I never put the cover letter or the resume in the pdf. Often HR wants to get to those quickly. Chances are no one outside of HR will read the cover letter.

Thanks you very much, Michael. So then, if I were emailing someone for a summer internship I would just attach the cover sheet and resume as separate word files to be sent along with the portfolio pdf?

Thanks again!

If emailing, I always consider the email itself the cover letter. Resume a separate pdf. It’s good to have a duplicate of it at the end of the portfolio as well because it might get separated…

though I consider keeping an applicants materials together a good minimum litmus test for weeding out a potentially bad employer! I remember when I was right out of school I got a rejection letter and a call to set up an interview from the same place on the same day! This is from one of the top 5 huge international ID consulting firms. I explained I had gotten a rejection letter earlier in the day. The HR person informed me it was kind of disorganized there, they had separated my resume (which was pretty empty, I was right out of school), from my portfolio. I turned down the interview request.

Awesome - thanks again! I really appreciate it. I now know everything I was wondering about.