Would viewing a portfolio via pdf hurt ones chances of being offered an internship? Even in another country?
Interesting question and I’ll give a few different takes on it.
First off, would viewing a portfolio via PDF hurt your chances? The answer: it depends.
A good portfolio transcends the medium in which it is presented and a great portfolio completely embraces it. If your ads suck, it won’t matter in which format it is offered… it will always suck.
However if your portfolio is solid, viewing it via PDF will not hurt your chances and truth be told, ad people are pretty much always devoid of free time. So it can actually help your chances. If however you also have a solid blog/website with your work, creative content and show that you are connected and up to date, it can actually really increase your chances.
Think of it this way. Compare the reaction to receiving a polite email with a spectacular PDF vs. a business card with the link to your kick ass website. In one you can show your work while in the other you can show a lot more of your personality.
Now I do have to mention one thing so you have it in mind, because shit happens EVERY day. If you send your portfolio in any way shape or form, creatives from that agency are very capable of stealing your great ideas. I’m not saying this to deter you from sending your portfolio, I just want to soften the blow if it ever happens because trust me, I’ve seen some shit in agencies that would make you puke.
If you’re going to take anything away from all of our answers, take this… you NEED to stand out. You have about 20 seconds to get someone’s attention. That means that your best work goes in the front, something I’ve often ignored because I try to get an interview and try to talk them into giving me at least 15 minutes of their time to talk. It worked a couple of times, but it’s risky as fuck. Most people put their best work up front and for a reason, it is the first impression. Now if you can also combine this with a kick ass creative website… then you’re golden.
Anyways, hope this helps and best of luck.