As a creative professional, demonstrating your skills in your chosen craft is an imperative part of the job search. In particular, the quality of your portfolio speaks volumes about your work and potential as a candidate.
A portfolio can be used strategically to set yourself up for the types of jobs that you want to have by showing your skills, experience, as well as your unique creative process. Today, Boss Blog will share with you 6 tips to create a strong portfolio!
This one might go without saying but having your portfolio available online whether on a website or social platform is absolutely necessary at this time. Even if you are primarily a print designer, exhibiting your work digitally is a great way to reach recruiters. It also allows you to show the totality of your work with less space. However, feel free to make a print version as well if the occasion calls for it or if you want to make a statement.
We recommend easy no-code-needed sites like SquareSpace or Wixx to host your portfolio. There are many other free or social platforms to host your portfolio like Behance, Dribble, and Adobe Portfolio. Some artists even use Instagram as their portfolio but be sure that the profile is entirely professional and skips any irrelevant selfies or personal photos. Do what works best for you and the brand that you would like to build.
Skip the Fluff
Your first instinct might be to include all the work you’ve ever produced in your portfolio but it’s not necessary. A common rule is to only include items that reflect your best work. The items in your portfolio should reflect your strengths as a creative and serve as an example of the type of work you want to do. One key piece of advice is to show only the work that you wouldn’t mind doing in a job. If you’re not proud of something or don’t feel properly represented by a piece of work then exclude it. It’s better to have less work of quality instead of more work that you’re not proud of.
Plan for your dream job
Think of your portfolio as a reflection of yourself as a creative, balancing between the work you have already done and the work that you want to do. This goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip. If you’re interested in service design jobs, there is no need to include a fashion campaign that you created unless there is a point of relation to your goals. Try to show the kind of work that demonstrates the skills you want to be recruited for.
Personal Projects are okay
It’s a common misconception that we can only include work in our portfolio that has been published or that we developed through a formal job. On the contrary, it is perfectly fine to include personal side projects or even student projects as long as you’re happy with the results. In fact, self-initiated projects can help you to demonstrate your unique creative process and passion for what you do. So write your own prompt, make your own guidelines, and flex your creative muscle.
Show the process
A portfolio is not only about showcasing the beautiful work you have created but also about showcasing yourself as a creative. What steps do you take in the process? How do you deal with mistakes or changes? What materials and tools did you use? What went into the final presentation? Show your process in a way that helps your potential employer see how you make the most of the tools you are presented with as well as your technique. Capturing the process will also help to show the depth of your thinking and the creative problem solving that contributed to the final result. Using text can also help with explaining the overall process if you haven’t documented with pictures.
Let your personality glow
Above all else, a portfolio is a reflection of who you are as a creative so don’t be afraid to let your voice shine through. The portfolio as a whole should tell your story and sell your brand to recruiters or potential employers. Think about your body of work and select the projects that showcase your individuality as a creator. While it’s necessary to show the quality and depth of your work, it also helps to show what makes you special.
And FINALLY, always bring a couple of hard copies to an interview. You want to be prepared in case you face technical difficulties or internet issues.