Your portfolio is your biggest opportunity to captivate and make an impact, so how do you make yours a winner?
1. Don’t use templates, but get inspired by them
It is very tempting to download, edit and customize a template to easily get a neat portfolio ready to go. However, consider the possibility that other applicants may have had that same idea, or perhaps even used the same template! What you should do is look for the portfolios or templates you like, and use them to get inspired when designing your own portfolio. This is how you ensure the originality of your portfolio without spending a lot of time trying to perfect every aspect of it.
2. Create a website portfolio
Sending over a PDF for your portfolio might not be the best practice, no one wants to download a huge PDF file, or a low resolution compressed PDF or individual images from Google Drive. Create a website instead of a PDF, doing so will create a unified experience in showcasing your work. It is OK if you don’t know how to build your own website from scratch, as there are countless user-friendly website building tools such as Wix, Squarespace, and Adobe Portfolio. Avoid using platforms such as Instagram or Behance as your only method to showcase your portfolio online, these platforms tend to lack the ability to show personality and could make your work look very generic.
3. Show your latest best work
You will be judged on the quality of your work, not the quantity. So don’t include old school projects just to increase the projects count, a golden rule is not to include more than 10 projects.
4. Show your versatility
The best designers can work under any condition and can take any challenge, try to show a wide variety types of works as much as possible. Don’t repeat the same type of work and focus on showcasing some of your other creative skills. Think of different media and move away from the generic digital design, show some drawings, photography, or even sculpture work.
5. Make it personal
Treat your portfolio as a real design project, brand yourself, take the extra step to pay attention to the smallest details. Think creatively when it comes to presenting the work without sacrificing the experience and the ability to easily navigate through your portfolio. Think of how you can organize the projects into sections and categories or based on client study cases. Research the agency or studio you want to apply to, then customize your portfolio for that specific place to show that you are the perfect fit.
6 .Go beyond the visuals
Although the most important part of a portfolio is showcasing images of your work, you can easily stand out if you include a project description, concept explanation, thought process, and project impact, for example: (this re-branding project increased the client sales by 30%). Make sure to check your portfolio for any typos or spelling mistakes, as these can easily eliminate you from the competition.