Before the Internet became part of our lives, designers had to create paper portfolios, hoping they would be invited for an interview to show their works there. Today, anyone can learn about you and get acquainted with your portfolio remotely. However, creating such a collection requires following certain rules as well.
There are many nuances you have to take into account to get a dream job, including choosing projects and describing them in the best possible way. To do this, follow our ten tips. They all will help you stand out from the crowd of other candidates.
1. Be Selective
First and foremost, don’t include absolutely everything you’ve ever created in your portfolio. Devote some time to reviewing all of your projects. Then, eliminate works you aren’t proud of or don’t consider your great creation.
People have short attention spans these days, especially on the Internet, so show them what they need to know about you first. These are designs that have been successful, have received admiring comments, and have achieved fair results.
Also, it might be a good idea to pick pieces that showcase the latest trends. Moreover, they shouldn’t copy the work of other professionals. Make clients think: “Wow, this is really up-to-date and extraordinary at the same time!”
Thus, it’s best not to add the projects completed more than three years ago. Techniques, technologies, and trends are changing very quickly. The least you need for your career is to look outdated.
Another widespread mistake is ignoring the need to have a profile on professional platforms, such as LinkedIn. Of course, designers are often busy with projects and lack time to complete the resume for the job market. Fortunately, it’s easy to find a LinkedIn resume service on the web and outsource the writing business to an experienced professional. With their assistance, your profile will be impactful indeed. Also, you can find there a lot of interesting articles like “ jobs of the future 2025 “
2. Show Diversity
Don’t limit yourself to one single format. For example, let your portfolio consist not only of web designs but also illustrations or logos. If you are flexible and multiskilled, then great, your future customers must be aware of it.
3. Concentrate on Quality
Does the number of works matter? As it was mentioned earlier, it’s essential not to lose the viewer’s attention. When it comes to specific numbers, place 10-20 works in your portfolio. The client is not likely to focus on a greater number anyway.
For instance, highlight one project and put several ones below (in case they are finished in the same style or theme). The reason is simple – such a format makes it easier to address everything in detail.
4. Maintain Consistency
Once you’ve selected particular projects, make sure that they are all related and reflect your brand. Keep in mind that a portfolio shouldn’t look like it was developed by a team of people. It should highlight your unique vision and style.
A smooth transition between pieces plays an important role: pay close attention to colour combinations and corners.
5. Use Every Opportunity to Prove Your Skills
Beginners often face a lack of data and projects for a collection. Here’s good news: what you include in your portfolio doesn’t always have to be done for the customer. In case you haven’t had lots of clients yet, follow the tips below.
The easiest way to get a portfolio case is to create a design for yourself or your company. It can be a website or something like that. You can also offer help to your friends or good acquaintances – they may find a job for you.
You can come up with a client yourself – they just need to be as close to reality as possible. For example, imagine that you are working on a project for a fictional PR agency or marketing company.
Another way to get extra experience is to participate in design contests. Some of them can be found on social networks, blogs, specialized sites like 99designs, or freelance platforms. The good thing about this option is that you will receive a specific task, go through some training, and then add the result to a portfolio.
In addition, why not find a real problem and solve it with your tools? There are various ways to help others, be it work on a set of free icons or PSD templates.
Last but certainly not least, find a problem that your colleagues have already solved and do it better. Take a well-known brand or platform and develop a new design for them. Lots of well-known companies don’t update their corporate identity and websites for years. So, there is always room for work.
6. Mention the Details
When describing the project, write
- who the client is and what their occupations or career field are;
- what were their demands;
- which tools were used and how exactly the project was promoted.
Feedback from customers is necessary too – indicate how they measured the results and how successful they were.
7. Demonstrate the Process Step by Step
Let’s imagine you designed a logo. When showing this work, add all five logo options you suggested to the client and what they looked like in earlier stages. Show your design thinking and growth from the idea’s conception to its final version.
8. Avoid Animation in an Online Portfolio
Trying to be more unusual, designers often overuse animation. However, let the viewer watch it at their own pace. This way, you’ll be sure that nothing will slip away from their sight.
9. Get Help
Before your portfolio is ready, ask someone to check it. You have looked through the collection so many times that you could easily have missed errors or spelling mistakes. Double-check everything, as lack of attention to the content in your portfolio might be a sign that you are careless in the rest of your work.
10. Review Your Portfolio Regularly
To keep your presentation up-to-date, form the habit of analyzing it, say every three months. Add new works and remove anything that seems redundant or unoriginal.
To Wrap It Up
A designer’s portfolio is much more than just a collection of something you’ve done before. This is a way to demonstrate how you solve clients’ problems and why they should choose you over other specialists. Such a collection is the core of your creativity. Basically, it’s a showcase of your job, efforts, talents, and triumphs. Be proud of your brand, and good luck with showing it to the world!