At Careers in Design, we have helped hundreds of candidates find the design jobs that they’ve always wanted and thought that we should put this to good use and compile the following useful tips about creating your all-important portfolio.
Keep it brief
Think of your portfolio as your Greatest Hits album, and only include a handful of your very best work in there. If you want to let your potential new employer know exactly what you’ve done, you can also present a list or an appendix to the main body of your portfolio.
Keep it simple
This is a general tenet of the design industry, so it should pose you no problems. Think of it as a project brief: your job is to present your design abilities in the clearest, tightest, and most concise manner possible. Don’t forget, you’re dealing with design industry professionals here; they will be asking you questions so make sure the work is all yours and you are able to elaborate on your designs.
Keep it in order
Much like your CV, lead with your most recent design projects and work backwards. Nobody wants to work with a candidate who believes that their best work is behind them. Showing your interviewer the kind of work you are capable of in the here-and-now is key. Take along a sketch book if you have one as well, it is a good way to show how you come up with your ideas.
Keep it real
Every design tells a story, and you want to relate that story to your intended new company. It’s a chance not only to show off your technical acumen and your creative ideas, but to demonstrate that you understand the narrative of a project’s lifestyle, from brief, to initial design, to finished product, and where you have been involved along that path.
Keep a spare
If you’re presenting your portfolio as a PowerPoint presentation, also have it available as a PDF, or a printed document – just in case a technical glitch occurs at interview and check they will have the relevant equipment ready. Likewise, if you have your own website and the requisite know-how, put together an online version for easy, instant access. If you plan to show it on your laptop then make sure you have checked with the interviewer beforehand that they are happy with this.
At Careers in Design, we are committed to helping candidates find the design job of their dreams. So, once you’ve put your portfolio together, register at our site, and let us help you take the next step towards the job you’ve always wanted.