Ready to create a portfolio that makes an impact? These 10 useful tips will guide you through the process of creating your portfolio.
Portfolios are examples of your work in a convenient, structured, and understandable format. It is necessary to show your skills and abilities, completed projects, style, and expertise in the field.
Portfolios are prepared, first of all, by representatives of creative industries. Having a portfolio is just as important as having a resume.
For you, this is a good opportunity to show your skills and abilities in real cases, and for the employer to see a cool specialist in you. What exactly you add to the document and how you prepare it depends on the specific profession.
There are industries where it is better to use popular platforms for creating a portfolio than to spend time on a unique layout of a heavy PDF document, which is also difficult to update regularly.
What A Portfolio Should Be Like
When creating a portfolio, it’s essential to make it easy to access and understand. Instead of sending multiple individual files, choose a more organized approach.
Avoid using zip or rar archives, and don’t rely solely on a Google Drive folder link, as these methods can be confusing for employers or clients. They might not know which file to view first, and you lose control over the presentation of your work.
The most effective options for sharing your portfolio are through a dedicated portfolio website, a Google Doc, or a PDF file.
However, be mindful of the file size. A large file, like one that’s 150 MB, may not load quickly for everyone, and some corporate email systems may block it. It’s also a good idea to include a link to your portfolio in any correspondence, as a backup.
While portfolios are not mandatory for all professions, they are beneficial. Recruiters appreciate them regardless of the field. Different professions include various items in their portfolios. For example:
- Journalists compile their best articles.
- Marketers showcase successful company projects.
- Lawyers highlight complex cases they’ve won for clients.
- Programmers include snippets of their code.
- Plastic surgeons present before-and-after photos of operations.
- Teachers gather their pedagogical plans, lessons, and student achievements.
Almost every profession can benefit from having a portfolio to showcase their work and achievements.
Tips For Designing A Portfolio
Your portfolio, like your resume, is your business card. The customer wants to understand whether you can cope with his specific task by getting acquainted with your previous work.
We have highlighted 10 key rules to consider when designing your portfolio.
1. Limit The Number of Jobs
It is optimal to place from 10 to 20 projects. Viewing a larger portfolio will be tiring, and the customer is unlikely to want to dig through a mass of similar works to find the right one.
2. Choose How To Position Yourself
If you work in different industries, it will be appropriate to provide examples from all directions. By specifying jobs in only one field, you will show yourself as a narrow-profile specialist.
3. Make The Portfolio Visual
Information divided into blocks and structured is much easier to perceive. Illustrate each of your works with screenshots or photos.
If, for example, you are a copywriter and write SEO texts, you can highlight keywords with a marker so that the customer can immediately assess your level. Journalists can add a scan of the newspaper where his articles were published.
4. Describe Each Job
Don’t waste time describing the works. Be sure to specify the goals that were set at first, as fragments of work taken out of context may be misunderstood by the customer.
Moreover, it will be easier for him to evaluate your approach to solving tasks and make sure that you are suitable for the task.
5. Make The Portfolio Convenient
The customer should familiarize himself with your portfolio with a minimum of clicks. The more external links, individual files, and archives, the greater the probability that he will not finish it.
To make it easier to view the work, it is better if it is not a file that needs to be downloaded and opened, but a screenshot of the document or site where the text is published.
6. Do Not Take Credit For Others Work
Even if your portfolio is still small and you have nothing to brag about, it is better to simply write that you are a specialist with minimal work experience.
7. Do Not Post Unfinished Work
Even if the job is 99% done, it remains unfinished. By showing such projects, you can show yourself as a person who is incompetent and disorganized.
If you want to include this kind of work in your portfolio, it’s better to show only fully functional elements or make an effort to complete it in its entirety.
8. Get The Customer’s Consent To Place The Work In Your Portfolio
Although you are the author of your work, it still does not belong to you, so publishing works without permission is incorrect. Not all customers want to advertise your cooperation, so it is better to discuss this point in advance.
9. Check Literacy
Paying the main attention to the structure and content of the portfolio, remember that elementary mistakes can spoil the whole impression. Go through the text with a fresh eye, or even better – ask an outside person to review your portfolio, and this will help you avoid unfortunate mistakes.
10. Resume Your Work
Regularly replenish your portfolio with fresh materials. The lack of new works can be considered as creative stagnation and unwillingness to develop.
As you develop and improve your skills over time, why not demonstrate your level of professionalism?
The Bottom Line
Following these simple rules will help you create a portfolio that will be pleasing to the customer and easy to understand. An interesting and convenient portfolio will make a positive impression on the employer and allow you to show yourself as an excellent specialist.
Treat such work with your soul, because for a good specialist, a portfolio is a tool with which he can get a good job.