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. For 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
First of all, the portfolio should be convenient and accessible so that anyone can understand what it is and how to view it. Don’t send a bunch of individual files.
Do not send files in zip, or rar archives. And even a link to a folder in Google Drive is far from the best solution.
A pile of files can leave an employer or important customer who needs to get acquainted with your work feeling quite confused. And in this case, you have no influence over which work they will see and evaluate first.
The best options are a portfolio site, a regular Google Doc, or a PDF file. But be careful not to make your file or site too heavy. Some people will not wait for 150 MB of your work to load.
And some corporate inboxes simply won’t let your file pass (by the way, that’s why it’s always a good idea to duplicate the portfolio link in the letter). If you make a portfolio as a photographer, you can start your business with photos and images at Africa-Images.
Agree, it is difficult to choose a designer for a project if you have not seen their work, you do not know what style they work in and what tasks they can solve. Therefore, in the case of creative professions, a portfolio is more important than a resume.
For specialists in other professions, a portfolio is optional. But any recruiter will be happy if you have it.
Journalists collect the best articles in their portfolios, Marketers – successful projects for the company, Lawyers – complex cases that were resolved in favor of the client, Programmers – excerpts from codes, Plastic surgeons – photos before and after operations, Teachers – pedagogical developments, lessons, and achievements of students.
It is difficult to find a profession in which it would be impossible to draw up a portfolio.
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 ten 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?
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.