As I was looking at my 100th portfolio of the day I read a quote from Giorgio Armani “Elegance is not being noticed, it’s about being remembered” and it struck so true to me – out of all the portfolios I had seen that day, I would say all inspired me in some way, but come the end of the day only a few were jumping out and still in my mind. Now I’m sure we all don’t appreciate everything we’ve done or said that we’re remembered for, but from recruitment/hiring perspective, being remembered for the positive is crucial if you want to increase your chances of being considered for the positions you really want. This led me to create the list below:
- Your website: First impressions are important, and your website is the first thing anyone sees and judges you on. Some argue it’s as important as your work! Designing the correct website to showcase your work will either make your work shine or be its demise. Create a clean, easy-to-navigate experience. If you don’t have the time to build a website yet, sites like behance.net and creativepool.com are good starting points.
- Take your time – Look through all your work and carefully select the correct pieces for your portfolio. Choose projects you’re proud of!
- Be relevant – This is extremely important when applying to a specific job or passing your portfolio to a specialist recruiter. This might sound like more work, but the correct showcase of work, in front of a smaller pool of relevant individuals, is better than a mishmash of work in front of many.
- Make it eye catching – Use interesting images and include a backstory for each project. Hiring managers like to see the story behind your finished work. Present your process from initial concept, to early sketches, through to the finished product. TIP: present final finished work first, followed by backstory.
- Less is more – Showcase your best work, five of your best pieces is better than fifteen with ten OK pieces. Recruiters and hiring managers will often only look at a few pieces of work, so make sure they see the ones you want them to see.
- Don’t be afraid to go after what you want – Showcase the work that you want to be doing. Recruiters and hiring managers are looking for specific experience and if you showcase work that doesn’t match, you won’t be considered.
- Don’t neglect your bio – Don’t just list your jobs, create a story.
- Create your own mission statement. You are a creative and have a unique view on the world and industry, share it!
- Share your backstory. Why did you choose your chosen career? What experiences have shaped your creative direction?
- Show off – What notable clients have you worked with? Won any awards? Have any publications?
- Be personable – Finish your bio with some personal trivia. Discuss your hobbies, interests, favourite films etc. Make yourself approachable and relatable.
Keep your portfolio up-to-date! The best portfolios are always up to date and ever changing. Keep adding/updating your portfolio as you create new and better work.
Hope you have found this a useful read. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like me to take a look at your portfolio – always more than happy to.