Creating an attractive portfolio is an essential first step when pursuing a career in design. After all, it’s your showcase for potential employers. A portfolio is something every graphic designer is expected to bring when going for an interview.
But how does one go about creating a portfolio that stands out from the rest? Read on to learn how to perfect your portfolio.
Understand What to Include
Successfully creating a portfolio requires you to understand what to include in it and what to leave out. There is no one-size-fits-all rule to this as different portfolios have different requirements depending on the role that you’re going for.
When crafting a portfolio, your focus should be on showcasing your best work. You should also be sure to include any relevant information related to the project, such as the design process, the timeline of it, the technology used, and the outcome. Additionally, make sure not to overwhelm your audience by including every project you’ve ever done.
The aim is to include only your best pieces and optimize them for impact.
Experiment with Different Design Layouts
You do not want a portfolio that looks like everyone else’s, so be sure to craft it in a way that will make it stand out. An easy way to make your portfolio unique is to experiment with different design layouts.
Opt for contemporary designs that have a content hierarchy, allowing you to showcase pieces in an elegant and visually pleasing manner. Experiments with typography, color, and space can also help make your portfolio stand out. Be sure to also use Professional Photos and videos.
This is also a great way to show off the scope of your work.
Create an Impressive Profile Page
While not mandatory, creating an impressive profile page for your portfolio can be an effective way to showcase your experience and credits. An impressive profile page should include your name, title, fonts, profile information, and contact details.
For starters, showcase your position as a graphic designer, and feature your qualifications, accolades, and awards. As far as the design is concerned, you should pick and choose elements that align with the overall design language of your portfolio. Furthermore, noteworthy work should also be featured on your profile page.
Include a Persona
A persona may refer to the type of person who would find the work you’ve created relevant. When creating your portfolio, it’s important to keep the persona you have in mind throughout the design process.
Doing this allows you to provide an experience suited to their needs, conveying your brand story in the most efficient manner possible. Consider the type of people who’d be most interested in your work and create an experience tailored to them. An effective persona will make all the difference in a successful portfolio.
Be Understanding of the User Experience
You should also keep the user experience in mind when designing a portfolio. The way it looks and works is just as important as what’s featured on it, so take extra care when designing the interface of your portfolio.
Focus on making your design as intuitive and easy to navigate as possible. This will ensure that you provide an enjoyable user experience. Additionally, to ensure that users don’t struggle to find what they’re looking for, include relevant categories of work and make sure your portfolio has easy to use filters and search options.
Stay On Top of Updates and Trends
Trends in design are always in flux, so you should stay on top of them and include them in your portfolio. To stay up to date and keep a finger on the pulse of the industry, follow related websites and periodicals closely and let them inform your design decisions. Make sure that you update your portfolio on a regular basis.
Clients/employers will see when it was last updated and will likely be more interested in looking at it if it is constantly evolving.
Use Social Media to Promote Yourself
Social media isn’t just for mindless scrolling and procrastination — it can be used as a powerful tool for promoting yourself and your work. Making sure that your portfolio is connected to the various social media platforms will help in getting the word out about your work and build an audience for you.
Be sure to post regularly and make sure your content is creative and informative. Additionally, establish relationships with professionals in the field and collaborate with them. While designer-focused social media networks such as Dribbble and Behance are great, try to use larger platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as well.
Analyze Your Toolkits
Your toolkit is a key element of your portfolio and should represent an accurate picture of what you have to offer. This might include software, programming languages, fonts, textures, and templates.
To demonstrate the range of your technical expertise and highlight the broader skillset at your disposal, switch up the toolkit you showcase in your portfolio. Doing so will give potential employers an idea of what you are capable of and the opportunities they can take advantage of should they hire you.
Leverage Your Network
The power of network can never be understated and is arguably the most invaluable tool at your disposal. Leveraging your connections can be a great way to get your portfolio in front of the right people. Tap into your network and ask for introductions to employers, clients, and other professionals in the field.
Have them provide referrals and build relationships that can lead to job opportunities. Most importantly, help them grow as you grow.
Provide Before-and-After Samples
Highlighting the impact that your work had on a project or the client’s target audience is essential for any portfolio. One way of doing this is to provide before-and-after samples that demonstrate the range of your skills and the results you achieved. Providing before-and-after samples will help employers understand how your work improved the original design and how it met the client’s objectives.
This will help them evaluate how meaningful and impactful your work is for them.
Pay Attention To the Details
Details can make or break a project, and when it comes to portfolios — they are just as important. Pay extra attention to the details and make sure all the project elements are properly highlighted while still being easy to follows. Additionally, make sure the portfolio is free from any errors.
This includes design and content errors such as typos, misspellings, and incorrect grammar. Another important detail is to include contact information.
People will likely reach out to you if they like what they see, so make sure they have a way to reach you if they need to.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to you and how you convey your art, your process, and the value that your skills can bring to an employer. Keep these tips in mind to create a portfolio that will be attractive for employers and make it easier for you to land the position you desire.