Most designers often face presentational issues at the beginning of their careers. This is because most designers either refrain or forget to demonstrate their skills through a design portfolio. Now, you may ask: What is a portfolio anyway? A Portfolio acts as a single source of truth for all creatives. It gives a splendid opportunity for people to showcase their work experience and projects. Whenever designers are on the lookout for jobs or freelance projects, their portfolio acts as a key to secure their name amongst a list of potential candidates. Whether a person is an illustrator, photographer, web, or game designer, having a portfolio plays an essential role in showcasing what a creative brings to the table.
1. Choose your best work
As an experienced designer, you are bound to have worked on multiple projects. Once you are confident enough to apply for positions, ensure that you choose your portfolio projects wisely. A good design portfolio showcases about 5-6 projects. These projects should showcase your best work that is cohesive and helps employers evaluate if you are the right fit for the role.
2. Include your process
You might feel that the employer is just interested in the result, but it helps document your thought process for the project. Include what references you might have used, how and what you prioritized to finish the project. This allows the employer to understand how you approach a problem. If they are thinking of hiring you, they must know the process you follow to work.
3. Highlight side projects
As a designer, you must have that one project you worked hard for, which takes the spotlight every time. We get it! However, focusing all your attention on just one project might make you come across as a niche designer. While there's nothing wrong with saving the front seat for your most significant project, make sure to talk about your side projects too. Include projects in your portfolio that showcase a variety of work.
4. Know what to keep and what to discard
Now while you are including side projects, don't get overwhelmed and overdo anything. For an outstanding design portfolio, it is imperative to know when to stop. Study the role that you are applying for and only include projects that take you one step closer to securing that job.
5. Choose the right platform for your work
Now that you know what to include in your portfolio, it's time to pick an approach to showcase it all. You can either go for a Paper Portfolio or a Digital Portfolio. Maintaining an online/digital portfolio is much more convenient as compared to a paper portfolio. You can make changes on the go, have customized branding, better visuals, etc. Paper portfolios are used mainly by architects and interior designers.
Digital portfolios built using portfolio websites may require an individual to invest in hosting through a personalized domain. However, this approach makes things much manageable.
6. Follow the KISS principle
Most designers tend to miss out on the fact that not everyone can understand their abstract, artistic flair. This is where the significance of the KISS principle comes in. Keep It Simple Stupid is an approach that idealizes the demonstration of projects in a clean and easy-to-understand manner. It does so by highlighting all projects at the center of a minimalistic design.
7. Be a professional and ask for feedback if rejected
You must remember that each job role requires a unique skill set. It's okay if you don't land the very first job that you apply for. Be respectful and ask for feedback to improve for your following interview. This shows professionalism and builds a good rapport with the current interviewer as well.
Adhering to these tips will help you present yourself better and give you a chance to stand out amongst the crowd and land an ideal position.
Now that you have these tips handy, start building your Design Portfolio. This course features a comprehensive set of topics ranging from introduction to tips and tricks. This ensures that you don't miss out on the basics and learn the best practices to build a portfolio that sets you a class apart! So, whether you are a person looking to start learning about design or are a professional looking to brush up your skills, ProApp is the perfect choice to get started today!
Rashika is the brain behind the content strategy on ProApp, both in terms of courses and marketing. She is an Engineer by education but a Content Writer, UX Writer, Marketer, and Mentor by profession. She has worked with tech giants like IBM and Accenture and has spent the last 3 years working with designers and training them. Currently - Focusing on Building an army of creators via ProApp.