If you are a struggling creative looking for a career in digital marketing, outsourcing company or simply a stable job, portfolios are actually your weapon on the competitive market of the labor force. Aside from your resume, employers ask for portfolios to catch a glimpse of what you can do and offer to them. But with thousands of creative and genius minds lurking out there, how can you stand out using your portfolio?
1. Choose wisely
You may have created numerous works from your past work or gigs but it doesn’t mean it all has to be included in your portfolio. Remember the principle of quality versus quantity. It is not a battle of thickest binders of articles or designs. You have to pick the best of the best — those which will represent you well as a creative.
Employers have no time to actually read or view everything you have included so you have to catch their attention in an instant. Most of the time they would just skim all throughout it and then done.
It doesn’t matter if it’s only 5-10 pieces the important thing is you’ve successfully shown yourself and your works effectively.
2. Curate your works according to the target work
Now that you have chosen your best pieces that will represent you, ask yourself if it is in line with the work you’re applying for. If it is the fashion industry you want to enter, make sure the pieces will talk or show anything related in fashion. If you do not have any related experience yet in the niche, it is important to showcase pieces in the same topics or methods of creation. For example, you can include feature articles, because the way of writing it can be used in writing fashion-related works. If it is design make sure to show current trends in this field.
It is indeed important to show diversity in your portfolio but focus more on including related works. By this, employers will know that you can do what you are expected to do when hired. Always remember that experience is always a plus.
3. Make it visually-appealing
If it is a writing portfolio, you would usually just compile every work you have published in different media and that’s it. No, others will already do that so why follow, right? Remember that you have to stand out.
Consider lay-outing your articles on Adobe In-design or Photoshop. Put images that are related to your articles so you can catch the attention of the reader/employer. The key is making it appear readable even if it is just a bunch of words.
In design, it is already visually-appealing so, how? Read the next tip.
4. Create a context/story
Every piece/work has a story behind it. It is important to show to employers/readers to give them a brief backstory behind that work. Tell them something about it. Did it earn an award, what was the thought process, how did you come up with that idea? Those brief statements will make it more special. Also, you are giving them a glimpse of your work ethic and creative process.
Just make sure it is just short and sweet for them to appreciate. They would surely hate long and braggy statements.
5. Consider building a portfolio online
Aside from its practicality, having an online portfolio will make the employer think that you are trying to adapt to the current surge of the digital market. Also, people can easily check your works for bookings and other commission work. Having an online presence will make it easier to introduce yourself to different audiences and thus making more exposure to add value to you.
A portfolio is a way to market your brand. With a competitive market, everyone wants to stand out to vie for the attention of employers. The question is, how can you make an impact for them to notice you?