There are many ways to create a perfect portfolio; however, there is only one way to create the perfect portfolio for you. Consider your niche, who is going to be looking at it and what you want your portfolio to represent. If you’re looking to win that dream job or get into your ideal school, listen up!
1. Determine the goal of your portfolio
Are you trying to catch the attention of potential customers? Are you attempting to attract a full-time employer or investors for your business? Are you trying to get into a top school or looking for weekend contract work? Each of these goals will place your portfolio in front of a different audience with different expectations.
Once you have determined the goal of your portfolio, ask around to determine what your potential audience is expecting from it. Also, take a look at the portfolios of successful people in your field to get some ideas. Don’t know where to find other portfolios to look at? Start googling! And when it comes to making physical portfolios, don’t forget that there’s nothing to say you can’t have different portfolios for different purposes. Tailor them based on your various objectives.
2. Make a plan.
What colour palettes/themes represent you best? Do you want your portfolio to convey professionalism, creativity, or both? Do you want your portfolio to play by the rules or would you rather think outside the box? Answering these questions will give you a better idea of the type of portfolio that truly represents you.
3. Know your industry.
Although your portfolio should showcase your ingenuity, you must also show a mastery of the standards of your industry. This is especially the case if the main objective of your portfolio is to find employment. Because most of your potential employers will require a certain knowledge of industry standards in your work, make sure you can demonstrate the appropriate credentials.
4. Provide a creative brief.
Showcasing your work is great, but it gives more meaning if the context of a piece is included. Talk about how and why each piece was created to help demonstrate your problem-solving skills and knowledge set.
5. Quality over quantity.
Leave them wanting more! Your portfolio is a success if your audience peruses the entire folder and asks for more. If your audience is bored before getting to the end, you may want to consider cutting a few pieces from the presentation. Include your best pieces without overwhelming your prospects.
6. Show your published pieces.
Work that is done for payment and work that showcases creativity are very different things. Published work shows your ability to fit within a structure. The ability to manage your creativity within a certain framework is a very important aspect of becoming employed. Remember that your prospective employer, although maybe not an “artist”, has a vision as well. Respect for this vision shows an ability to cooperate. This discipline is undoubtedly more important in the workplace than pure artistic talent.
7. Refresh and edit.
Revisit your portfolio frequently and constantly edit it. Change up the content so it gives an accurate representation of your ever-growing skills and abilities. It’s best if it displays a range of skills, so keep that in mind too!