It’s that time of the year when graduates have finished their courses at university and are now roaming the internet searching for design jobs. Some are lucky and have landed their dream job months ago, whilst some are clutching at ways to put together a design portfolio to impress. Job searching as a graduate can be a stressful period, there are a lot of rejection emails and you are guaranteed to make a lot of mistakes. Though, to help you out, we’ve put together some of the lessons we’ve learnt and the three things that we think you should know about building your very first professional design portfolio.
Present your work as a case study
Many people fall into the trap of filling a design portfolio with big, beautiful visuals. But, whilst big and beauty images look great, they don’t tell a hiring manager if you can solve a problem. Are you able to design a solution that makes your clients, users or stakeholders happy? Can you show heaps of work including prototypes, wireframes and visuals which show your rigorous problem solving skills? If you show a design manager that you can solve problems, it will certainly boost your employee rating.
Carefully curate your portfolio
Some educators advise you to diversify your profile (show a variety of work) in university. They may include the fact that you should pack a punch, whether it be in print, packaging, advertising or web. Meanwhile, others may encourage you to show that you can specialize in one subject. You like mobile apps? You want to build them in the future? Then why not show off what you can do and add a lot of mobile app designs into your profile?
Showcase real-world work (even if it has got problems)
Why not present projects that have worked and that haven’t worked to your potential employer? Yes, initially it may be awkward to talk about during an interview, but being honest about failure is an asset in the world of work. You could explain how it worked and how it failed, showing that you tried your hardest and that you learnt. We guarantee that honesty at this degree will go down well with potential employees…and if it doesn’t? Don’t worry, you should be proud of all the work you’ve achieved and put time into!
Other top tips that we have for creative a design portfolio are:
- Do your research
- Let your passion shine
- Make your portfolio easy to navigate
Designing a portfolio at the moment? We hope that these tips have helped. Let us know what you think and if you are successful. Good luck!