A well-designed portfolio is one of the most important criteria that increase the chance of getting a job in a professional design agency. When creating a portfolio online, it is necessary to take into account several principles, which we will discuss in this article.
Today you will learn how to choose the right works for the portfolio, what needs to be done for a successful portfolio placement, and where you can post your portfolio. You will be able to create beautifully designed portfolios that increase your attractiveness in the labor market.
Step One: We receive and prepare examples of work
In the beginning, it is important to consider several points. First, it should be your best work, ideally performed for customers or in a design studio, with real reviews. Pick some of the best projects and upload them to your portfolio.
You can get practical examples in 3 ways:
- Create a design for an imaginary customer;
- Fulfil a real order on freelance;
- Get a job as a trainee in the studio.
In the first case, you independently come up with a project for which you need to create a web design, determine the design theme and all other aspects.
Getting a real order is harder but also possible. Find a project of medium or low complexity and offer the customer some kind of bonus (a discount, free integration, or something like that). This will increase the chances of being selected among hundreds of other designers.
To get a project for your portfolio, you can also apply to a studio that is recruiting interns. This is usually done by large studios like Clay, a leading agency specializing in UX/UI design.
Then, it is time to move on to the next stage: choose the website where you will upload your portfolio.
Step Two: Choosing a site for portfolio placement
There are three options to choose from:
- ready-made websites like Behance,
- your own website,
- or an account on social networks, for example, Instagram.
Let us consider each option in more detail.
- Behance is the best choice for a beginner designer. On this website, you can post your work for free. Submitting a Behance profile link is a standard practice among freelance designers.
- Making your own site (that may be paid-for or free). Hosting your own domain or using CMS (for example, WordPress) provides maximum opportunities for creating a website for any budget and taste. You can use free options – website builders like Google Sites, Tilda, and Wix. Creating your website will help you look more professional in comparison to the competitors.
- Social networks. This is a possible option if most customers come to you from a social network. But your own website or behaviours look more presentable to larger clients. A possible alternative is to place a portfolio on your own website and provide links to it in your social network account or group.
Summing up, here are some important thoughts:
- Looking for a free but limited functionality? Use Behance.
- You’re okay with spending some money as long as you have options. Then, make your own business card website on the Internet.
- Finally, if you’re attracted by both the word “free” and the chance to have more features than Behance, Google Sites, Tilda, Wix, and other platforms are for you.
- Social networks can be a good place to find clients. However, for large companies, the portfolio on Instagram may not seem presentable.
Tip: When looking for a job, you can also arrange a portfolio in PDF. Two or three slides per project are enough to provide basic information to the employer. After choosing a website, make sure that the examples are placed correctly.
How to organize your portfolio
Ideally, when building your portfolio, make it a case study of your own great talents. Describe for whom the website was created, what is the theme of design, what techniques you used to achieve great results. Also, indicate the target audience of the project. If you have access to the usability test results, add this information as well.
A great plus would be if you can get feedback from your ex-customers. To make them look real, provide real customer data, add links to their social networks. Even simple screenshots from correspondence, recommendation letters, and other formats will do. A well-created logical description and real reviews will significantly increase your chances of getting an order or getting a job.
Try to find the best examples of your work to include in your portfolio. They may be real or made for imaginary projects. Showcase them and make them demonstrate your real talents and abilities. Then, choose a platform to host your portfolio. When adding designs, prepare a briefcase for each with a description of your goals and objectives.
Do not forget to include customer feedback. It is desirable that there are also links to customer contacts (mail, accounts on social networks). This way, you will not go unnoticed and get the job that you want.