The graphic design portfolio is a critical selling tool for career advancement. It shows the breadth of your abilities and displays your design thinking to a possible client or employer.
You want them to be highly impressed with your work. But how do you get your portfolio to stand out from the others?
- A solid portfolio usually has up to 12 examples of your work. But this is not a definite rule. You want to show only your best work. If you feel that you don’t have 12 examples of work that are particularly outstanding, then don’t feel the need to include them. If you have only five strong examples, then only show those five.
- A portfolio needs to show your communication and problem-solving abilities. Include ones that show your approach to connecting with a target audience that fulfills the design’s end goals. This showcases your critical thinking skills to an employer.
- It’s helpful to include a snippet of text along with your design. It explains your process behind the design, how the design communicates efficiently and how it achieves the desired result. This is one way to give an employer an inside look to your design thinking.
- Gear your portfolio to the position you are applying for and one that correctly reflects your talents. For example, would you describe yourself as a specialist or generalist? Are you a jack of all trades with no true focus in one sort of design or are you focused in one area of design? Make sure your portfolio shows what sort of designer you are and how your skills will benefit the company.
- Lastly, remember that you are a marketer as well as a graphic designer. Presenting your portfolio verbally is another component that clients and employers consider during the vetting process. Verbal and visual communication are chief selling tools to land the job you want.