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How to Setup Your Portfolio

As a creative looking for new opportunities in the advertising and marketing industry, your portfolio will make or break your future. Your portfolio is the one-shot you get outside of your resume to showcase your work and prove your ability as a creative. There is no perfect portfolio, but there is a combination of ingredients to make the best outcome. If you are struggling to curate your portfolio, here are some of our best tips and elements to impress recruiters and hiring managers.


It’s all in the foundation


A portfolio that will get you an interview at your dream job will need a good design and layout. With most things in advertising, like graphic design or UX design, the foundation of the design and layout is crucial for a successful campaign. 


For recruiter and hiring managers to navigate your work, the design and layout need to be both intriguing, yet simple. It only takes recruiters six seconds to look at your resume and portfolio to decide if you are fit for the role. Sell yourself in those few seconds and show them why you are a talented creative.


As you are creating the foundation of your portfolio, keep this checklist in mind:


  • Is your work formatted clearly?
  • Are the colors on your portfolio neutral enough to not compete with your work?
  • Is the copy on your website navigation clear? Stay away from jargon.
  • Is your work categorized?
  • Are the categories and your work up to date?


Make it shine


Although the foundation is crucial for a successful portfolio, the most significant element is your work. The way you present your work should make sense, and you should put your best three pieces clearly at the top. Hiring managers and recruiters don’t have time to pick out your best work, make it easier for them to sell you to the client.


One crucial element of your resume that you should not leave out is a description/breakdown of your work. Most creatives do not include a description of their work, and it could cost them the job. In your description, you should include your methodology, the skills you harnessed to complete the work, and how you got to the outcome.


Keep this checklist in mind when you are placing your work on your portfolio:


  • Did you name your client for each project?
  • Did you explain the goal of the project and problems you were able to solve?
  • Do you show the process of your work?


Who are you?


Your portfolio would mean nothing if it weren’t for you, so not only should you showcase your work, but you should be showcasing yourself. If you don’t already have one, create an ‘About’ page on your portfolio. This should be where the client and hiring managers/recruiters can learn more about you, your personality, your interests and decide if you will be the right cultural fit.


On your ‘About’ page, you should include your contact information, even if you already have a ‘Contact’ page. When a recruiter or hiring manager reads about you, they will want to contact you there and then. Make it easy for them and include the city you are working in, your full name, your email, and a phone number where they can reach you.


Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are creating your ‘About’ page:


  • Does it cover the basics (e.g., where you’re based, the medium you work in, what inspires you, etc.)?
  • Does it provide an understanding of your previous work experience?
  • Is your contact location readily available?


We hope these checklists and portfolio tips helped you in the process of creating your portfolio. We wish you the best of luck on your job search journey!