Over the years we’ve seen our fair share of creative portfolios.  Some AMAZING portfolios.  Others…well, not so much.

So what makes a portfolio really stand out?  Here are just a few tips to consider when sending your work out to potential employers!

Creative Portfolio DOs
DO Showcase your best/most impressive piece first. Remember that your portfolio is how potential employers first judge your creativity, skills and potential. Therefore, be sure to put your best work forward… start off with your proudest piece.

DO Go digital. Online Portfolios are the quickest and easiest way to market yourself.  Even if you have no online work to present, the online portfolio can help creatives reach a whole new audience.  There are a number of great portfolio sites out there that enable you to upload your work for a nominal fee, and sometimes at no cost.  We see talent work from Behance, Krop, and Coroflot almost as much as we see unique URLs.

DO Stay Organized. Make sure to establish some order by organizing your book or website into sections (advertising, logos/identity, brochures, etc.) or group by company or campaign depending on what’s appropriate.

DO Check the quality. Photo quality, that is. Make sure images are optimized and printed at the best resolution possible.
Explain your work. Including a brief synopsis of project details- outlining the client, project objective, your role, and programs used is always appreciated.

DO Test those links. For online portfolios, make sure that your URL links are working and the work is still yours and hasn’t changed.

DO Assume everyone heading to your site is technically challenged and impatient. Create a site that is easy to navigate and quick to load. A simple CSS style is a great way to go.

Creative Portfolio DONTs
DON’T Overload your site with every bit of work you’ve done over the years. Keep your portfolio concise. A well-organized portfolio with 10-15 pieces of your best samples will always shine.

DON’T Be outdated. Keep your website up to date with fresh and relevant work. If the work is more than 5 years old, it’s probably a good idea to leave it out.

DON’T Be generic. Let some of your personal styles shine through. Brand yourself by creating a logo, color palette, and look and feel that represents you and carry it throughout.

DON’T Forget your credentials. Make sure to include a copy of your up to date resume.

DON’T Forget your contact details.  What good is an amazing portfolio if potential employers have no way of contacting you?  For online portfolios especially, make sure there is an active email and/or phone number to ensure interested parties can connect with you.

Need more help putting together a killer portfolio?  We’re always happy to review talent portfolios and provide feedback.  Who knows – we might even have an opportunity that could be a good fit.  Get in touch with us!

Jamie Grossman, for Artisan Creative