Portfolio advice please?


Hi all,

I've been applying for many jobs over the last few months and most of them want a PDF of some work samples so I have been sending out the attached file. I have not had much luck so far, in fact I'm lucky if I even get a response at all, so I was wondering if there is anything I could do to improve it?

Any suggestions greatly appreciated!

Welcome to the forum Liam- perhaps tell us a little more about yourself (perhaps via the introductions section of the forum) and perhaps link to some online examples of your work.

Its impossible to say why you aren't getting responses at the moment; it could be any number of things from your cover letter and cv to the actual work you're submitting as examples of your portfolio.
Hi Liam,
I don't see anything wrong with the PDF folio, you have a nice range of work in there.

Before sending off your PDF, maybe try looking at what your potential employer specialises in and angle your PDF more in that direction. If they specialise in logo work then make a big thing of your logo experience and so on.

I can't stress enough how much difference a good cover letter makes. It will often mean the difference between getting an interview and not getting an interview. Employers don't often have the time to look through every applicants folio so they will look at a cover letter first in order to gather the relevant info as to whether your portfolio is worth looking at.

In a similar way to the PDF, make sure you state in your cover letter that you have experience in the areas that the design company spend most of their time doing. Don't write an essay, make it short and concise. Its often worth speaking to a copywriter if you're not confident in your own writing skills.

Hope that helps a bit.
Ahhh i can see the link now- obviously some site tinkering goings on!!!

Lovin' the logo samples on the 10th page.
cheers for all the help and advice. :icon_biggrin:

I think I was just getting a bit worried that my portfolio was below standard
because of the low amount of responses that I have been getting.

I notice that several of you mentioned about cover letters and c.v's.
I have always thought that both of mine were fine but I could upload them
for people to make comments on if you think its a good idea? :icon_dunno:
Sure why not, let's have a look.

Just out of interest, instead of working for somebody full time, have you ever thought about going freelance?
ok here's my c.v and here is my covering letter.

Please check them out and let me know if there is any improvements that i could make to them
(please note that I have removed my contact details from the bottom of each as I prefer not to
have all my details spread over the net but that they are there when I apply for a job). :icon_lol:

Yes I have thought about going freelance (in fact I have done a few freelance projects) but as
I only recently graduated, I would like to work in a studio around other designers as I know that
I still have a lot to learn, and I don't think I could handle being freelance just yet!!
oh btw please also note that I do normally research the company I am applying to and tailor my covering letter to match what area of design they specalise in, but the covering letter I have uploaded
is the main foundation to what I send out!
I would say that you have things in your CV that should be in your covering letter and things in your covering letter that should be in your CV.

Employers like clear concise CVs so should basically only list qualifications and work experience. Keep it very factual. I tend to keep it to one page in total with work experience detailing where, how long and what postion and education detailing where, how long, exam title, grade.

Your letter should be concise too just saying you are interested in the job and explain which of your qualities help you fit the criteria and say you see the job as a way of challenging yourself and as you wrote, you have supplied CV and portfolio. I wouldn't go into lengthy details of where you see yourself and what you've done.

To save space I have my name central at the top with my address, phone, email below all on one line.

That's just my opinion:icon_smile:
Right, I've now made some changes to both my covering letter and also my c.v
so please check them out and let me know if their any better.
I have not made many changes to my c.v as I do not like the idea of trying to cram
it onto just one page but my covering letter is a lot smaller and more to the point now.
Yeah much better. Your CV is fine as two pages as you've done so much and the layout is simple so as not to boggle the mind of your potential employer. Your letter is much more to the point now.

Hopefully that'll do the trick.

If your letter, CV and portfolio fails to get you an interview don't be afraid to ask why. The answer you get could help you in future applications.
Cool! Cheers Maddy,

Well funily enough I had an interview on Sat which went quite well and I have another interview tomoz (although that one was one I sent out my old letter and C.V. so can't say it was all due to the changes)!
Fingers crossed!
Design Job application advice - from a design agency

Hi Liam,

We've written a little help guide on our website for new designers applying for jobs (from a design agency's point of view). It's based on our own experiences with job applicants and things we appreciate (and some we don't!). You can view it here:

Design Job Career Advice | Graphic Design Job Applications | Design Agency Job Advice | BML Creative | BML Creative

Hopefully it might open a few doors, or at the very least stop them from being slammed shut!

Good luck with the hunt.