Portfolio

Hey guys,

I'm trying to finesse my porfolio; this will be something I take with me to interviews to showcase my skills to possible employers.

I just wanted a professional opinion on this.
What sort of things should I include in my portfolio?

If there are any professionals/employers out there that could tell me what sort of thing they look for and what is the deal clincher when employing new people that would be amazing!

I asked my Uni tutors this question and got totally different answers from each of them, that contradicted each other.

Thanks in advance :)
AJ.
 
What did they tell you?
One said pick around 10 pieces of your best work; don't inundated them with reems and reems of work.
One said take everything you've ever done.
One said to take along your sketchbooks to show them your thought/work process.
One said don't take sketch books, employers don't have time to look through them.

WHAT IS THE TRUTH?!
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
On website testimonials, ie ones which are not hosted externally, mean absolutely nothing to most people because to put it simply they're usually fake, so no idea why fisicx keeps saying they work when pretty most other places says otherwise. Only 'testimonials' people will take minimal notice of are from websites like trustpilot and the likes and even then that's not a certainty.
 
On website testimonials, ie ones which are not hosted externally, mean absolutely nothing to most people because to put it simply they're usually fake, so no idea why fisicx keeps saying they work when pretty most other places says otherwise. Only 'testimonials' people will take minimal notice of are from websites like trustpilot and the likes and even then that's not a certainty.
Good point!
 

scotty

Moderator
Staff member
One said pick around 10 pieces of your best work; don't inundated them with reems and reems of work.
One said take everything you've ever done.
One said to take along your sketchbooks to show them your thought/work process.
One said don't take sketch books, employers don't have time to look through them.

WHAT IS THE TRUTH?!

Thing is....There's truth in all of them.

I'd be inclined to take your best work that you feel fits best with the prospective employer and shove anything to show progress an your bag so you can pull it out if needed.
 

fisicx

Active Member
Testimonials work! But they have to be used in context. This means they need to be part of the portfolio page not on a standalone page.

I ran some tests a while back on a product page. When I added some testimonials to the page conversions jumped up.

So if you take your folder to an interview and include the thank you letter from whoever it adds credibility.
 

Levi

Moderator
Staff member
Testimonials work! But they have to be used in context. This means they need to be part of the portfolio page not on a standalone page.

I ran some tests a while back on a product page. When I added some testimonials to the page conversions jumped up.
there are lots of other reasons that could have caused that to happen to, the price might have dropped, it might have been a seasonal item that came into the right season etc...

So if you take your folder to an interview and include the thank you letter from whoever it adds credibility.
Not in my eyes it doesn't... I've got plenty of people around me who can write a letter saying such and such so they can be just as fake as the testimonials on a website.
 

fisicx

Active Member
OK. Your experience is different to mine. I know what happened to my test page - so it worked for me.
 
OK. Your experience is different to mine. I know what happened to my test page - so it worked for me.

Testimonials work! But they have to be used in context. This means they need to be part of the portfolio page not on a standalone page.

I ran some tests a while back on a product page. When I added some testimonials to the page conversions jumped up.

So if you take your folder to an interview and include the thank you letter from whoever it adds credibility.

Good idea. I guess it's like a reference; they could leave contact details so the interviewer would know they were genuine.
 

Bigfootuk

New Member
Hello,

I was in your position twenty or so years ago. I got conflicting advice from people at my university.
I will try to give you benefit of my experience of when I have gone for past design interviews.

In your portfolio put about ten to fourteen pieces of your best work in.
Don't take sketch books or notes or testimonials. People can always check things on the internet now or phone people or email people.

With your portfolio pick 4 pieces of work you like of which you can talk briefly at the interview about
and how you came to the final design. It might be inspiration or something you saw one day or the thought process
or how you came to the final design. And bear in mind the employer might ask you questions about other pieces in your portfolio
so be prepared.

This is important. Make a PDF version of your portfolio to email to prospective employers alongside your CV.
A lot of people send their portfolio to employers now by email in the form of a PDF document.

Make a single PDF document containing multiple A4 pages with one piece of work on each page.
In the bottom right hand corner of each page put a small text description of the piece and who it was done for.
For example:
Branding or Brochure or Logo design
Client: Yorkshire Tea Client: Post Office Client: High Street Supplies
(Does that make sense?)

Indesign and Quarkxpress can export multiple page PDF documents in a jiffy.

The next bit is optional but it would get your CV noticed above others.

Think about putting an eye catching front page on your CV.
The easiest way would be to make your CV into a PDF file and put a cover page on it.
Most employers will be getting a standard Microsoft Word CV and portfolio.
How about if your CV had a distinctive eye catching front page to it.??

Click this link and have a look and have a look at what this guy in America did.

https://flic.kr/p/9t7A1J
See how he has done his experience and skills and software experience all laid out
for people to see using infographics?.

I know you have just come out of uni so experience will be short but you could put your skills
and software experience in some form like that. You could include your schooling, university and degree in it
to make up for professional experience.

Or maybe if you do not like that maybe just give the cover page a bit of a distinctive look.
Something to make it stand out. As I said it is optional but it would get your CV noticed above others.

I know this is a lot to take in.
If I can be of help I will in any replies.
 

Bigfootuk

New Member
You're welcome. If I can be of further help get in touch. I was in your situation once.

Also as for the interview itself if you want to prepare for that you could do worse than get a book called
"Brilliant answers to tough interview questions". It is full of questions and answers compiled from lots and lots of actual interviews,
including questions like "Tell me about yourself", "What are your strength and weaknesses" and "Where do you see yourself in five years time?".
You could tailor your reply using the questions and answers shown in the book.

I have a copy and found it really useful.
This is it on amazon:
 
That's great, I'll certainly look into it! :)

You might regret saying you'll help me further, I'm sure I'll have plenty of other questions in the future haha!

Thanks again!
 

Naheed

Member
Hey guys,

I'm trying to finesse my porfolio; this will be something I take with me to interviews to showcase my skills to possible employers.

I just wanted a professional opinion on this.
What sort of things should I include in my portfolio?

If there are any professionals/employers out there that could tell me what sort of thing they look for and what is the deal clincher when employing new people that would be amazing!

I asked my Uni tutors this question and got totally different answers from each of them, that contradicted each other.

Thanks in advance :)
AJ.
Hi,
Your Uni tutors let you know the extract of their own experiences and they are all true in their place. As far as your case is concerned, you are going to step ahead as a beginner and need plenty of tips that can help you in your career building.
Portfolio speaks more than words. You will pay heed to it, of course.
You can share your portfolio in the form of a PDF file to the employers, as one other fellow has suggested the same.
For appearing in the interviews you can watch some useful videos on youtube. I advise the same to my students and they prepare well taking help from the videos.

Best wishes
 
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