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The Do’s and Don’ts of a Successful Portfolio - Part II

portfolio-halfPresentation and Eye Appeal
What would your reaction be if you were served a plate of food at a restaurant that had dust, lint, or smudges on the dish? Now let’s switch this scenario around and put this in the context of a job seeker presenting a portfolio that has dust, lint, and smudges on the artwork to his/her prospective employer.

See the point?

If you are presenting your portfolio to the hiring manager or interviewer for a position at their design studio, an immaculate and professional looking portfolio case is essential. Make sure you purchase a high quality portfolio case that can take abuse and still look as fresh as the day you bought it. If your portfolio is tattered and worn, it’s time to buy a new one.

busy-portfolioDon’t Be Too Busy In Your Online Presentations
In some cases the job interviewer will ask you for a link to your website that displays examples of your work. What and how should it look like? One thing that should be noted is that a poorly designed website will detract from the online images no matter how good they are.

Your website should be tasteful, simple, and easy to navigate around. If you are doing the website design yourself, take note in presenting your site with the same care and detail that you would afford to a paying client. In saying this, don’t try to be “cute” or crass in your design. Using bright colors will definitely draw attention to your site, but what does it say about your professionalism and ability to choose the right motif from a color palette?

hand-and-lightbulbDo Use Your Personality in Your Portfolio
While your portfolio should be simple, concise, and tasteful you aren’t prevented from displaying projects or examples that are outside the box.

The pieces that display individualism and creativity can help get the attention of the job interviewer. Your online portfolio can also display your character and originality in some way without going over the top.
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mouthDon’t Say How Great You Are
There is an old proverb that states “Let another praise you and not your own mouth.” There’s a lot of wisdom here. Have you ever had an acquaintance or friend that seems to talk about nothing except their own accomplishments and how talented they are? No doubt, you wished you were somewhere else when that person continued on his monologue.

In the same way, be aware that if you go too heavily in praising your own work, the listener just may be as bored as you were when you were in a similar situation.

art-collageDo Let Your Work Speak for Itself
If certain pieces of your portfolio catch the interest of your interviewer, you’ll be asked about it.

When the time comes, you can embellish on how you arrived at the final design, what it took to produce it, and other details related to the piece. A running commentary on your portfolio by you is rarely needed,
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windowDo Present a Varied Overall Presentation
A successful portfolio should be a window into who you are as a designer and showcase the various facets of your talent.

While a thematic portfolio can be a strong point, having too many pieces that are similar in nature does nothing to advance your cause.

When assembling your portfolio, try to select examples that while varied, are still cohesive to an overall theme in your portfolio.
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