- Provide examples of your work to prospective employers/clients
- Describe who you are and they type of work you do
- Provide a way for said prospective employers/clients to contact you
- Be able to answer “Can you send me a URL where I can view your work?”
- Portfolio service like Behance
- Web site service like Wix, Squarespace, and the like
- Social media sites like Linkedin*, Instagram, Dribble, Tumblr, etc.
- Roll-your-own website
*If you don’t have a Linkedin account, you should set one up. You can even post samples of work on your Linkedin account.
- Spend the money, but stick to a budget:
- Pay at least enough so you have your own domain name.
- Pay at least enough to services like Behance, Wix, etc. so you can have your domain point to your site.
- Pay at least enough to not have ads on your site.
- Make sure your email address, URL, and social media handles look and sound professional
- These are all part of your brand
- The professional you and the personal you may have different handles
- If you use the same handles for professional and personal you (and even if you don’t), be cognizant of what you post and what you’ve posted in the past.
- Google yourself. Does what comes up represent you in a good light? Does it represent your brand? If the answer to either of those is other than yes, work to fix that. Employers and clients will Google you.
- Tell your story
- How you present your work tells a story about who you are as a designer and professional
- Highlight your best pieces
- Highlight pieces that are examples of the type of work you would like to do and/or focus on
- Incorporate your branding into your online portfolio
- Share the design problems you tackled and how you solved them
Displaying your work
- Include multiple views of each piece:
- Include a view of the entire piece
- Include views of important details
- If piece was intended to be a tangible item (e.g. packaging, magazine/booklet, postcard, etc.), include views of piece in context as a 3D item. Mockup renderings are generally okay.
- Keep your images clean and focused on the work, especially if photos of finished 3D pieces
- Describe the project
- Describe the problem that needed solving
- Describe the any findings that came from background research
- Describe the audience you are trying to reach with your design solution. What needs or considerations are you trying to fill
- Describe how you got to the solution you did.
- It’s totally cool (and a good idea) to also include missteps, mistakes, and challenges made along the way. Describe how you worked your way through them to the finished product.
- Stay positive. Point out your works’ strengths. If the piece is a redesign of other piece, highlight how you approached the redesign, not the flaws of the original piece. In other words, no trashing work.
- Descriptions don’t need verbose language–just enough to get your point across
- Use language that sounds authentic to you
- Craftsmanship matters
- Check spelling, language, and grammar on everything: in the work itself and the stuff you write about it and you. Get someone to help you proofread your work.
- Make sure images are scaled proportionally
- Pay attention to the little details
- Check spelling, language, and grammar on everything. Yeah, it’s that important.