Creative Career Tips for Creative People.
If you plan to get a job in a creative field, by now you’ve assembled examples of your work. These may be graphic designs, writing samples, short videos and the like.
Showcasing your labours in an online portfolio is crucial. That’s not to say that the bound book is obsolete. However most employers want the convenience of viewing a candidate’s offerings anonymously at their leisure. Hey, it’s a new era!
Make it simple for recruiters. There are creative ways to make a portfolio online that stands out.
What Types of Job Seekers Need An Online Portfolio?
Anyone with a collection of work samples in a creative field should be making a portfolio. This covers such artisans as designers, graphic artists and web developers. Also art and creative directors, writers, musicians, video producers…even marketers.
Targeting the Content
Before deciding what to include, consider who will be viewing it. Define target audiences to strategically create the right mix.
Ask yourself two key questions. What kind of position are you applying for? And who are your top five potential employers? Learn about their needs and styles by doing some employer research.
Aim your work samples at the types of jobs and employers you aspire to. Leave out edgy or experimental productions unless that’s the market you’re pursuing.
Which Items to Feature
Less is generally more in online portfolios. Choose only projects that show off your abilities and make exemplary use of materials. You are only as hirable as the least impressive item displayed.
With your target audiences in mind, select a total of at least five works. Try to demonstrate some of your range and depth. This applies to projects and use of specialized software or techniques.
Moreover, show employers respect for intellectual property rights. Ask in advance for permission to exhibit samples you created for a previous employer or client.
Describe Each Item Clearly and Interestingly
Every project in an online portfolio must speak for itself. You may not be there when it’s viewed. Add the following explanatory text for each displayed item:
- Title of the project (date completed as well, if it gives context)
- Brief descriptor (e.g. pattern illustration, commercial blog content, short documentary video)
- Paragraph that concisely describes the process used
All items are represented on the front page by an eye-catching cover shot. Invite the reader to click through. Then present the stages of this project; from initial concept and early versions to final output.
Remember you’re applying for job. Construct project process descriptions accordingly. State directly who your target audience was, and what specific problems you solved. Mention any awards, accolades, press coverage and endorsements earned. For especially complex projects a detailed case study might be appropriate.
Viewers will want to get to know you. What is your background and experience? Do you have a creative focus or artistic mission statement?
So provide an “About” section. Tell your story in a succinct Bio. Use your particular point of view as an artisan. Share some of your backstory to humanize the text.
Insert a section for your actual Resume (here’s a Graphic Designer sample resume). Ensure that your contact information is front and center.
Where to Host Your Online Portfolio
Not sure how to create a design portfolio? Job hunters may prefer a pre-made solution. If you already have your own work-oriented website or blog, switch to a portfolio web theme.
Otherwise there are many customizable portfolio sites available. Portfolium.com, Behance.com and CarbonMade.com are but three*. Some charge a fee while other’s do not.
The site you choose has to offer simple navigation, cross-platform compatibility and quick updating. Refresh the content ongoingly. Keep your finest work in plain view of employers and they may become your biggest appreciators.
*Monster.ca does not endorse third party services. Visit external sites and use their offerings at your own discretion.