So, the time has come. You’ve been going to school for several years, working hard on each and every project your professors have assigned, and now is your time to shine. You are about to be pushed into the job market or you are looking for your first internship. But guess what? The thought scares you to death. Here are some tips for for making your portfolio presentation outstanding.
- Portfolio Basics
- Portfolio Contents
- Extend Your Portfolio
- ARTS 175
- Photographing your Art/Design
- Cover Letter
You will need to purchase paper to print your portfolio. We use Epson single-sided 13″ x 19″enhanced matte paper for most assignments. You will most likely want to upgrade for the paper in your portfolio. Here is a link to a chart that rates inkjet papers based on price and performance. Freestyle Photo Supplies. This chart is similar to the one posted in the print lab.
Below are three double-sided 13″ x 19″ papers.
- Moab Lasal
- 13″x 19″ 50 Sheets, Photo Matte, Bright White Archival Inkjet Paper, Double Sided, 235gsm
- Finestra Art
13″x 19″ 50 Sheets Premium Matte Bright White Inkjet DS Photo Paper 230gsm
- Ink press Duo
13″x 19″ 50 Sheets Inkpress Duo Matte 80 Inkjet Paper, 12 mil Thickness, 99% Brightness, Double Sided, 215 gsm
Paper companies that offer free samples
Fastening or Binding Options
Envelope & Label Suppliers:
There are many options in style, size and material when choosing envelopes, for both standard business envelopes and many others. Be aware of the purpose your envelopes need to serve, and how they can integrate into your Corporate Identity system:
Download free mock up templates: http://www.psdcovers.com
Portfolio Website Building:
Keep it simple. The less clicks the viewer has to make to view your work, the better. Checkout this one at www.ramcastillo.com but there are thousands of portfolio sites out there. Compare yourself with the best and never compare yourself with the worst. Find sites you like and how they are navigated and create your own. There are also many free portfolio sites out there. At least have an online presence. These are good choices where to begin: WIX, behance.net, cargocollective.com and coroflot.com.
WordPress is a good choice for creating an online Documentary Portfolio, but not for your Presentation Portfolio. The reason is that WordPress restricts your design options to specific template choices. Those choices may or may not be appropriate or meaningful to your visual identity or presenting your work. To a certain degree the recommendations found above also have the same weakness. You goal is to minimize the visual effect of the generic/template and also be seen as an extension of the visual identity you established with your logo and résumé. Be sure to choose a style/look template that allow for this to happen.
If have not already, sign up for LinkedIn.com and connect with every professional you know on a regular basis. From your relatives to friends and even you’re parents friends. Think of LinkedIn as FaceBook for professionals. Keep your information up to date as it becomes you’re online resume viewable in an instant. You will also end up using this to email influential people directly for any opportunities as time goes on. Since we are talking about social media here, take a very close look at what you have currently posted online. If the majority of your photos are party pics, you need to remove them. If your website or email address is the same one that was cute or hip when you were 15, they probably need to change also.
- Dress professionally. This means no low-cut tops, no torn clothing, and iron your clothes.
- Arrive on time (better yet, arrive early) and come in smiling.
- Introduce yourself. Tell the reviewer (or employer) your name and something interesting about yourself (what type of industry you want to go into, why you chose the field of design, etc.)
- Make your portfolio well contained and organized. Don’t forget, that at job interviews, you may have your coat, a bag/purse, notepad and portfolio in your hands. Make sure you can carry everything and still be able to shake hands when meeting people.
- Keep it clean! Smudges, hair, work off centered, and inconsistencies; these all just show you don’t pay attention to details.
- Only plan to show the reviewer 7–10 pieces of your best work. Start and end with your strongest pieces.
- Be ready to talk about your work. Explain how you conceived of the idea, what research was conducted, who the target audience was, etc.
- Use industry words. Avoid words like “my professor” and “the class.”
- Don’t rush through it. Speak at a normal pace and give the reviewer time to comment on each piece.
- Don’t get defensive if the reviewer criticizes your work. They are there to help you. You can filter through the comments later and decide what changes you should make.
- Have your resume and business card ready to give the reviewer (or employer). Don’t wait for them to ask.
- Ask the reviewer questions about their job. Take the opportunity to learn about what they do and how they got there. Take Notes!
- Ask for the reviewer’s business card and followup with a thank you email or a snail mail thank you card.
Breathe, have fun and good luck!
Portfolio tutorial and free 5 page template