9 Portfolio Tips for Creatives to Boost Your Job Search

Creative-Agency Web-Development Recruitment, Creative Communications Recruitment Hobart, Freelance Junior Digital-Studio UI-Specialist Recruiting

Working in the digital and creative industry you understand how important you folio is, however you might be missing the mark if you’re forgetting the core fundamentals.


We at Artisan see a large numbers of folios from a huge variety of creatives with exceptional talent, these tips below can be seen as a collection of that exposure and the hints and tips that come with it.


Your folio is a living, changing collection of your work that showcases skills, experience, accomplishments and creative prowess. The personal information that you include can also reflect on your abilities which in turn makes your folio one of the best tools to market yourself with. It doesn’t replace a resume, but it does certainly add value and shows prospective employers and clients how talented you are.


Creating it can also be a great exercise in self discovery and confidence building, allowing you to reflect on projects and briefs already met. It showcases your personality and ability to take concept through to execution whilst providing tangible proof of your skills and abilities to show that you are best  placed to do the job, which is exceptionally important in a highly competitive creative and digital industry.


So, what are the fundamentals that set yours apart?


1. You have to think about what you include, select your strongest pieces, this will eliminate overcrowding. 

As tempting as it is, including every last piece of work you have done, from the start of your career to the moment you are reading this can confuse the intended audience. This is where you can exercise a level of self exploration, look over your work, choose the pieces that you are particularly proud of that show a high level of skill that you can talk about in depth if asked. By doing this you eliminate the age old problem of recruiters, employers or clients getting lost in your work and trying to identify where the skills actually lie. 


2. Go for variety. Ensure you can expose a high level of your skills.

If you have worked on a number of projects that have challenged you and meant that you needed to develop new skills and can highlight that you are multifaceted, then 100% show this.


3. Make sure everything is in high resolution and that type setting is clear.

It may seem obvious, but hear me out as sometimes it can be overlooked, or brushed over. One unintentional slip up of font or one slightly blurry placement of an image can bring your attention to detail into question. Check your folio, then check again.


4. Stay current and if can be done, create work in-situ.


When choosing the work to showcase, if you have been in the game a long time, ensure that you are using up-to date work that is applicable to modern day and sits in line with the technological advancements of today. If your folio includes web development from 1997, you may want to consider leaving it out (possibly keep it if it was GAP or the LEGO website, as these were awesome and if that was in fact you, please get in touch).


Also if there is a specific client or employer you are going for and you can, create work in situ, prepare mock up work that is specifically tailored for whatever you are going for. It can show a high level of consideration in your conceptualising and devising processes.


5. Include written narratives. They don’t need to be long, just be concise and descriptive.


If you are not there to explain your folio, you need to be able to communicate what it is prospective employers or clients are looking at. There doesn’t need to be an abundance of text that takes the reader from start to finish of a project. You can outline what, why and how to demonstrate your complete understanding.


6. Ensure the layout is consistent and you reflect your own personal brand.


Throughout you folio you are going to be demonstrating the work you have done for a number of different brands. Don’t forget that this needs to show off your personal brand, so take consideration when laying it out and the language and colours you use. It can really reflect who you are and the level of pride you have in your work. 


7. Review your work every year


As amazing as it is looking at portfolios it’s important that the most relevant work and not every single thing you’ve ever designed. Update your portfolio at least every year and take some time to think if any of your work is looking dated or too old to still be included.


8. Clearly identify your role in the project


A lot of the time many hands are working on the project — sometimes it’s not easy to identify exactly what part you had in making the design come to life. Make sure you identify your skillset and exactly what part you played so people can understand your strengths.


9. And don’t forget, It is okay to demonstrate your creative thinking.


You are a creative, you are good at what you do and you enjoy it. Don’t be afraid to portray this throughout. Show your creative thinking, you can show that you are open-minded, organised, can communicate, can be analytical and can problem solve.


Extra tip for free: Always include a hyperlink


If your portfolio is a website, it’s a good idea in addition to sending a link to your website, that you also prepare a PDF of the work that you feel is most relevant for the application. Having this on hand along with a link to your website that includes all your work only helps to show people that you are the right person for the job!


At Artisan, when our candidates register and upload their folios our consultants are here to help them optimise it so it can be the best it can be at showing employers and clients that you they can fulfill a role. These are fundamentals, or feedback that we have collected over time. Your folio is yours, so ensure that you are reflecting that, but always remember to keep the audience in mind when creating it.