How to create a winning portfolio

We have received countless portfolios. Some are good ones and some are, let’s just say it, common. If your work still has not got the attention that it was supposed to get, your portfolio may be leaning on the common field. It hurts to tell the truth but you’ll thank us later!

This portfolio? Her portfolio? Or ‘Oh that cool portfolio from Greg last week!’?

What makes it different is to know what pitfalls to avoid, and go through few winning tips from us! If you’re unsure, take a picture of your current portfolio and after you’re done refurbishing, take another picture and reward yourself!

So, how do you create a portfolio? Not just any portfolio but an outstanding one among the others? Here are some heads up to help you land on that dream job!

Be Selective
You are in charge to show them what you have got. That means the opportunity is in your hands! If you want your portfolio to be bullet-proof, you must be a very tough editor on yourself. Choose the works that show your talent wisely. For the love of universe, don’t put everything in! You’ll never know when some artwork will deteriorate the impression of the really good ones.

Only show your best work that works. Because at the end of the day, it’s what the employer wants to know. 

Marcel Bandicksson's neat and selective portfolio

Zhang JingNa features her fine selected photography work

Prepare your portfolio earlier
As common as it sound, you’ll be thankful later! Planning ahead can help you find and fix mistakes before anyone else sees them; and by anyone here, we meant your employer. Picture this; you show up for an interview and present your portfolio, and all you get is that peculiar expression on the manager’s face which chills your spine. That might’ve made you lost half the battle. 

Hence, way before you start looking for a job, plan your portfolio and select which artwork to put in. This also ensures that you don’t rush a work just so it can end up in your portfolio. We all know how those work ends up looking, don’t we?

Make your portfolio uniquely you 
Sometimes we can’t help but to take notice of really creative, funny or unique ideas. During the planning phase, you’d be mostly on the Internet, browsing other examples of great portfolios. No doubt they do inject some really good insights for your execution later on. But at the end of the day, we are interested in knowing You and Your portfolio. Give yourself some space and try to think of what defines you and your style of work, and what makes you different from others. 

Be unique and keep in mind not to try too hard for you want other people to get your message, too!

Lutin Capuche's portfolio in musical wave like we've never seen before

Ask for help
In the world of art, it is flooded with egos. And we dare say that those egos sometimes help an artist make their way up. At this point, it wouldn’t hurt to get all the resources you can get. Once again, no, it wouldn’t hurt.

Give your ego a break and start asking your relatives and friends (who are really honest with their opinion) for their feedback. Though you might be drowned in the sea of endless opinions, a few of them may actually make your portfolio better!

Practice. Presentation. Practice. Presentation.
Even if you have the most brilliant work, it will not shine if stuffed into a grubby bag. Always polish up your presentation skills, and let your portfolio back you up, not the other way round. Always remember how you’ve performed in the previous interview and practice for a better upcoming presentation. It’s a lifelong learning process which everyone has to go through, so you’d better start early!

Show us work-in-progress
No, we don’t want to see you rushing to finish a job so it can make it to your portfolio. How many times must employers emphasize on this point, and yet there are still people out there making the same mistakes? You may not see the difference but your potential employer do.

It’s perfectly alright to show us your work-in-progress. It gives us a chance to see how much better you’ve improved now. Just remember to put everything in an organized detail so we also know how neat you just can be! 

Don’t just say you’ll do any job. 
The title says it all. Yes, you are in need of monthly income, but that is not a reason to change your passion. You should be in charge and decide on the goal. Be clear and specific on your field of expertise. If you really think that being more open would strike the jackpot, have a field in your portfolio which says ‘Areas of Interest’. In that way, you’ll sound more passionate in learning and improving yourself, rather than soaked and desperate. 

Always remember, this is your career. Take time to revise as you go. You’ll never know where the door leads you to.

Now that you have a clearer picture on what to do and what to avoid, you should be able to create an outstanding and creative portfolio! Whenever in doubt, always check this list of pointers with yourself and feel free to revise consistently.