Preparing your work portfolio is an obligatory step for those who work in the world of graphics, of design, of architecture or photography or in general in all creative sectors.
This document is usually accompanied by the Curriculum vitae and collects structured personal works such as sketches, photographs or technical drawings, which otherwise would have no way of emerging within a traditional CV. Choosing whether or not to attach a portfolio to your Curriculum depends on your professional situation, but in any case one document does not replace the other.
Let’s see what elements to consider when choosing to prepare a portfolio of works while searching for work.
When to attach a portfolio to your CV?
In professions where graphic, photography or design skills are not required, and where you do not work for projects, work portfolio is not required. In these cases it is necessary to have a well-structured Curriculum, together with a cover letter, which can highlight one’s skills in a concise but effective way.
For the creative professions instead, the work portfolio is a fundamental document, almost more than the CV which, however, must not be neglected, because it is the document in which you can tell your professional and educational history.
CV, letter and personal portfolio, therefore, must always be prepared with care, especially if you are applying for a position as an architect, design, graphic designer or web developer, for example. However, it is good to remember that in the creative professions the portfolio is essential to differentiate yourself from other candidates .
It is good practice to always have an up-to-date portfolio.
Because it is often an essential requirement for applications in graphic design, illustration, web design, photography, fashion, architecture, but also communication and writing. So remember to always add your latest works and to modulate your portfolio according to the type of company or position you are applying for.
Also, give relevance to the most important, relevant and best successful projects to immediately capture the attention of recruiters.
Quality is more important than quantity.
Try to choose different projects, by style or type of client, in order to also highlight your versatility. For example, if you develop websites, do not show 5 websites that deal with fashion in your portfolio, but also include a site that you have designed for a non-profit, a law firm, etc.
The choice of format for the portfolio: online or paper?
The portfolio of works can be both digital and paper, although now the prevailing and most recommended format is the digital one . Of course, seeing a printed one always has a certain effect and also the choice of paper and printing have their meaning. However, on the web it is possible to indulge in creating an original and captivating project, which can be conveniently shared via a link or a drive folder.
So, how to create an online portfolio?
There are now different platforms on the net dedicated, to be chosen based on your technical and coding knowledge. In general, platforms that offer more flexibility in terms of formatting and presentation require greater technical knowledge. For example, the ability to write code in HTML or CSS. On the other hand, there are platforms that allow less customization but have a simple interface that can also be used by those without coding knowledge.
Some of the most popular platforms for creating an online portfolio are:
- Carbonmade: is one of the most popular websites. It is very simple to use, but the choices of templates available are limited.
- Portfoliobox: unlike Carbonmade it does not have pre-built templates, but allows you to customize the editing by choosing between different “Styles”. You can try it for a month for free.
- Behance: from Adobe, in addition to the creation of the portfolio, it allows you to access a network in which other professionals in the sector and potential customers or employers are present.
- Duked: the choice of templates on this site is limited, but allows many customizations to create a truly original portfolio of works. It is very easy to use and allows you to easily upload videos and audio files as well.
Portfolios are mostly created and shown online today, but there are situations where it might not be practical.
For example, you may find yourself in the situation of having an interview or meeting in a place where the internet connection is not optimal, if not absent. For this it is always a good idea to have a PDF version of your portfolio, to keep on a stick or on your PC.