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5 Portfolio Tips For Designers To Boost Your Job Search


LAST UPDATED: 07 March, 2024

As a Creative Talent Agent, I love looking at design portfolios, but I have noticed a trend happening lately where it's seeming to get harder and harder to find the portfolio within the job application… 

Now here's the thing, I am sure you have spent hours pulling together your work and designing your beautiful portfolio to reflect the kind of designer that you are, but sometimes it feels like I'm running through a maze just to find the link or the PDF that showcases your amazing work!

What's important to remember is that on a weekly basis, recruiters are sent hundreds of emails from candidates who are looking for work. We genuinely want to help everyone, but to make that possible, it would be helpful to give us all the information we need to help you.

With that in mind, today I want to give you my top tips when it comes to sending us your portfolio so that you can make sure we have all the information we need, and we can work with you to help you find your dream job.

1. Always include a hyperlink

If you are supplying your application as a PDF, often it's not possible to copy and paste a link from a PDF as all the text has been embedded, so this means that in order to view your work, I have to physically type the URL — which is sometimes very long. It's essential that you include your portfolio link as a hyperlink so we can access your work at the click of a button.

2. Tailor your portfolio

To give you the best chance at standing when you apply for a position, take a bit of time to send through the work that you think would be most relevant.

For example, if you are applying for a digital design role that specialises in web design, show me that work first. Yes, it's still important to see the variety of work that you can do, but to grab our attention, send us the most relevant work first.

3. Include a PDF

If your portfolio is a website, it's a good idea in addition to sending us 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 us that you are the right person for the job!

4. Review your work every year

As much as we love looking at portfolios it's important that we see the most relevant work and not every single thing you've ever designed. I would suggest updating your portfolio at least every year and taking some time to think if any of your work is looking dated or too old to still be included.

It's so hard when I am chatting to a candidate about a current project they are working on but they haven't had a chance to update their portfolio. If you think your work is relevant, please make sure your portfolio is up-to-date and ready to go.

5. Clearly identify your role in the project

A lot of the time many hands are working on the project — sometimes it's easy for us 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 we can understand your strengths.

    I hope this helps you to get everything together to send through your work in the most efficient way for us to see what you can do!

    We know you are passionate about design and that you work hard at what you do, so make sure you show us so that we can easily access your work. Doing this will ensure you are one step closer to achieving all of your professional goals and getting the dream job you've always wanted!