Creating an Awesome Portfolio

By Mia Casey

Finding work in a creative industry can be difficult – that’s why we’ve compiled a few tips for creating an awesome portfolio to help you stand out from the competition!

Get online

Creating an online space to showcase your work is really important. You don’t have to invest in a paid domain to do this – there are a tonne of free online platforms to create portfolios or websites (a simple Google search should uncover plenty).

Focus on choosing a layout that is highly visual and involves minimal text. You want your work to be the main focus as well, so make sure whatever website layout you do choose is on the simpler end of the spectrum.

Also, ensure your site is easy to navigate and include your social media links so people can contact you! (If you’re doing this, make sure your social media accounts are employer-friendly).

Quality over quantity

If you’ve studied a creative degree or worked on a variety of projects, chances are you’ve accumulated a pretty sizeable amount of work. When you’re selecting pieces to showcase in a portfolio, stick to the ones that you’re most proud of. You don’t need to include every piece of work you’ve ever completed, just focus on showing off examples that highlight your versatility and technical ability.

Use discretion

In an article on 99u, Mark Brooks talks about creating work that reflects the sort of things you’d like to do again in the future. If you hated making a particular piece, don’t include it! Doing so may mean you’re asked to go through that process again, and you don’t want to saddle yourself with work that makes you unhappy. Also, you can always show potential employers more of your work when you consult with them to brainstorm ideas.

 No experience?

If you haven’t had the opportunity to undertake any paid work, then it’s a good idea to create a few pieces for example clients instead. Choose 5 different theoretical clients, and make work that would suit their needs. Think about the companies you’re choosing as examples, read up on their work, and try to create a product just for them! Be sure to label these pieces as ‘mock-ups’ or ‘drafts’ somewhere, so as not to create a false impression to your audience.

Your creative process

If your work involves working in more than one medium or is highly detailed, it can be a good idea to photograph the different stages of the creation process. This can highlight your ability across different platforms, and show how much work goes in to creating the final product. Upload these images alongside the final work!

Make it look good

If your work isn’t already digital, you’ll need to be photographing or filming it. It’s important to put effort in to presenting your work, to draw your audience in. Use a high quality camera and try to avoid obviously artificial lighting. Also, make sure the background behind your product is simple so that your work stands out.

Share it

And finally, don’t forget to link your online portfolio on your social media pages and share it with friends. This type of networking works well because it requires little effort on the part of those you’re connecting with. Encourage them to share your portfolio with people they know who might be in your industry, or interested in the type of work you have to offer.

And we’ve said it before, but establishing a LinkedIn account really is a must if you’re trying to break in to the professional world!


If you want some more information on setting up a stellar portfolio, check out this article by Aja Frost (The Muse), or this one by Matt McCue (99u).

Even if you’re not in a position to look for work, it’s a great idea to start building your portfolio! Why not use these tips and start documenting your creativity today?

Featured image courtesy of Unsplash


Author: Mia Casey

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