How to make your portfolio stand out – do’s and don’ts

While companies are slowly opening up, demand for creative services is expected to rise accordingly. However, an increase in competition among creatives will also be huge. This is why it is essentially important to make your creative portfolio stand out among others.

Even though this might sound like a couple of days of work, the portfolio is one of the key elements that influences whether creatives are hired or not. Hence, having a pretty portfolio is not enough. The whole creation process has to be strategic. Besides, it has to leave no doubts to your future recruiters or clients. This is why Skillmill is providing a portfolio do’s and don’ts list below.



  • Think like a recruiter not like an applicant

This is when you need to dig deeper and understand your audience. Some applicants believe that putting all previous work examples into one file can be considered as a portfolio. However, recruiters expect more than that. Thus, make sure to upload not only your work but also showcase how you express your ideas, how you are able to cope with multiple projects and/or tight deadlines.


  • Put your best work at the beginning

Companies tend to spend a few minutes reviewing your portfolio to see whether you are a great fit for the position or not. So instead of putting your latest work at the beginning, place those creative projects that you think are the most impressive and relevant.


Creation by Raphael Vicenzi
  • Keep updating your portfolio

Even though you might be in a secured job position, you can never know when a new career opportunity might appear. So it’s best that you are always ready for unexpected career changes. To be prepared, make sure your most recent projects are mentioned in your portfolio. This will also symbolize to potential clients or employers that you are active and in high demand.


  • Tell a story about your key projects

The visuals in your portfolio can tell one thing. Nevertheless, the story behind that project can be even more interesting and informative to the potential clients. Besides showing the final version of the project, give a bit more details to the viewers about what was the main task of the project, what were the main challenges that you have encountered while preparing the project, and how you overcame all the difficulties. However, remember to keep this information short and crisp. Use platforms like Skillmill where you can easily add a description below your uploaded creations.



  • Don’t take group project’s credits all to yourself

In the creative sector, it is quite common that tasks are done by teams rather than by a specific professional. Therefore, it is important to specify under your uploaded team projects how much and on which task you have contributed. Keep in mind that there might be situations where your previous colleagues will be applying for the same work opportunities with the same project example in their portfolios. Hence, in order to avoid misunderstandings, state clearly what was your role in the selected project


  • Don’t ignore the feedback about your portfolio

Portfolio creation can require lots of your time, effort and thinking. And when you are sure that you have reached the result that you personally like, it is important to hear what others are thinking before making your portfolio live and available for the others to see. You don’t need to look far, a close personal network like your family or friends is sufficient. If you receive feedback that your portfolio has a confusing structure or layout, this might be a red flag that recruiters will notice too.

Creation by Steven Hart.  
  • Don’t put only few examples of your creative work

Even though you might be a current student or just a beginner in your creative field, your portfolio still needs to have enough work examples so that the employers/clients could make an informative decision. Hence, if you only have few work examples from your previous employment or freelance projects, feel free to include either your most successful university projects or extra work examples that you have done during your free time.


  • Don’t underestimate the power of portfolio in general

It might be the case that you have worked on hundreds of projects with giant world companies. However, it is essential to remain humble and not let your pride take over. As it was mentioned before, the portfolio is among the key elements that determine whether you will be hired or not. So take as much time as possible to prepare an impressive showcase of your creative talent and skills.

Ready to present your portfolio and receive creative career opportunities? Sign-up for a free Skillmill profile by clicking the button below:


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