What Makes a portfolio Work?. WEB420 By Matthew Pummel. What is a Portfolio?. port·fo·li·o [ pawrt fṓlee ] flat case for documents: a large flat case for carrying documents such as maps, photographs, or drawings
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By Matthew Pummel
port·fo·li·o [ pawrtfṓlee ]
Do Your Research
It’s important that you do your research beforehand. Companies always like to see that you’ve taken the time to do a background check on the type of work they produce and the kind of company they are. Check out their website, the clients they work with and the kind of design work they produce. You can usually get a good idea of the type of “culture” the design company encompasses.
Dealing with Interviews
Interviews can be nerve-racking and are usually dreaded by most students. The reason many students (including myself) feel so nervous when going into interviews is because the spotlight is on you and your work. Since you’re doing most of the talking in an interview, it can be exhausting to talk about yourself for that long. Try to create a distinction between yourself and your work. Focusing the conversation on your work can make you feel more comfortable because it takes the focus off you, even if just for a little while.
Make It Engaging
Even if you don’t have a heroic story to tell, genuinely be enthusiastic. Your enthusiasm, energy and overall demeanors can ultimately persuade employers whether they hire you or not. They are not only buying into your work, they are buying into you as a person. The ability to express yourself and communicate with your employer is also being put on display. You need to be able to sell yourself to your possible employer about how your talents will directly benefit their company.
“The most important factor of all is to be confident in what you are speaking about. Confidence goes miles.” - Michael La Plante
There are a few questions you can ask yourself to make sure the focus stays on your work:
Once you’ve completed your interview, it’s always common courtesy to follow up with your interviewee. Leaving something physical behind such as a business card or a resume, will help your possible employer remember you. It’s also smart to send a follow up thank-you note, showing appreciation for them taking time out of their day to meet with you. Remind them gently about the benefits they would receive if they hired you.
If you didn’t get the job, don’t worry. There are plenty more opportunities out there, but use the interview as a learning experience. If you feel confident enough, ask your interviewee for feedback on your portfolio presentation. This critique is useful for students who are fresh out of school because even though you think you did a great job, there are usually always aspects of your portfolio you can improve on. If you continue to practice your presentation skills in interviews, you will gradually begin to improve over time until, eventually, these types of situations will become second-nature.
Get to the point
Your tagline should communicate clearly and get to the point. Remember that you are selling the benefits of what you have to offer, not the features! Employers that are looking at portfolios don’t have time to decipher jargon or big words. A slogan is most effective when your audience can understand it immediately. Keeping your slogans under one sentence will help avoid this problem.