Impressing Your First Employer With Your Portfolio
A portfolio is not just a record of your work, and it's defiantly not a compilation of your illustrations, photographs, or logo bank, it instead is a window to your passion for design and an expression of yourself. A design recruiter can easily gauge design aesthetic, illustration skill, software comfort, composition, and typographic knowledge, at a glance! Unless exceptional, these are not reasons to hire, but just reasons to keep a designer in the running.
Your professional and personal life experiences, as well as your personality, give you a unique lens to comprehend the world, which becomes a unique strength to add to a team. The challenge is finding the right team and an alignment that works for both you and the organisation. This can only be understood if you showcase what makes you tick, which will speak volumes to the right person.
The last 5 years have shown a shift in portfolio content that we at Elephant Design find exciting and promising in the young designers we meet. The following practices, in particular, have caught my attention:
Not Just Design But Thinking
Anyone looking at your portfolio should feel curious in a few minutes, do not demonstrate only skill but also process. Show how you understood the context, competition, and consumer. Highlight why you made those choices.