How to Improve Your Portfolio to Stand Out: 4 Expert Tips

Competition for getting a new job is getting tougher every day. Unfortunately, there is not much time in an interview setting for everyone to really get to know each other and imagine the possibilities of working together; this is where the importance of your portfolio comes in. In your portfolio, you are allowed to express yourself any way you want (as long as you meet the criteria) and show your employers the full range of your work. 

Here are some tips that will help make sure that you present your portfolio in the best way possible.

Your career portfolio

Don’t Overdo it

It’s understandable, you want to impress whoever will be looking at your portfolio, so it’s only natural that you want to fit as much of your work in as possible. The problem here is that by doing this, you end up creating the opposite effect. While your intentions are to impress, your employer will take one look at your crowded and unorganized portfolio and move on to the next one

Sometimes, simplicity is key. Pick out a few of your best projects that really showcase your understanding of the basic mechanisms as well as your skill and range. It sounds almost counterintuitive, but there’s no need to get too creative with your portfolio, as a simple, elegant, and consistent layout will showcase your work the best. Let your work speak for itself!

Order is Key

The order of your portfolio is very important. It is just as important as the pieces that you put into it. Keeping this in mind, you don’t want to put in your best work first and then your worst work last. When you do this, you are rewarding the people that actually take the time to go through your portfolio with your worst work in the end. 

You want to give them a nice, consistent journey through your work so that people get a sense that this is what you do and it’s not just a one-off shot. Your potential employers should not have to be concerned that they need to be lucky with you to get the best work out of you. 

Something that you can do to give your portfolio a good balance is to put in your best work first, your second best work last, your third best in the middle, and your fourth best between your first and third best work. Lastly, put your fifth best work between your third and second best and so on and so forth. This will give your portfolio a nice, even journey through your work and show potential employers or recruiters that you have a range of talent.  

Order of Work in Portfolio

  • Best work
  • Fourth best
  • Third best
  • Fifth best
  • Second best

Make it Easy to Navigate

Regardless of what kind of portfolio you are working on, whether it’s an artistic portfolio or a business portfolio, make sure to keep it neat and organized by grouping your work based on certain criteria. When you’ve got a lot of work to show off, placing everything on one page can be overwhelming. 

For example, if you used a certain kind of design, software, or model in your work, group those together or, if you are working on an art portfolio, separate the genres or tools used (still life vs. landscape, pencil vs. paint, abstract vs. realistic, etc.). Separating and grouping your work in this way not only shows your skills and talents for a given topic but also shows the range and quality of work that you can do.

Personalize it

While your work is a critical aspect when a potential employer is thinking about working with you, it is important to remember that they aren’t looking to hire your work, but the person who made it. Sure it’s helpful to add things such as your social media or LinkedIn alternatives, but a good portfolio is made even better when it’s personalized. Including a bit about your story, background, and what type of person you’re like to work with will do the trick.

Richard Brock is an experienced writer who has contributed to many mainstream websites with his quality articles in consumer technology. Though he is new here, his articles are already helping tons of our daily readers to live their life better.