As any marketing professional will tell you, packaging counts. And that's especially true when it comes to your portfolio. Although creating a strong portfolio may seem like a daunting process, it doesn't have to be.
The first step is deciding which pieces to include - the goal is to select items that best represent your core strengths and industry experience while showcasing your creativity, technical ability and range.
If properly organized, your portfolio will demonstrate to clients how your skills will meet their needs and how they can profit from hiring you.
Ultimately, your portfolio should resemble a well-written resume - it should be relevant and easily customized. Always match your qualifications with the unique needs of the potential employer. Researching the company's website, learning about its history and the various products and services it provides, and any material it produces (e.g., brochures, annual reports, design samples), will help you identify which of your talents will best serve the company.
Traditionally the contents of a portfolio have been presented using color copies, 35mm slides, or examples of publications (tear sheets).
The most common type of portfolio is the simulated leather, multi-ring portfolio with pages that allow inclusion of loose samples. This has the advantage of keeping your work in sequence and well protected. Avoid large, "student" size books which are too big to fit on an art director's desk. Most artists choose 8 ½ x 11, 11 x 14, or 18 x 24".
All artists and designers are using technology to showcase their work. (You can let employers know you would be happy to provide high quality printed work or slides upon request – if applicable to your field). Your online portfolio holds the advantage of showcasing your services 24/7, enabling potential clients to find you with just a few clicks. Make sure it clearly conveys who you are and the services you offer, and provides complete contact information.