3 Design Portfolio Tips... For Students & Recent Grads

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Recently we were invited by two local fashion schools to review graduates’ portfolios.  It was impossible not to be blown away by the level of planning, the quality of storytelling, and the caliber of designs – from classic to edgy – that went into most of these presentations. Not to mention the energy was electric. Great job teachers and students!

If we were to offer three simple tips to you, inspiring and gifted designers, to help you make a great impression on job interviews, here’s what they would be:

1. DON’T make your portfolio oversized.  Wide open spaces are as unflattering as the superfluous graphics used to fill in the space are.  An 8.5 x 11 portfolio is a standard..and common size. With that being said, if you have a lot of content that you feel confident and passionate about, you should absolutely use the next size up.

2. DON’T bind your portfolio.  An unbound portfolio allows for additional pages to be added, or for the content to be shifted around to highlight your newest work … or, sometimes more importantly, to showcase work for a specific job interview.

3. DON’T do giveaways.  Whatever the “gift”, it’s an unnecessary, and sometimes awkward thing to do.  Let your work impress the viewer. If you feel compelled to give something away, have your business cards or resume ready.

Hopefully these tips will help you to tweak your approach to showcasing your style and essentially marketing your personal brand. It’s a crazy competitive world out there, but your talent, hard work and attention to detail will pay off.