Should you include this project as a case study in your portfolio?

Which Projects Should You Make into Portfolio Case Studies?

Case studies are important for, not just highlighting your capabilities, but also explaining how you work on teams and make decisions. However, if you have tons of experience and projects under your belt, it can be especially hard to choose which projects to include. To create case studies out of all your projects would be exhaustive and unproductive. And honestly, no recruiter or hiring manager is reading 10 case studies. So, how do you decide which case studies to write from your portfolio of projects? We break it into three pieces of criteria that will get you excited for your next role, while also showing others your true range of hard and soft skills.

Create case studies from projects that…

  • Highlight your desired industry or industries

This is especially important for freelancers to pay attention to. Start by drawing attention to your experience within a desired industry, especially if you’ve had a wide variety of clients. It will help you focus your career and interests while attracting ideal clients in your favorite industries. Choose your favorite project and, in your case study, discuss how your knowledge and interest in this particular industry helped drive the success of the project. Alternatively, if you found the work enjoyably challenging, say so! Clients want to geek out with you on industry knowledge and your case study is the perfect conversation starter.

  • Highlight your favorite role

There are projects you do out of responsibility and then there are projects where you can feel yourself thriving in your role. Lean on creating case studies out of projects that focus on the latter. The question is simple: would you want to do this project again? The case studies that showcase your success in a desired role are key to helping you land roles similar to it or better. Be sure you’re mentioning your title as well as any soft skills you employed, like smart communication, structured leadership, or analytical troubleshooting. It isn’t enough to mention the technical skills or talent you delivered (those will likely be visible in your imagery anyway). As with any case study, you also want to explain how your role fits into the team and how your contribution helped the project be successful.

  • Highlight your style

Choose a project that displays your personal style and speaks to your inspiration within your case study. Whether it’s concepting a brand voice that feels fresh (because it’s coming from you!) or crafting an innovative UX design/brand guidelines, let your style shine through in at least one of your projects. Don’t forget that your style could also be a soft skill—like how you prefer to lead a team or communicate—that helps drive success. It will help you get noticed as a forward-thinker as well as a risk-taker, and clients who are looking for your style may hire you specifically because no one else does what you do in the way that you do it. 

TLDR; Your case studies should ultimately focus on what you want to do more of in the future. If you’re bored with the project and prefer to never discuss it again, don’t bother turning it into a case study—your lack of enthusiasm will show in your language. Instead, if you loved the experience (and want more like it), it is the perfect project to use as a case study. If you need more help in how to write a case study, we have an article for you.

If you’d like to get a second opinion on your portfolio, reach out! Our recruiters here at Artisan are experts in knowing what clients are looking for. We might even have a job opening that fits your qualifications.

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