Like it or not, 2022 is almost over. Companies will (well, hopefully) be hiring in the new year, and now is the perfect time to start updating your portfolio for 2023. We know what you’re thinking—that you probably can’t do with yet another project on your to-do list. But we’re here to tell you that this priority doesn’t have to be a boring drag or even take up too much of your time. It’s also super important as companies are looking at their hiring budgets now in order to start hiring come January and February.
Here are some suggestions for updating your portfolio for 2023, while keeping the task fun and manageable.
Pretend your portfolio is your dream design project
You’re probably used to feeling like updating your portfolio is something you have to do, dreading it year after year. This is probably why most of us take a glance at our portfolio, say “it’s good enough to get me hired”, and proceed to “real” work. In order to get psyched about revamping your portfolio, try treating it like a fun project where you’re the client. Create the project’s brief around your own personal interests and brand voice. Let your 2023 portfolio really showcase who you are now—and have fun with it! Because if it’s one thing we learned over the past few years, we’ve got to stay true to ourselves and seek out clients who respect us for the people we are. By building a portfolio that reflects your personality, aesthetic, values, and abilities, you will attract ideal clients to you - ultimately limiting the amount of work you spend seeking a job.
Reflect your desires through both design and projects
We’ve said it before, many times: create a resume and portfolio that will get you hired by clients you actually want to work for and display the work that makes you excited. Look over the work you’ve created and check your gut for the work that gets you psyched. For the work that makes you love your skills and keeps you doing what you do. Those are the top projects you should showcase. Then, spend more time detailing those projects in depth. Write copy that reflects who you are as the creator, while providing a few details and outcomes for each use case or project with gusto. Plus, you only need a minimum of 3 projects to showcase. Remember that attention spans are short—your copy need not be paragraphs upon paragraphs long.
Invest a little
We know, times are tough and especially on your wallet. Fortunately, your portfolio is the one place where spending a little money can reap rewards in clients who want to work with you. Use places like Creative Market to find unique typefaces or a cool effect you can’t find elsewhere. Find an easy-to-use portfolio platform that will make updates a breeze in the future. You’ll be investing in yourself while supporting the work of fellow artists and designers.
Lean on elements that stand the test of time
We love a good design trend just as much as the next person, but some can get dated pretty quickly. Still, you want to showcase that you know what’s up while showing you can integrate trends without letting your visuals get chaotic or competitive. Try sticking to the rule of threes: one flashy, trendy design element for every two tried-and-true traditional design elements you like. This should help resolve any issues. That said, you do you! Just don’t adopt trends simply because everyone else is using them. If everyone did that, no one would stand out…and we’d all have to update our portfolios every other month just to keep up.
Ask for a second pair of eyes
Finally, lean on your community for their advice and welcome them to ask for your opinion or help, too! Try asking people who really know your strengths and motivations so they can help you assess if your portfolio aligns to them. Maybe you even get together in person or start a networking group so everyone can hold one another accountable for putting their best portfolio out there. Reaching out to others will ensure that you’re not overlooking anything that could make you and your work shine a little more. Your peers can see more about you that makes you a great collaborator and co-worker, so listen to their advice and implement it when it rings true or makes your portfolio all the more stronger.
If you’re looking for a recruiter to check out your portfolio and help you find your next big gig, please reach out! We’re here for you.