Happy New Year

5 New Year's Resolutions for your Portfolio

Diets, budgets and bold projects—oh my! It’s New Year’s resolution time again, which means that if you’re a graphic designer, it’s also time to remodel your portfolio! In fact, the Brooks Institute recommends doing a portfolio revamp once a year at the very least, and anytime you complete an impressive project, you should update and upscale your portfolio to reflect your latest and greatest work. You never know when might need to use it in a job search. Here are 5 more ways to make that portfolio soar into the New Year.

5 Portfolio and Resume Resolutions

  1. Out with the old, in with the new!
    The folks at Design Sojourn recommend that you include your newest and best work in your portfolio, stressing that you can go ahead and take out anything that’s more than 3 years old. Hopefully your best work from today far outshines your most awesome work from 3 years ago. You should show off what you’re doing today, as that’s going to be the most relevant to potential clients and employers.

  2. Put it on a diet
    Experienced Designers can be tempted to put too many pieces into a portfolio while new grads scramble for enough material. Potential clients and employers don’t have time to sift through pages and pages of designs, great as they all might be. The Rasmussen College graphic design program gives a wide berth of 5-15 pieces, but Design Sojourn says more than 10 can feel overweight, while less than 8 can seem anemic, so aim accordingly.

  3. Divide and conquer
    Another great resolution is to keep more than one portfolio in play at a time — after all, different clients are looking for different things. At the very least, have a print and digital version of your portfolio. Hosting your own website is a great way to start, but if you don't have the skill or time, Creative Bloq recommends setting up a WordPress or Squarespace website to showcase your work and give you the flexibility to adapt to various target audiences. Behance is also a favorite of Designers. 

  4. Variety is the Spice…
    ...of your portfolio! Show off the depth and breadth of your work by including a variety of different projects that showcase your best work for a wide variety of clients. Every piece should stand on its own, highlighting different aspects of your skill and creativity, and if it’s on par with the quality you want to share, definitely include volunteer work, particularly if you’re just starting out and don’t have a lot of professional experience yet.

  5. Get Fresh Eyeballs
    When you are working so intensely on your portfolio, parts of it can become invisible; particularly mistakes or weaknesses that can turn off a potential client or employer. So select two or three fellow design mentors that you trust and admire to take an objective look through your portfolio. They can help you weed out mistakes and point out areas that could be strengthened.

Good luck this year with your graphic design portfolio! Once you've polished it up, we'd love to see it! Share it with your Recruiter or update your info with Artisan.

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