Nowadays with the help of amazing technology, the need for printed portfolios are decreasing drastically. Come to think of it it was a true hassle to have your amazing artwork picked out then printed out in high resolution CMYK colors on superb card-stock, then my least favorite- mounting the prints, and finally inserting them in a fancy shmancy portfolio book.
Some things have not changed though, like the need to have around 10 master pieces to showcase your ability. It is very important to start with a strong piece and end it with a strong piece. And be very aware that you would be asked nit picky questions about each piece, specifically who was the client and “Did you make this for school?”. It is important to have the ability to show your work in person, not just by giving them your website link.
When you are applying for a design job, you are usually required to have a PDF portfolio of 7 to 10 pieces in RGB color format emailed along with your resume and cover letter. You should always have the file on your Ipad or tablet along with your resume on the day of the interview. Even when you were not asked. If you are short on money borrow one or worst case burn a CD and put it in a Labeled case.
So what should be in this PDF portfolio? It depends what you are applying for. For example if you are a Graphic designer applying for a packaging design position, you will need to have at least 90% of your work showing your packaging design on products. It is best to have the design on a product as well as having the design layout on a page. So if you have created a wine label, you should have the label on the page along with a wine bottle with the label mocked up on the bottle so the viewer can see the 3D results as well as the 2D design.
– Make sure that all your files are the same size
– If your files are CMYK convert them into RGB
– Make sure you can show your files offline
– Ask a few opinions if you have trouble choosing your best work
– Do not include your weak work just to fill up the portfolio
– Name your portfolio, for example: Name_LastName_GraphicDesign_Portfolio_2014
– You should convert your files to a single PDF, DO NOT SEND INDIVIDUAL FILES!
– Don’t put too many files- snooze
– Be prepared to talk about the story of each image