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Portfolio advice

Advice on creating your working portfolio

One of the most important parts of your career will always be presenting your best work in an engaging, professional and accessible portfolio.

When constructing your portfolio think about how the work you include demonstrates your skills to a potential employer. Does your portfolio show evidence that you can solve a creative challenge? Does your portfolio prove that you can make use of relevant software? Does your portfolio show how you approach the design process and evidence your range of design skills?

What to include?

  • Adapt your portfolio to match the requirements of the job you are applying for and include work that is likely to appeal to that particular employer
  • Use clear professional photos and/or high-quality final renders of your work
  • Include project titles and concise descriptions of your work
  • Include iterations and the design process, for example, if your work involved sketches in the development stage include samples of your sketches to show how you have developed your ideas from concept through to the final product
  • Include samples of materials you intend to use for the final product.


  • Ensure that your portfolio has a consistent page layout and a thematic design that's not distracting. Your work needs to stand out on the page and busy backgrounds can distract from your work. 
  • Focus on quality over quantity
  • Put your best work at the beginning of your portfolio
  • Choose your best projects and make sure that they represent the breadth of your work.

Physical portfolios

Physical design portfolios should include examples appropriate to the role you’re applying to. Time and financial constraints may mean you may not be able to create multiple tailored physical portfolios for different roles or different types of company.

Invest in a high quality binding and cover that will last, usually of A3 or A4 size.

Online portfolios

Having an online portfolio is an important promotional tool for the creative industries. Your online portfolio should contain the following sections.

  • Contact details - Details of how you would like to be contacted, i.e. email, phone, webform
  • About - Summary of background and experience. Similar to the profile section on your CV this is your professional unique selling point and should be relevant to the types of clients you would like to attract
  • Portfolio of work - Where you present your selection of work
  • Services - What is it you have to offer? List your skillets. Services can also be combined with the About section.

Start with the basics as over time you’ll add, develop and improve your online portfolio.

Useful links

Dribbble - Dribbble is a community of designers showcasing their work to allow employers to find and resource the right designer for a project or role

Behance - This site will allow you to showcase and discover the latest work from top online portfolios by creative professionals across industries

Adobe Portfolio - Easy to use portfolio building tool that requires no knowledge of code

Squarespace - Squarespace is a service that allows you to build and host a website

Wix - Cloud-based web development platform that provides a drag and drop function to build your ideal portfolio 

Wordpress - WordPress is a free and open-source content management system with loads of functionality and plugins. 

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