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Fresh tips from Portfolio Review

Definitely, I will keep this name sticker forever haha!

It was so glad to be there for my first portfolio review at Billy Blue as a fresh design graduate this Tuesday! Well honestly, I took a lot of sugar the day before.. Guess why? lol

Luckily, I managed to talk to the creatives in 4 different studios totally during the whole session, won't expect that much actually! All I could say is - worth to go! Actually you couldn't imagine how rush it would be by moving to different table one by one and talk about the same thing over and over again. How tough it is. But the experience that I gained from this rule is, just be brave and learn fast from the fresh feedback. Meaning, you learnt from last feedback and immediately apply to the next, it works very well!


So what I want to share in my post today is actually some fresh tips about how to present your portfolio more effective to the creatives during an interview review. These tips are all based on the feedback from the creatives in the industry today. Pretty useful and practical!

1) We want to know about your story As what I was told by one of the creatives from Imagination Australia, he said that he would prefer to know who you are and what your inspiration comes from in your life experience rather than jump to review session that fast. Well it is understandable because imagine the creatives just off the busy work and they actually won't expect to review the design works again. Instead they need some rest and casual chitchat, so casually talk about yourself is a good start point before a portfolio review.

2) Select the places you want to work for, not randomly throw your CV over

It's true cause you are actually an excellent graduate and have strong works in your portfolio. Be confident! Plus you know yourself better than anyone else. So take some times finding some really appealing places where you think are more suitable to your style and your skills. Go for it.

3) Briefly talking about the purpose of the project first Normally when you present your own project to someone, you are tend to jump to the concept part and totally forget to give an introduction of the brief. It may caused by you are super nervous or whatever reason, but it's just really easy to make the reviewer lose the point about what you are talking about.

4) It's good to have your own side work especially when you are a young designer

Side work could be an form of project without a formal brief or even just created for fun or for experimental purpose. It's good to include in your portfolio actually because it shows your design passion and your own interest. Also it demonstrate how you have self development during your leisure time.

5) Highlight 3-5 pieces of works

You get to know that time is valuable to the head creatives in the office and you should assume that they are too busy to spend enough time on reviewing all your works. So highlight the pieces that are relevant to the company and also you are most pleased with, and then drop a link to your own website, it helps a lot. It could show that you value their time on the other hand.

6) Make your work BIGGER

You maybe lose the detail of your beautiful works by minimize the scale of your work in your printed portfolio. For whatever reason why you doing so, it's just so pity for you to miss out the chance to standout your great works to the reviewer. The solution is either you could print out a separate one and enclose to your portfolio when you present to them, or large the scale of the work in the page which it may cost you more.. So it's up to you.

7) You need to show a bit more inspiration reference to support your design element

explanation.You may already created a beautiful artworks or had a good result however, you didn't show any reference to support the design elements. The creatives actually expect to see more of these reference in portfolio because they could have a better understanding of your whole work, because the visual sometimes is more straightforward and effective than verbal expression.


Okay! That's it! I learnt all these tips above from this portfolio review session, with great appreciation! My personally experience is, don't be afraid to go to such occasion cause it's actually not as formal as you imagine. Just try it out. Anyway, you lose nothing! By the way, again I was so happy to see the creative directors are that young these days, well they are also super kind and inspiring!


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