How To Make Your Portfolio Speak for You

When you go to get a job, you must show a well organized resume. When you’re a freelancer, your portfolio is your resume. How do you organize your portfolio? Do you have a clear system, did you test and prove it or you heard about it? There are a lot of ideas and advice, but here are our recommendations.

How To Share Wisely

If you want to make your portfolio visible in the social media, take care to protect your work. A lot of people will share your images and give you credit. But a lot more will just copy your photos and share them on without credits. Embedding a watermark will save you from this kind of issue. Don’t splash it in the middle of the image, don’t use bold colours, but make sure that people see it (and can’t crop it out without ruining the entire layout of the image).

How To Organize Properly

So you have your portfolio page and a potential client tries to make sense of your skills. If you specialize in more than one working technique, then the logic thing to do is to create separate sub-pages for each of your types of work (for instance, 3D Studio Max, CAD, photo editing). If you specialize in just one type of work, place the most relevant projects on top. Relevance is determined by how big the project was, how important the client and how much impact your work had on the world (for instance, if you participated in a notable public campaign, etc.)

Remember To Obtain Permission

Not all work you do can be displayed in your portfolio. There are cases when the client pays to obtain the continuous ownership rights from you. As proud as you are of your work, if your client does not allow you to attach your credentials to the project, do not include it in your portfolio. At best, you may negotiate to be able to list the client’s name in your background experience.

How To Be Visible

There are so many online forums, websites, where you can display your work, such as Behance, DeviantArt and so on. Try to be as visible as you can, by creating profiles on all these websites and update each of your profiles with the most recent completed works. When working on personal projects, make sure to engage audience by publishing snapshots of the work in progress on social media.

How To Be Professional

Apply your best judgment when selecting the projects you want to include in your portfolio. We all had our “pet projects” that look really cool, but do not belong in a professional portfolio. Decide what type of clients you want to impress. If you’re willing to work on low-pay, smashing indie projects, then go ahead, put all your crazy designs in the portfolio. But if you’re aiming for corporate clients, do some proper clean-up work in your portfolio.

How To Be Explicit

An image is worth 1,000 words, it’s true. But people need to know some basic information on the project. Keeping in mind the issues of confidentiality, specify as much as you can about the scope of the project, the special challenges you faced and surmounted successfully (very short deadline, sensitive subject, etc.), and whenever possible include a testimonial from the client.


Like I said in the beginning, these are just a few suggestions. We would love to hear from your experience. Feel free to share with us other great ideas for organizing and promoting your portfolio.

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Ionut B
Digital Art Director with an innovative creative thinking able to translate ideas and concepts into useful and memorable interactive marketing campaigns.

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