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Portfolio Advice from AIGA Portland’s Career Tools Event

Portfolio advice was doled out by a panel of four experts at the cutting edge of portfolio building and review, at AIGA Portland’s Career Tools Event for June called The Portfolio Show. I’ve been covering these events by contributing blog posts for AIGA’s blog recently and have really been enjoying giving back to the design community by covering insights for those who couldn’t attend. I’m pleased at how writing an article really helps the advice sink in for me, and also have been enjoying doing the writing which is then reviewed and edited by AIGA Portland (further improving my long-form writing skills). At this event the advice was geared towards junior designers, but as a senior designer I found several helpful reminders and still appreciated what they had to say.



How do you make a killer portfolio that will help you get the job of your dreams?

AIGA Portland found out on June 4, 2015 when advising panelists JD Hooge, Partner and Chief Creative Officer at Instrument ; Kate Bingaman-Burt, Associate Professor of Graphic Design at Portland State University; Mary Blalock, Senior Talent Manager of 52 Ltd ;  and Pam Lauwerens, Nike+ Design Operations Director at Nike met at the 52 Ltd office to share what it takes to capture their attention.

Big take-aways from The Portfolio Show

Exude passion and positive energy

“Have a presence and be super energized,” recommends Hooge. Include projects in your portfolio that you’re enthusiastic about. Never complain about a project. If you don’t feel good about it, don’t include that project in your portfolio or put a positive spin on it and explain how you solved the problem.

Your portfolio needs to be digital and have great UI

A first impression of your portfolio can be formed in 5 seconds, and the decision on whether or not to interview you can be made in as little as one minute. Lauwerens confessed, “If I go to the applicant’s website and I can’t find my way around, I’m done.”

Bingaman-Burt and Blalock suggest creating custom URLs in your online portfolio that focus on the type of work the company you are applying for is interested in. Then when you apply for a job at Nike, for example, you can send them a custom URL that features your apparel and sports work.

Continue reading the full article to learn all their recommendations on the AIGA Portland Blog.


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