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Preparing Your Design Portfolio for an Interview

Jan 29, 2020Selling your designs0 comments

Preparing Your Design Portfolio for an Interview

So I know that you are all interested in pattern designs for different reasons.

Some of you want to create your own profitable business from home… some of you want to have a little side hustle… while others want to be able to work within the industry full time. Today, I thought I’d give you a few tips to think when preparing your portfolio if you are wanting to start applying for jobs.

Imagine this…. ..

……you’ve seen your dream pattern design job advertised or you want to approach an employer that you admire for some work.

You know you need to make a good impression, but how do you go about doing that?

One of the most important things you to work on is creating a portfolio that really stands out and gives a great indication of the work you’re capable of producing and that shows your own personal style. You want to make a great impression so that people want to learn more about you and your work.

Obviously when you apply for a job one of the first things you need to do is to write a cover letter.

Keep your cover letter or email short and sweet.

Art directors or Head designers are usually really busy people so they don’t have time to read through long emails. Make sure your letter is concise and to the point so that it doesn’t take up too much of their time to read. And of course, keep it friendly and professional. You want to put some of your own personality in there and show that you’re capable of the job requirements but without bogging them down with an essay.

You then want to consider your portfolio that you’re going to be showing to your potential employer.

This is another obvious point but you want to make sure you take the time to get your presentation right.

Make sure your presentation is spot on

It’s important to take the time to present your portfolio to a very high standard. This means thinking about the little things such as making sure all the margins line up, your layout is well balanced and your images are of a high quality (you don’t want to be showing pixelated images!) If you don’t spend time on your presentation then it’s likely to stand out in a bad way and shows a lack of care and detail. You don’t want your work to be dismissed because you haven’t presented it well.

You also want to make time to have an understanding of who the company is before you apply for the job.

Research the company

By showing that you’ve researched the company and understand the sort of work they do, you are showing that you are interested in the job. Make sure you spend some time on google to find out a little bit about the products they create, their mission statement, what they believe, etc. This will enable you to ask relevant questions and show your interest if you were to meet in person.

Include a variety of work

You want to show your own personality and the

You want to show your own personality and the range of work you’re capable of. If you’ve researched the company well, then you’ll have a good understanding of the type of work they do so make sure you can show that you’re capable of doing the sort of design work that fits their business e.g. if you’re applying for a job that does illustrative work, you want to make sure you include that sort of work in your portfolio.

You can also include other designs that show off the whole range of your ability and shows your design style well but always keep in mind the company and the sort of work they do when putting your portfolio together.

Keep in mind also that some companies may send you a design brief and ask you to complete it before you attend an interview. Personally, I have an issue with this. I believe that if they want to see how you work to a set brief that they should pay you to come in for a few hours but this is unfortunately common within the industry. If you are asked to do this, then you’ll need to decide whether you want to continue with the application or not.

Most importantly when you’re putting your portfolio together make sure that you take the time to be thoughtful about what you include and how you present it. Make sure that what you include is quality work and shows your creativity and personality.

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Preparing Your Design Portfolio for an Interview
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