Design portfolio (and CV) tips

Photo credit: Sleeky Web Design & Print Ltd

We are often asked for design portfolio (and CV) tips from job seekers.

Here our some of our favourites:

Quality over quantity – portfolios should only include your best work, not everything you’ve ever done. Usually you have a limited time to impress, so make it count.

Make an effort – this is an obvious statement in terms of your design portfolio, but surprisingly forgotten about in terms of CVs. Around half the designer CVs we see are done in Microsoft Word, with little or no thought to design or layout. Your CV is likely to be the first thing an employer will see, so needs to pack a punch. Also if you’re a web designer, an online portfolio is a must.

Presentation is key – this is especially important for work sent via email or contained in your CV. Try to include everything in one document or web page. If your portfolio includes print work, either ensure photography is either high quality or consider using print templates such as the one featured below (Graphic Burger has a host of free resources).


Less is sometimes more – the best CVs are concise and to the point and usually have no more than two A4 pages of text. If you ramble on or give too much irrelevant information it is a major turn off. Also don’t include pointless generic personal statements such as you ‘enjoy socialising and films’ (who doesn’t!).

Variety is the spice of life – try to include a wide range and depth of work in your portfolio. Every employer is looking for something different and if you demonstrate adaptability it is a huge plus in your column.