Without a doubt, internships and entry-level positions are oversaturated, particularly in the design profession. But that doesn’t deter the influx of application design portfolios. More students desire to work as interns or junior-level designers. Right out of the gate, these aspirants want to become well-known professionals in the industry.

Nonetheless, entry-level jobs and internships are sometimes tough to come by. Even if you’re a strong candidate, there is no assurance of landing employment in the sector, except you intend to fly solo. So, what can you do to ensure that your design portfolio separates you from your peers, whether you are undertaking a project for an art studio or a shoe brand?

Common Mistakes Design Students Make

As an entry-level designer, you’re not expected to have the same set of design skills as a senior-level designer. However, you should have the skills to competently design a portfolio that can rightly land you a job. In this section, we’ll go over some of the most common mistakes that designers make when creating a design portfolio.

Portfolios with Insufficient Strategic Depth

Have you ever created a design portfolio that you believed would have your recipients mind-blown, only to have your mind shattered after numerous failed interviews or proposals? Well, here’s the thing. It’s not just enough to assemble a bunch of designs and hope for the best.

The purpose of a portfolio is to showcase your design skills in a strategic, consistent manner. Employers will, indeed, evaluate your portfolio for the same reason, regardless of industry. If your portfolio lacks strategic planning, the potential employer will have no clue on how much design experience you have. It will also be difficult to put your designs into context.

Likewise, it implies that all individual design projects will be meaningless. For this reason, be sure it’s purposeful. Otherwise, you’ll wind up with a portfolio that looks like a mishmash of work, accompanied by a slew of rejections.

Inconsistent Style and Theme

Let’s face it — there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all design rule. Just as with any other art form, you should express yourself without veering off design standards. I’ve seen many portfolios with out-of-place, erratic design styles, even from those who claim to use premier software programs, such as Adobe Photoshop.

Some designs have random paragraphs strung together in a blocky, hasty style that may communicate information but lack elegance. Some appear to be mock-ups, with snarled texts and poor clarity. Of course, originality is the watchword. But there’s a fine line between being original and being bland or spooky.

If you’re experiencing trouble with some design elements, seek professional guidance. For example, designers who intend to have an excellent command of vocabulary to give their portfolios the right tone can visit the BestEssayServicesRadar website. Experts are available to critique and enhance their design pitches.

While you add unique visual elements to your portfolio, don’t go overboard with it. Like the popular Latin quote, too much of anything is bad. Often, simplicity (with elegance) and consistency win the race.

Unrevealed Design Process

It is a popular mantra that you’re not expected to divulge your design process to an employer to protect your intellectual property (IP). But recruiters know that you will handle potential design projects when hired, and there might be errors, misunderstandings, and other hiccups.

They also understand that clients must be updated during such projects. Even as the lead designer on a group project, you must be transparent with your team. Concealing your design approach raises concerns about your expertise and fosters distrust, amid other problems.

Besides, you might learn much from experienced senior designers, who most likely are part of the HR team.

How to Create Quality Student Design Portfolio

Let’s dive into the specifics of a great student design portfolio. Here are some pointers to help you stand out from the crowd and boost your chances of getting hired.

Properly Organize Your Designs

Every student designer must present their work neatly and professionally. Though it doesn’t necessarily mean that a portfolio should be a document. You could simply upload the designs onto a website and have a link that leads to the portfolio.

Either way, make sure that the website is not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional. This is important because a designer’s portfolio site is the first thing that potential clients will see.

Include All Components of a Good Design Portfolio

This is significant since many designers just show off their final creations. They neglect critical components of the project, which decreases the chances of employment, especially when compared to those who do. Including all project elements in your portfolio shows that you’ve invested quality time in research and development.

For example, a typical website might have a home page that is a landing page. This page could showcase the logo and other branding elements. It could also have a few product designs with a call to action. A good design portfolio would have the entire website prototype or wireframe, which would help clients comprehend the entire project.

Give Your Portfolio a Personality

Companies require expertise. Plus, they’re curious about the designer behind the talents, including how the individual might fit corporately and culturally into their environment. Needed qualities could include interpersonal relationships, optimism, humour, drive, and teamwork. By displaying them in your portfolio, your employer’s interest in you increases.

In Conclusion

Your student design portfolio is the first impression. Therefore, ensure that it is well-designed, considering the guidelines previously discussed. Your portfolio should reflect your personality and design experience. Hopefully, this guide will draw you closer to that goal.

About the Author

author photo

Mirko Humbert

Mirko Humbert is the editor-in-chief and main author of Designer Daily and Typography Daily. He is also a graphic designer and the founder of WP Expert.