Top 10 Tips for a Killer Design Portfolio from the Professionals

Top 10 Tips for a Killer Design Portfolio from the Professionals

Looking at other people’s portfolios can kill your mood if yours seems too plain when compared to them.

There are many people who work in the same industry as you and have the same amount of experience, some even less, and they still manage to impress everyone with their portfolio.

Why is this, you might ask?

A portfolio is what puts you out there, and as such, it should make people experience a combination of admiration and awe.

Building a killer portfolio is not an easy task at all, but still, all efforts are worth it if the result turns into the key to your success.

When asked about and how they handle portfolio assignments, Mike Geller, an expert writer says:

‘’Building a killer portfolio opens up the potential employer’s mind to hiring you and can influence their entire decision even if you are new to your field. All it takes is to make it right.”

Still, if you are somewhat new in making a portfolio and feel a lack of confidence about sharing your information the right way, you need a little push in addition to your focus and dedication.

First, take a deep breath and remember: you don’t have to have hundreds of projects to include to make a portfolio that induces envy and leaves people dazzled.

This short list will help you make the best out of your experience and lay it all out in a perfectly-created, killer design portfolio.

Web Designer Portfolio

1 – Provide Contact Details

In focusing on what to add and how to add it, many seem to forget to include contact details in their portfolio.

You shouldn’t just let people find your contact details online, even if they are there.

Many won’t have the time or won’t want to bother with this.

Even if your portfolio looks great, you can’t expect people to reach you if you don’t tell them how.

It would be best if you also made it clear to the visitors that you are available to communicate with them.

Devote a particular space in the portfolio where you share several contact methods to make it easy for people to get in touch with you.

2 – Be Yourself

Copying other people’s work might sound like a smart idea to you when you are struggling to make your first portfolio, but it is not.

Just because you liked someone else’s portfolio doesn’t mean that it will look good for you.

When it comes to portfolios, the goal is to show viewers who you are, making it essential to create a unique portfolio that gives people an idea as to what they can expect from you.

Create A Killer Portfolio

3 – Make It Personal

Don’t go overboard with this, but do include some personality in your portfolio.

People who look at it will want to know who you are and they aren’t just looking for data to do this.

Add a headshot and spice it up with some details that show your identity and creative style.

This is more likely to stick in their mind than a nice project you’ve posted there.

4 – Be Quick about It

You might think that the more you include in the portfolio, the higher your chances at impressing potential employers will be.

This is not right.

The portfolio is not a place to highlight and add everything.

It is a place to highlight your very best work.

So, your goal is to show only your best projects and limit these to, let’s say, ten in total.

Also, you should remember that a killer design portfolio doesn’t just present the projects you’ve finished by that point.

To make it truly impressive to people in the industry, you need to add some details about the projects you’ve chosen.

Explain things that you believe can preempt some questions.

Cutting down on projects you add to it will give you more than enough space to do this.

When doing this, make sure to comply with these requirements:

  • Include projects and information that demonstrates how you can make the life of your employer easier.
  • Provide the employer with little details about the projects that answer their obvious questions.
  • Explain the details of the work that you have done and can do.
  • Tell them what you know and who you are in a way that shows them what it would be like if they hire you.

Graphic Design Portfolio Template

5 – Include Fresh Content

There’s no worse way to ruin your reputation and destroy your search ranking than by using stolen content.

If you want your portfolio to rank as high as it can, include fresh content in addition to those projects.

Explain your projects by using intelligent, relevant, and fresh content at all times.

This should keep people interested and informed but most importantly, make it possible for them to find your portfolio quickly.

6 – Don’t Be Afraid to Show Off

Think of your portfolio as a live version of your CV.

If the portfolio convinces people to consider you for a job, you should show off.

A portfolio is primarily a vehicle, a tool that demonstrates your talents and professionalism, so you shouldn’t be afraid to show off your skills and projects, even if they are new or you’ve just finished them.

The world should see how amazing you are.

Amazing Design Portfolios

7 – Show Off with Clients Too, Not Just Projects

This is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your skills and tell others how great of a job you did with your projects, but that’s not the only thing you can show off with.

In addition to projects, show off your clientele.

If you’ve done a project for some great and influential people, you will get much more credit by new viewers based on that track record.

Think of it this way – people will prefer to hire a person who did an excellent job for someone successful and was chosen by such clients.

Shouting about them in your portfolio will surely boost the skills you present there.

Also, see – Graphic Design Tips from Creative Directors

8 – Include Recommendations and Mentions

The people who see your portfolio won’t just take your word for how amazing you are at what you do.

Your projects are the best way to show them that you know your job, but that won’t always work without some backup.

Your best option in this matter is to include some recommendations in the form of quotes from the clients, as well as reviews or testimonials they wrote about the project you’ve worked on.

Including mentions and recommendations will add a layer of trust and reassurance to your potential clients, as well as prove your ability and expertise to produce top-notch projects.

Testimonial Inkbot Design

9 – Explain and Give Examples

The portfolio is a place to show your work, but also to tell more about it.

This is your opportunity to provide examples, but adding a screenshot of a completed project and a link below it won’t really make your portfolio great.

If you want to make it great, take the time to give examples and explain what you did on each of the projects you’ve chosen.

This is why you must select the best projects you’ve worked on – to be able to focus on what you did, how you did it, and what circumstances you worked under.

The more information the viewer has about your projects, the better they can comprehend your way of work and dedicated approach toward those projects.

It is also smart to link to pieces of work that demonstrate how big of a professional you are in addition to the description.

This also provides reassurance and proof that your projects really made an impact.

Also, see – 7 Wildly Common Portfolio Design Mistakes & Easy Fixes

10 – Consider Your Target Audience

Before you finish with your portfolio and publish it as it is, think about how it will affect and reach the audience.

Who is your target audience?

Based on the answer to this question, you can find the aim of your portfolio and see if your ways of showcasing the projects are going to reach and impress them.

You already have a message in mind when you create a portfolio.

Your job now is to ensure that your message is aimed at the right people and uses the perfect method to reach them.

You want to use the right style, language and approach to send a message to those who should be hiring you for their projects.

Creative Portfolio Design


Portfolios are significant for any professional, especially those who wish to find new clients and work on different projects to reach success faster.

This is a unique opportunity that can open your future to many new projects, but only if you take it seriously and consider your strategy carefully.

We hope that these ten tips helped you find the best way to do your killer design portfolio.

Author Bio: Jennifer Sanders has been working as an editor and a copywriter at a journalistic company in London for three years. She is also a professional content writer in such topics as inspiration, productivity, education, and technologies. Feel free to connect with her Twitter or Facebook.

If you wish to discuss how we can develop your brand or provide graphic design for your product or business, email us:

Inkbot Design is a Creative Branding Agency that is passionate about effective Graphic Design, Brand Identity, Logos and Web Design.

T: @inkbotdesign F: /inkbotdesign

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