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8 Common Portfolio Mistakes

Preparing a portfolio is a very tricky thing. You should present it as a creative act, demonstrate originality and inventiveness. The guideline to perfect a portfolio is a long list, so let's begin with what not-to-do's. Here are 8 portfolio mistakes that’ll send employers or clients running in the wrong direction.

1-Not addressing the right audience

Applying with a portfolio that does not target your desired role or company is not gonna land you the job. Your works must have at least little relevance to the role.

When you first complete your portfolio, your first feedbacks come from friends and co-workers. Naturally, they tend to like it but that’s not the audience you need to be worrying about. You need to consider potential employers because they will seek much more specific information in a very limited time. Clients or hiring managers will look for those who can solve problems that they’re already facing. Preparing your portfolio special for the role you apply for is going to make you one step closer to the job.

2-Not being concise in your presentation

Despite our cute belief that our employers spend hours reviewing our architecture portfolios, actually, they probably spend only a few minutes on it. So you have to choose what content to impact biggest. You want to make it easy to absorb and focus on the content for your audience so they can remember your portfolio and make a snap decision among a pool of applicants. Deciding what content not to include can be the hard part but avoiding a massive amount of content and reducing it to an ideal number of examples to exhibit make your portfolio easy to understand. You can be proud of everything you’ve done but you should center the best works.

3-Including work that isn’t yours

It is of course not ethical behavior to including works that do not belong to you. But you also have to write down the names of people or offices if you work with a group or some professional team. And you must get their permission.

4-Including really old projects

This clause is essentially similar to our first one. Adding old projects like abstract design projects in your freshman year is not going to make your portfolio look better. You should update your works on your portfolio regularly and eliminate them for job opportunities. Your showcase must evolve something that exactly represents you.

5- Using low-quality images

No matter how good your project is when your presentation is not good the effect it creates will not be good too. Showing your work in high-resolution images is one of the most important things in your portfolio design. You should reduce your file sizes appropriate way. Saving limited-sized images as jpegs and pngs before linking them makes your work easier.

6-Showcasing outdated styles

Employers are more likely to bet on new designers who keep up with the latest design trends than those who bring in outdated styles. Designs are changing every year, and it’s not always easy to keep up. Your portfolio should read like a modern beautiful book and should be designed like such.

7-Complicated layout designs

Employers should not flip through and keep going back and forth the pages to understand your works. Otherwise, this can be very frustrating for everybody.  Organizing your layout in a simple way makes your audience fall into a rhythm that will allow them to focus on your work. Because the purpose of your layout design is to present your work with clarity and not confusion.

8-Not paying attention to fonts and grammar

Grammar errors are not the best things for employers reading your portfolio. You should always run a spell check before exporting your file or ask someone to proofread it. Because misspellings and grammar mistakes can easily be spotted and they ruined your portfolio’s clarity and legibility. Also, you should choose only a few fonts and keep this variety simple. You can always adjust sizes and other properties for the places you are going to use.

That’s all for this post. Hope this helps!

You can also share the mistakes you used to do with us! See you in the comments!

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