The importance of a quality portfolio

Even if a freelancer is required to be communicative and open, he doesn’t necessarily need to bring more negotiating techniques to the table. His strongest selling point is, without any doubt, his portfolio. A portfolio is the gathering of a freelancer’s or web designer’s most successful work. It’s simple: a logo designer will have in his portfolio his best logos and a web designer, his most successful layouts.
A good portfolio is surely the best promoter one can get; nothing is more convincing for a client than a similar successful project that you have already done. So, a good portfolio, built so that it covers all of the potential employer’s needs is a guarantee that you will be called in to do projects for the employer .I am sure that this short intro raises a lot of questions regarding the correct way to create a portfolio; this article will try to answer them.

1. The portfolio must only contain quality items

The most important thing in creating a successful portfolio is making sure you only include your top work in it. This is common knowledge and so any low quality work in your portfolio might have severe unwanted effects on your image and chances to get a job. It’s sad and unfortunate but if you happen to have some bad work in your portfolio it will outshine your good work, the people viewing it will no longer try to appreciate your good work and they will only focus on the bad one.

2. Portfolios must be detailed but not boring

There are a lot of talented people, able to create quality outstanding work in a lot of fields, but they risk not being appreciated by having a portfolio that seems to lack substance. For example a portfolio containing some logos, layouts and posters may confuse a client that is only interested in layouts. So there are only two possibilities:
-creating a diverse portfolio that can either confuse or impress
-creating several portfolios with different themes but that belong to the same person.
As a personal opinion, several portfolios are great for a freelancer whereas a complex one is recommended for companies.

3.Accessibility and universality

A portfolio has to be easy to view, nobody will have the patience to look over your portfolio if for example they have to complete a poll or subscribe RSS. I have never seen a portfolio that requires you to sign in to see it, that would be a great mistake. A portfolio has to be explicit, it has to allow your work to speak for itself.
The current economic climate has enabled outsourcing and so it is no longer unusual for a freelancer in Romania to have a client in Japan. And so, a portfolio must be universal, easily understood by potential hirers all over the globe.

4. Portfolios are not static, they must be on display wherever it is necessary

Many freelancers consider that posting a portfolio online is enough to find a job, but that is very wrong! The ways you can find a job today are so diverse you could write books about them, but the main thing is to not just sit and do nothing, you have to be proactive.
The first thing that comes to mind is to show your portfolio wherever it is possible. You need a site of your own but you can also use certain sites that allow you to create an account and post your portfolio and also there are many sites that offer jobs for freelancers and have many possibilities to show your portfolio.

5. The “Wow” effect

Nowadays anybody can post a portfolio online and anybody can call a freelancer to offer him a job. In this assault of offers an inexperienced eye can be easily distracted.
Many amateurs can be fooled by the latest online applications and experienced freelancers have carefully studied ways to do so. A simple slideshow or any other gimmick can do wonders for potential clients.

These are only generalities, and there are many exceptions to them. There is only one rule that is universally true: quality comes first .If your work is good it will surely be popular and if you are lucky even viral. A good portfolio must be created under the assumption that quality trumps quantity.
Let’s see some good examples of portfolios:









Now wipe your feet




Alex Cohaniuc




CSS layout


Tim Adler



Daniel Pintilie is a talented designer from Romania, available for hire, who really loves to create interesting projects. Visit his website and follow him on Twitter to get in touch and share your opinions about his articles!

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