A Guide to Making Your Creative Portfolio


Portfolios are important to have no matter what industry you specialise in, but they are particularly impactful when it comes to creative industries such as writers, photographers, graphic designers, illustrators, videographers, makeup artists and a number of others. Having a visually aesthetic portfolio is guaranteed to catch the eye of any potential interviewer. Having a creative portfolio can showcase your talent, creativity and accomplishments in a way that is visually encapsulating. These can be done in a number of ways via website, pdf, video, a physical folder, or even something more out there, like a music playlist. These all depend on the type of position or course you are applying for.

Who is my creative portfolio for?
Similar to a personal statement or cover letter, your portfolio needs to be tailored to what you are applying for by showing your experience through creative examples. Make sure the focus of your portfolio is to highlight your experience, try not to over complicate things by adding in everything, instead focus on 4 or 5 key experiences that relate to your application. Your experience should also be as up to date as possible so try to refrain from including experience from years ago unless it is absolutely relevant to the application. Your creative portfolio should be an extension of your personality and change with every interview and submission, in relation to the company or organisation you’re sending the application to.

How can I show them my passion?
Your passion is what makes you unique and that’s why it’s the most important thing to highlight on your creative portfolio. Include the work that you were most passionate about doing and make it the centre of the piece. Make sure not to over explain every piece of work you add in as this can be done in the interview and your work will speak for itself beforehand. Your portfolio should speak for your brand and be unique to your personality, so make sure to include colours and work that correlates with your logo or design style. The best way to showcase your passion is to speak with confidence and pride, this is your chance to show off the work that you are proud of.

What should I put into my portfolio?
A creative portfolio is an extension of your application so make sure not to write too much in it. The main things you should include in your portfolio is your name, email address, qualifications and work you have done. If you send it as a PDF it would be great to include your professional website or social media. It could be worth adding references from teachers or employers, testimonials from colleagues you worked with on group projects or comments you have received from an audience about your work. This helps to add trust and credibility to your body of work. Make sure to keep your portfolio clean and organised so it is accessible to anyone who may read it and make your intention clear for the reader so they know exactly what you are applying for and what you specialise in.

Once you’re finished, make sure to check it over and have others proofread it too, sometimes other people can catch things that you’ve missed whilst editing, make sure all of your links are working and then send it off. It’s important to remember that your portfolio should be changing as you gain more experience, make sure to keep updating it as you go along. Your portfolio sets you apart from everyone else and it’s your chance to shine, make sure to take it!

Please visit www.chesterfield.ac.uk/dancop-learning-resources/ to find more information and resources from the Chesterfield College DANCOP team.