10 Tips for a Boss Design Portfolio

How to get your portfolio noticed when applying for design roles in Digital Marketing


Rose Tobin
Marketing & Concepts Executive

Ignite is growing at breakneck speed. Our agency has doubled in size in the past two years! Now that we’ve had lots of hiring experience, Adam Snow, Ignite’s Head of Design, has jotted down a few tips to really get your portfolio noticed when applying for design roles in the Digital Marketing sector and beyond.

1. Get yourself a portfolio website and easy to type URL; PDFs are fine but feel a little clunky and outdated! Make sure that your site loads fast and works well, and that all links work too. There’s nothing worse than expecting to see great work, and finding a 404 page instead!

2. Who are YOU!? Get your personality across. What makes you interesting, different, and what’s your specialism?

3. First impressions matter. Make sure the general appearance looks good. Ensure you have decent and relevant imagery across the board, and preferably shy away from posting tiny thumbnail images of work.

4. Give context: What am I looking at? What was the brief? Explain your process and the solution you arrived at.

5. Dial back on the mockups. We see a lot of these, and they’re often just a smokescreen. Is the site live? Is that piece of print published someplace? Preferably link out to that work in the real world. If we like you, we’ll want to see more from you.

6. A little movement goes a long way! Help your work stand out by integrating animation and bringing it to life.

7. I cannot stress enough the importance of spelling. This is not about your skills as a writer, but your diligence and pride in presentation. Spelling mistakes look lazy and careless; always double check your work!

8. Personal work is great… but in moderation. Personal projects demonstrate your passion for this field, but keep personal content at 20% or below.  80% of your portfolio should be client work.

9. Does your social media match up? It’s no secret that potential employers might take a peek at anything you keep public, but as a designer in an overtly visual online world, you’re presenting a conflicting image of yourself if your profile is a mess of blurry snapshots.

10. Design for the role you want, not the one you necessarily have!

Finally, I’d like to you to consider the following points as they correspond to your portfolio as a whole.

Is the work true to yourself – does it convey your personality?

Are the projects varied enough or specialised for the job you’re chasing?

Does it make you stand out?

Think you’ve got what it takes? Keep an eye on career opportunities at Ignite here!

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