AIGA Baltimore’s portfolio review is on Thursday, December 1. So, the time has come. You’ve been going to school for several years, working hard on each and every project your professors have assigned, and now is your time to shine. You are about to be pushed into the job market or you are looking for your first internship. But guess what? The thought scares you to death. Here are some tips for for making your portfolio presentation outstanding.
- Dress professionally. This means no low-cut tops, no torn clothing, and iron your clothes.
- Arrive on time (better yet, arrive early) and come in smiling.
- Introduce yourself. Tell the reviewer (or employer) your name and something interesting about yourself (what type of industry you want to go into, why you chose the field of design, etc.)
- Make your portfolio well contained and organized. Don’t forget, that at job interviews, you may have your coat, a bag/purse, notepad and portfolio in your hands. Make sure you can carry everything and still be able to shake hands when meeting people.
- Keep it clean! Smudges, hair, work off centered, and inconsistencies; these all just show you don’t pay attention to details.
- Only plan to show the reviewer 7–10 pieces of your best work. Start and end with your strongest pieces.
- Be ready to talk about your work. Tell a short story about each piece. Explain how you conceived of the idea, what research was conducted, who the target audience was, etc.
- Use industry words. Avoid words like “my professor” and “the class.”
- Don’t rush through it. Speak at a normal pace and give the reviewer time to comment on each piece.
- Don’t get defensive if the reviewer criticizes your work. They are there to help you. You can filter through the comments later and decide what changes you should make.
- Have your resume and business card ready to give the reviewer (or employer). Don’t wait for them to ask.
- Ask the reviewer questions about their job. Take the opportunity to learn about what they do and how they got there.
- Ask for the reviewer’s business card and followup with a thank you email or a snail mail thank you card.
Breathe, have fun and good luck! AIGA Baltimore’s portfolio review is on Thursday, December 1. Register now and save!