6 Portfolio Do’s & Dont’s

6 Portfolio Do’s & Dont’s

6 Portfolio Do’s & Dont’s

  • On April 21, 2016

By Melanie Bindon, Art Gym Denver

What makes a portfolio stand out? What are the best practices and pitfalls to avoid when showcasing work? Here are a few tips to consider when applying for a new opportunity.



  1. Put your best piece first
  2. Consider the order of your work to craft the narrative you want
  3. Check the photo quality- optimized and printed at the highest resolution
  4. Use an online portfolio- check out Behance, Krop, or make a website
  5. Assume everyone seeing your site is technically challenged and impatient
  6. Share your thinking and the process behind the work being presented
    • How will the reviewer know if you reached the intended goal unless you let them in?




  1. Be sloppy or generic; instead create a look and color palate that fits you
  2. Include old work: past 5 years max
  3. Overload your site with too much work: 10-15 of your best pieces
  4. Distract from your work
    • Let the content take center stage by simplifying design
  5. Forget your credentials: include a copy of your current resume
    • Personalize your resume by connecting these points with the context of your life on your website’s bio page
  6. Forget contact details: include an active email or phone #
    • What use is your online portfolio if you are unreachable?


Above all, your portfolio should be…

useful: hold enough information about your skills and past work for an employer to have a clear expectation of your capabilities

usable: must be easy to interact with

engaging: your portfolio should be visually and emotionally appealing




Need more ideas? Check out these helpful websites!



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