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How to make a killer portfolio

Life after college can be scary, applying for jobs and trying to make yourself stand out from the rest can be hard. Graphic design students might not have any work experience because they weren’t able to take that summer internship in DC or find the time to do any freelance work. This lake of experience makes you fade into the crowd of designers applying for the same position. The one thing that we as new designers can do to really stand out is have an amazing portfolio that really showcases our talent.

I’ve worked as a freelance artist for the last twenty years and have learned how to make my portfolio stand out. You can too with these three easy steps. First, focus your work to highlight your strengths. I know that you created many different works of art while at Mason, but you only need to show what you specialize in. Showing your specialized work makes you look more like an expert to potential employers. Second, when choosing art for your portfolio only put in the best works that show that you have a mastery in graphic design.  Don’t include fillers or other works not related to graphic design. Third, match and mirror when applying for your dream job. Do a little research on the company and see what kind of art they produce. Try to include things in your portfolio that would best mirror the company. Employers are looking not only for great talent but also for people who will best fit in with the company.


  1. daguero wrote:

    This is great advice. I agree that it’s important to make sure you only show the best and most relevant work in your portfolio when applying to jobs.

    Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink
  2. ccollett wrote:

    This was a very helpful post. I am currently in the process of updating my portfolio and I tend to fall into the habit of just cramming everything I can into my portfolio without really thinking about what is actually helping, or hurting it, so this was really helpful.

    Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

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