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How do you build a portfolio?

I want to start at least thinking about my future and am not sure how to get started with a portfolio.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Camille’s Answer

Hi Lily,
Canva is a great resource to checkout. They have a free option you can use to create a digitial portfolio. You can learn more here: https://www.canva.com/learn/design-digital-portfolio/
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Ryan’s Answer

Hi Lily,

Building a portfolio is an essential step in showcasing your skills, experiences, and accomplishments, especially in creative fields such as art, design, writing, or photography. Before you start building your portfolio, consider your career goals and the target audience for your work. Are you aiming for a specific industry or type of job? Knowing your objectives will help you tailor your portfolio to appeal to the right people.

Choose pieces that demonstrate your skills, creativity, and growth. Focus on quality rather than quantity. Your portfolio should display a diverse range of projects that showcase your versatility and adaptability. I suggest that you arrange your projects in a logical and visually appealing way. You might choose to organize them by category, chronology, or theme. Make sure the layout is clean and easy to navigate.

For each piece in your portfolio, include a brief description that explains the project's purpose, your role, the tools and techniques used, and any challenges you overcame. This will help viewers understand the thought process and effort behind your work.

Whether you're creating a physical or digital portfolio, ensure that the design is clean, visually appealing, and user-friendly. Use high-quality images and avoid clutter or overly complex layouts. Remember that your portfolio's design is a reflection of your skills and professionalism.

It's not uncommon for a portfolio to also include an up-to-date resume that highlights your relevant education, work experience, skills, and accomplishments. Make sure to provide clear contact information so potential employers or clients can easily get in touch with you.

As you gain new experiences and complete new projects, keep your portfolio updated. This demonstrates your commitment to continuous growth and learning.

This one is tough but I highly suggest it and ask for feedback from peers, mentors, or professionals in your field. They can offer valuable insights and suggestions for improving your portfolio.

In addition to a physical or digital portfolio, consider creating an online presence through a personal website, blog, or social media platforms. This can help you reach a wider audience and showcase your work to potential employers or clients. Share your portfolio with your network, attend industry events, and make connections with professionals in your field. The more people who see your work, the greater your chances of finding opportunities that align with your goals.
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Vi’s Answer

You can look at free resources -- blogs, websites, Instagram -- to start capturing your portfolio. Visual (digital) content is a great way to showcase your accomplishments and share your successes with future admissions officers or hiring managers. It provides a timeline of your work, which further demonstrates your commitment to your area(s) of expertise. Good luck!
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Amelia’s Answer

There are a lot of ways to build a professional portfolio- the main thing is to think of it as a living document. One thing I would reccomend is to create a digital version of it that is simple and easy to both post to and navigate. You want to make sure the main page has your general info / bio and contact infomation. Add links to your current resume and "online portfolio" start by posting projects from school that exhibit your strengths, be sure to include a sentince or two about the assignment or ideall the KPI (Key performance indicators/ results) of each project.

The main thing is to keep adding to it (at least 3/4 times a year) with key projects that you have worked on!

good luck!
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Luke’s Answer

You can get as creative as you want with this. Start by creating a resume/CV. Then if you've had any personal projects, you could write a technical memorandum, a spec sheet from a tool you created for a school project, research findings for a school project, letters of recommendation, personal interests. If I were an employer looking for a high school student or a college student, I would love to see any of the above.
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Alyssa’s Answer

I would recommend first outlining to yourself the objective of your portfolio. What skills are you trying to highlight? What value do you want to show to a prospective employer? What story do you want your portfolio to tell?

Once you have outlined your objective, begin exploring ways that you can achieve it. If you are starting from scratch creating something independent of actual work experience, pick a topic/area to focus on that both excites you and relates to the field that you are interested in (and would interest your prospective employer). From there, try and create a cohesive story from your portfolio - both about the topic of your choice and about the skills that you can bring to a prospective employer. Use different mediums/examples to truly highlight all that you have to offer, and tie them together into a big picture that your audience will understand. If you have opportunity to present your portfolio, be prepared to answer questions about why you made the choices in your work that you did. This will demonstrate your analytical side and show a prospective employer the way you think.

Have fun with it most of all. Good luck!
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