If you want to have successful career in product design, then before you even start thinking about looking for jobs and making applications, you need to ensure that you have a stellar portfolio in place to show off what you really can do.

When you’re applying for product design jobs, as well as having a CV that contains your personal information and your skills and qualifications, you really do need to have a portfolio that shows off just how innovative you are.

With that in mind, here are some tips to help you get it right:

Have two Portfolios

Ideally, you should create two portfolios – one highly-edited one that you submit upon application and a more thorough one that contains all of the work you’ve done to show at interview stage. That way, you can get them interested in the first place and hook them when you see them.

Short and Simple is Best for the Short Portfolio

If you want your portfolio to garner you some interest, then the portfolio you send off with your application should feature no more than ten pieces of your most successful most relevant work. So. if for example, you’re applying for a job designing health and hygiene products, showing them those designs you drew up for electric hand dryers rather than your designs for garden maintenance equipment is probably more appropriate. Just make sure everything in the portfolio is good.

The Full Portfolio

When it comes to the full portfolio, you should put your newest work, and the work that is most relevant to the job you’re applying for, at front and centre, but you should include all of the designs you’ve worked on at the back, just so that you can give as thorough a picture of who you are and what you’re capable of as possible.

Show the Work

As well as including the completed product designs, you would do well to show ‘the work’ – the steps that helped you to get there – from sketches and mood boards to computer-aided designs and anything else that was relevant to your working process. If you do this, and you include information on the design brief and the company that you created the product for, your chances of securing the career you want are higher. Why? Because you’ll show the recruiters that you really do know your stuff and they’ll be able to see precisely how you work.

Make it Look Good

In many ways, your portfolio pieces should and will stand for themselves, but if you want to have a slight competitive edge, it is never a bad idea to pimp up your portfolio a little by working on arranging it in the most pleasing way possible, including different colours, headings and borders where appropriate. The more of your creativity you can show off the better you will look in the eyes of the recruiters.

Take it Online

Although it is still very much a good idea to have a physical portfolio, by creating your own online portfolio, you can more easily direct interested parties to your work, and recruiters will be able to find you and offer you work before you’ve even heard about a position. In the 21st Century, being connected is really important. Just make sure that your online space looks just as good as the rest of your work/your offline portfolio.

Time to find that dream job!




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