Show employers your skills through portfolios

If you are in an arts major on campus, you have probably been working on your portfolio. Remember though, portfolios aren’t just for your professors…show them off to potential employers and clients! In order to do that, you should consider the best way to share that–is it a PDF, a website, through your social media platforms, etc.? Is is accessible to the public, or through a private link you provide to people? You will need to make some decisions about how you want to share your portfolio and how you want to protect access, but it is key to remember that in the creative fields, potential jobs come from someone’s ability to see your work in action.

So remember during your time at UW: take pictures, save videos, record projects or special presentations. Make sure you are documenting your time, and continue to do it outside of class assignments and special projects. Track your activities external to UW and school. Proud of something? Record it!

In addition to showing those visuals, in your portfolio you should explain what you did alongside it. Keep in mind that a potential client or employer has no context surrounding your work, and they want to know exactly how and what you contributed to this project. Write descriptions or explanations that help organize and detail your work. Show your perspective, your goals and intents. Reflect on your work and show that reflection in the portfolio itself.

Take your time and add to the portfolio a little bit at a time. Building your portfolio from scratch can be overwhelming and daunting, so do it little by little. Even when you are not actively seeking opportunities, make sure that things are in order, that way you won’t have tons of updates to do when you do reach that point.

By Shannon Merchant
Shannon Merchant Career Counselor Shannon Merchant