Creating a Portfolio
What is it? A portfolio is typically a website (that you create), pdf or PowerPoint that provides examples of your work and projects. The best portfolio effortlessly highlights your skills, achievements and intellect.
What should I put in it? Your sketches, engineering projects, graphics, diagrams, AV clips, a modified resume, and/or writing samples. Think about your past courses (ENGS 89/90), internships (e.g., you innovated a pre-existing tool), and extracurricular activities (i.e., you built a bridge in the woods).
Why should I make one? For a few reasons: a) to provide visual proof of what you can offer to your potential employer; b) to stand out from your competition; and c) to market yourself professionally.
Do I really need one? If you are looking to secure a job or internship in product design/development, architecture, mechanical engineering, or web development, then, yes!
Who is your audience? A corporation? Consultancy? Boutique design firm? Keep this question in mind as you create your portfolio. Remember: your portfolio is about which skills and creativity you can offer an employer.
How do I make one? There are many platforms for hosting your online portfolio, or you can create your own website. Check out some of these resources:
To design your own portfolio online:
Examples (from Thayer)
- Don’t forget to create a visually appealing homepage introducing yourself
- Organize your work so that your best projects are first. Just like a resume, employers don’t have all day to examine your work.
- Keep an inspiration folder and add to it often.
- Check blogs daily (e.g., Industrial Design Served, core77, Gizmodo, Engadget, and MocoLoco)
- Tell a story of your solution. Always link your sketches back to your initial problem
- Back up your work. Then do it again.