In students of product design episode 8 I cover putting together an interview design portfolio and an Internet portfolio for a graduate.
When I graduated many moons ago, Internet portfolios were in their infancy and things were clearer. You sent a company your CV with a cover letter and a teaser which was a group of nice images of your designs, if they liked you, they invited you in for an interview and you showed them a paper version of your portfolio. These days the whole process is more complicated, to interview you can take a paper based portfolio, a laptop, tablet, memory stick, you can use a host of different presentation software or log on to the Internet and go to a portfolio hosting site. I think it's become a bit confusing, especially for a graduate.
The number one most important thing you can do for your portfolio, is create brilliant work to go in it. There's a reason for putting so much effort in to your projects, good work stands out. Everything you then do in your portfolio is window dressing to show your work off in the best possible way. So in episode 8 I use a demonstration project and show how I would prepare it for my portfolio, covering tips and tricks to best tell the story and maintain the flow of the story through the whole project.
In a product design portfolio you show what you've done, but it demonstrates to an employer what you could do for them, your potential. I see lots of portfolios put together from the designers point of view, not the employers. You need change your mindset and think like an employer to show the interviewer what they need to see to make the decision you want them to make (hire you).
I see lots of student portfolios full of basic mistakes. They don't flow well, they contain images that show poor decision making, images that are not juicy enough or don't set the scene well and portfolios where it's confusing what job the student is applying for, because they show a mixture of design work and art work or paintings. Some employers may like to see what else you can do, but there is also a danger that it can look like you haven't done much design work so had to pad out your online portfolio with paintings. if you don't have enough design projects, create some personal projects, do more design sketches, make physical or CAD models. If you also want to pursue a fine art career, create a separate portfolio that shows your art on a hosting site for artists. Unless you're going for a multidisciplinary position, If you try and make your portfolio do a bit of everything, it could end up not working brilliantly for anything.
It's just advice, so please take away the things that you think are relevant to you and leave the rest behind.
I hope you enjoy 'portfolios students of product design episode 8'
More work available here: www.producttank.co.uk