We’re now in a modern time in society where everyone should start doing their portfolios and resumes by the time that they breathe their first breath into the world, which is absurd. And if you’re lucky enough, your high school may have taught you how to make a good resume when you have -5 skills to speak of, which is totally fine. We’ve all been there, and I’ve definitely been there.
So, now, you’re in a tough situation. You don’t have skills, and you need a job to get the skills you need. That, or you’re trying to get into art school or you want to showcase your work, whether it’s architecture, art, photography, or cooking related. This is what a portfolio does for you. However, you have no idea how to make a portfolio or a good resume.
You’re in luck! Here’s a few ways to make your portfolio or resume much better and much neater than before. I’m not here to shame anyone without a portfolio or resume because I’ve been there before.
The resume tips will be separated with R: and the portfolio tips will be spectated with a P:.
P: Highlight your best work first
You’ve most likely heard about this same step before, but I’m here to continually jam it into your head again. You’ve got to include your best work in your portfolio! You’ve got to highlight it, and make it one of the first few things people will see on your website. These would be the things that showcases your skills and talent the most.
Let’s say, for example, you want to be an art student at an art school, or get into the animation industry. When showcasing any work, include the pieces that you want noticed first at the top, and everything else that’s second or thirdly relevant to the job you want under it.
If it’s storyboarding, put your storyboards first, then your writing, or artwork, or whatever else you plan on putting into your portfolio. This is good if you plan on getting a job in storyboarding or anything like that. The same can be applied to any other form of work, like writing, architectural plans, or any other craft you’re in.
Like I said before, it makes your work relevant to the position known faster, and you won’t make the employer scavenge for your work, trying to find it.
P: Don’t make your pictures low quality
This is a pretty crucial step in the portfolio process, so you gotta remember this. The way your pictures look could mean the difference between you getting that job, and Barbara taking it from you.
Whatever you’re photographing your work for your portfolio, you’ve got to do it either under really good lighting, or under natural lighting. Let’s go back to the paintings. For paintings, you would definitely want to put it under natural lighting if you don’t have a lighting setup or something similar.
Usually, the kind of device you use to take the picture with doesn’t matter. I use an Android, and the pictures of my work come out pretty well because I take the photo under natural lighting. Natural lighting is key! When you have low-quality photos, it makes you look amateur, and its not professional as well. Employers want to see the work that you did, not the pixels between your work and the screen.
Strive for good picture quality for your portfolio!
P: Press, Testimonials, and Mentions
If you write articles or blogs, and you’ve had the chance to publish them, then you should definitely put those testimonials, press releases, or mentions of you into your portfolio. It’s important because it shows potential employers that you’re not only getting your name out there, but you’re good at what you do, which is why you’re becoming more well known. And that’s a good thing for your portfolio to have.
You can also do this artwork, your chef career, sculptures, and the list goes on. If you’ve been interviewed by someone, or if you’ve written something and gotten it published, then it deserves to be on your portfolio.
R: Internships are a must!
Okay, now onto resumes.
If you want to build skills when you have none, then applying and working in internships is one of your best options for gaining experience. There’s so many options for internships on the daily, if you know where to look. Indeed and LinkedIn are two of the most popular places to find internships.
You can do a graphic design internship, a storyboarding internship, a social media internship, there’s really no limit to what you can do that it’s your preferred field of work.
Preferably, you would want to get an internship that also pays you, since its not advisable to do work for free. However, if you can’t do that, and you have the resources and means to do an internship and work for free, then try to do that as well. Although, I don’t advise doing so.
I’m not going to sugarcoat this. You might get burnt out, and if you do, that’s okay. I’m not going to knock you for getting burnt out. We’ve all gone through that before. But I believe in you! You can do this!
R: Customize your resume for every job you apply to
Try to customize your resume to every job that you apply to. Put the skills that are most relevant to the job you want to get first, and put the relevant work experience that you have closer to the top of the resume.
It’s similar to what I said about the portfolio! Put your best skills and most relevant work experience first so the employer isn’t bringing out their magnifying glass looking for relevant experience.
R: List the things y0u learned in school
I had to do this when I was still in highschool, actually. I was taught that if you don’t have work experience, then try to list the things that you learned in school as part of your relevant skills and experience. It’s not skills that you gained from work, but it’s skills all the same.
If you learned how to conduct a choir while in school, put that as part of your skills! If you learned how to shoot and film a movie while in school, put this in your resume as well. If you learned how to lead a team through a social media campaign, well damn it, put that in too!
But whatever you do, don’t feel bad about not having enough experience. It’s something everyone goes through in life, whether their young, or around their 20’s. It’s a normal thing. You’ve just got to work up to that point where you do have a lot of experience.
R & P: Put your resume in your portfolio!
Ooh, a double whammy! This is actually something I learned quite recently. Combine your resume and your portfolio together! Put your resume into your portfolio if you have an online portfolio.
It’s a bit weird when employers have to manually download a file from your online portfolio onto their own desktop, so it’s more beneficial for the both of you to just have the resume out and in the open. I do recommend not putting down your address for this, of course. Putting your work email and phone number into your portfolio is better.
That’s all I have for today! Hopefully this helped out any emerging students or later bloomers go into the working world with a bit more knowledge, and a bit more confidence. Having both a portfolio and resume is the best thing you can have, and remember to format either one of those correctly! you don’t want your resume looking all lopsided. Happy job-hunting!
What are you going to include into your portfolio? Let us know!
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Hi! My name is Carolina Cisneros, and I am a new intern at Society 19. I’m so glad to have this opportunity! I have an Associates in Studio Art, and I will be heading into university for Cinematic Arts and Technologies. I plan to go into the animation industry, designing characters and bringing more diversity into the world. For now, I’m building my skills. Thank you for reading!