Fired From Job - Portfolio Feedback?

The company I worked for, as a digital marketer/in-house designer, was acquired by a larger entity who no longer requires an on-staff designer upon hiring a new full-service marketing agency - so I’m no longer on the team as of the end of the month. I want some feedback on my portfolio since I want to stay in the workforce and continue to develop my skills in graphic design, my main passion. Basically I want to know if I currently have a chance with a marketing/design agency or company out there somewhere.

I started in the industry as a social media marketing intern in high school, then grew with the same company into a full-time marketing/design position for a few years. In late 2021, the company was acquired, and I have worked with the new company for the past year. I’m 21 now.

I currently just have a PDF portfolio, since a website will require more substantial time and I’m not in a good financial position to rent a domain. I also don’t have a personal Adobe account for something like Behance since I’ve been an in-house designer for years. I’ve already sent in some job applications over the weekend - haven’t heard back from any yet.

Any feedback on things I could do/add to improve this lineup? Any recommendations on places I should look to seek out job opportunities (besides my current network and Indeed)? And lastly, is there a skill I should put some effort behind improving or building to be a better candidate? For example, learning Adobe AE/Animate, etc.

Let me know your feedback. Anything/everything is helpful - even if you have to get real with me as a naïve newby in a very competitive industry, lol. Thank you!

PS thoughts on my brand icon?


Behance is free to register for and create an account with. From what I know. I have a private account not tied to a paid Adobe subscription.

I will say if you do go the Behance route, provide more context for your work, even using brief descriptions or more insight into your role in each piece. And provide more focus. At the time being, dumping a lot of work on each page of a PDF is not focused enough.

All in all at a quick glance your work is stronger than I had anticipated based on your intro. I’m not sure if I’ll have time to provide more in depth feedback, but I know that others will.

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Thank you for your feedback, I’ll think more about the context of specific design and presenting that in a way that is more focused. Also, you don’t pay for Behance?? I’ll def re-check that out and see if I can build a decent portfolio on there.

I just searched is Behance free and found this link.

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I’ve bumped up your posting privileges, which will enable you to post links. I’ve also fixed your URL to lead directly to the PDF.

I agree with @CraigB, your work is stronger than I expected.

However, almost all the work reflects the nature of the company you were working for and seems a bit routine in the sense that it’s the kind of retail look I would expect. In other words, there might have been room for some creativity and doing things that were conceptually interesting— more emotion instead of building the concept around a recitation of facts, figures, and service information. Of course, some companies are hesitant to engage their target audience on that level (even though they should).

Where I do see some creativity and gut-level appeal is in your Joysticks Arcade work. It’s fun, bright, and interesting, and grabbed my attention more than the routine marketing look of the ISP collateral.

You have talent. I hope you land a job that encourages you to use it. Have you considered enrolling in a university design program? At 21, you still have time before life starts weighing you down with reasons not to go for it.

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You’ve already received some good feedback, here are a few more items to consider.

I’m not crazy about the brand icon. The line works looks a bit sloppy to me. (Sorry, I will be honest with the intention of helping you put your best foot forward.)

The headline and subhead on the main page have a very conversational tone. This makes them read more like sentences than headline and subhead. SO I think they need punctuation.

Did you design the online nw logo? Since it is included on the sample page, that makes me think you designed it.

On the online nw page you have 21 work samples. That is way too many samples for one page. Space them out and fill in with some text talking about your role. Did you draw all of the icons yourself? If not, I’d be hesitant to show them.

Same comments that applied to online nw apply to Hunter. Did you design the logo? Way too many samples on a single page.

On the page with the KPIs, does that apply to online nw, Hunter or both? It’s somewhat of an abrupt change from the work samples. Also, isn’t “key KPIs” somewhat redundant? Your bullet points don’t line up with the paragraphs on this page.

On the IVY, Home Wellness, and Joysticks, again, you have too much on one page.

I’d seriously consider removing the digital paintings. I know that’s tough. It’s your work. You’re proud of it. But it doesn’t really fit with the rest of your portfolio, and I don’t think they’re going to help you land a job as a graphic designer.

Bottom line, in my opinion, you’re showing way too much and you have it crammed way too tightly. When it comes to your portfolio, you’re only as strong as your weakest piece. So edit this down to remove what isn’t necessary and work on the presentation.

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I haven’t read what others have written.

But - your stuff is nice and professional looking.

From a hiring perspective: I see two projects; Online NW, and Hunter.

Then I lose interest, as you have ‘Side Projects’.

That’s a huge turn off, how do I know when you’re working for me that you won’t be working on side projects that are a conflict of interest.

Remove ‘Side Projects’ but leave the other work in there.

Personally, I don’t care about personal logo/mark as it’s irrelevant, not every designer creates their own logo or mark unless they are in business.
Another red flag.

It’s too wordy - too much intro text. You’re up against 100 other people applying, they are going to zip through your presentation and tear it apart.

Page 7 is enough to forget about you and move on - as the bullets are not aligned.

Basic bullets and text alignment

This throws up shades of a lack of knowledge in print design
The thin lines and the busy background are difficult to print.


‘Compell’ should be ‘Compel’
Communications is spelled incorrectly in a few places.
It’s not its
Willammette is spelled incorrectly

These are all things that it might come down to when picking the candidates for an interview.

10 polished portfolios will gazzump yours.

Your Digital Illustrations are excellent - but they are so far removed from the tasks you’re applying for. They’re great - but unless you’re applying for a digital illustration job then maybe only include a few to show that it’s more of a hobby than a skillset you wish to bring.

My advice

Fix the typos
Fix text alignments and bullet alignments
Shorten the text - only headers no body text
Ditch your own logo
Change ‘Side Projects’ to something else
Reduce your digital illustrations portion

Fatten your portfolio
Have 2 pages or 3 pages for Online NW and Hunters
1 or 2 pages for those ‘side projects’ - which you’re not going to let on were for other clients…

You’re selling yourself - you’re marketing yourself.

Don’t sell yourself short.

Your work is looking good.

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You didn’t get fired. Don’t even use the term.
Being let go after a company downsized after acquistion by another company is longer, but less fraught with questions. “Fired” implies “let go with reason” and those reasons are usually bad ones.

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You guys rock! I had some thoughts but all of them have been mentioned by you already and more. So I just chime in :bell: :notes::christmas_tree::peanuts::tangerine::candle:

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