Portfolio that appeals to employers?

Hi, I am a graphic designer at the beginning of my career. I just had a job offer rescinded due to the recession. I am trying to find a new job and would really appreciate some feedback on my portfolio and suggestions on how I can appeal more to employers in order to get more frequent interviews. I think my portfolio is quite lacking. Thank you in advance! Here’s the link to my portfolio.

tehuatseng.myportfolio .com/

It’s not that it’s lacking - it’s muddled and confusing to navigate.

The work is really good - and I presume all of it is course work?
Are there real clients in there too?

There’s no linear flow or clear indications of what you were responsible for.
Did you really design promotional stuff for NASA?

Thank you for the feedback! I really appreciate it. Yeah, I agree with you that it’s confusing, I will try to change it. Most of it is personal projects. As I have been working in a corporate company, I can’t upload any client work. The whole section with the NASA one is from a design bootcamp that I enrolled in.

You need to separate the student work from the actual work.

Why can’t you include the corporate company work?

Here’s the problem with student work/bootcamps and other ‘spec work’ is that it’s too influential and loosely based on non-demanding briefs/clients.
Plus they can go on indefinitely.

I was interviewing potential designers to work with me and I found a guy with an amazing portfolio - he was the Senior Designer at a firm I had not heard of.
He came in and showed off a wonderful portfolio.

It transpired he was Senior Designer of a ‘company’ he operated out of his parents house (his bedroom) and he had little or no actual client work in about a year.

His portfolio was amazing, but when we dug down into it we couldn’t find any real information on the projects, the people involved in the projects, the designs weren’t applied to websites/material for the companies work was completed for.

All of it was Course work - and the most amazing poster they had created took them 3 years to finish for a grade in college.

Not being bad, you sometimes might get 3 hours, 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months for a poster or other design work with ongoing collaboration with clients, but you’d never spend 3 years.

3 months is practically unheard of.

Back to your portfolio.
Simplify it.
Iron out course work.
Post legitimate corporate work (where appropriate)

Have all your client work at the front matter.
Include some course work in the end matter.

Simplify - Simplify - Simplify

Easy to digest, easy to follow, easy to read.

By the way - really nice work.

But I’d be questioning the overall scope of the work, lead times, client expectations, pitfalls.

And most importantly your involvement in the role of each piece.

Some are illustrators, some are page layouts (receiving premade artwork and laying out), some are logo designs, some are colour touchups, etc.

If I saw your portfolio vs a similar portfolio and the other portfolio was better laid out with clear indications of what skills they brought to the projects - I probably wouldn’t even interview you.

I know - it can be very fickle. But anytime I need a designer there’s a 100 applications, and everyone has a way of whittling down candidates.

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Smurf has given you some good advice on the portfolio.

But it isn’t all just about the portfolio.
Your cover letter and resume will say a lot about you too, and usually those are the first two things I see before spending any time on a portfolio.

Your resume should be easy to read and to the point. Same with the cover letter.
Don’t overlap the two document contents too much. Avoid boilerplate text that says things like, “I want a job where I can learn and grow.” Yeah, and I want an employee that is useful, not spending all their time on learning and growing. Tell the employer what you can do for them to improve their bottom line. Think of the employer as a client in that respect.

If you can’t post your corporate work in a public portfolio, make sure your resume covers that fact with an accurate description of your work and your success at it. If you did public-facing social media or website work for the former company, that too might be included in some fashion.

Good luck out there.

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Thank you for the in-depth feedback and story. I really agree with you about spec work. The reason I haven’t posted client work is that I have signed an NDA and I have only been working with graphic manuals for products. It’s only recently that I’ve wanted to work in more of a design agency or creative role, so unfortunately, a lot of my work is speculative. I’ll try to simplify it more and really showcase what I did and the scope of it. Thanks again.

Yeah, that’s good advice! I have been working on my resumé and cover letter as well. This will help! Thank you.

Your work is some of the best I’ve seen. It’s creative, fun, original, practical, and shows tremendous talent. If you’re having trouble finding a job, it’s not due to the quality of your work.


I agree with @Smurf2; your presentation of that work is a bit like a messy drawer full of stuff with insufficient organization and explanation.

Over the years, I’ve looked at hundreds of job applicant portfolios. When doing so, I didn’t simply look for good work; I looked for talent and work that suited the job and how that person’s approach might be adapted to meet the needs of the job.

Your portfolio’s About page mentions the manuals you work on for your employer (I won’t mention its name here). That company is famous for its intuitive end-user instructions. Maybe you could take what you learned there and apply a similar mindset to your portfolio by directly targeting the type of place you’d like to work and building your portfolio to appeal directly to them in ways that make them eager to say yes.

And as @PrintDriver said, there’s more to landing a job than a portfolio. I’d suggest taking it all into consideration and carefully planning out a strategy to sell yourself to the right buyer.

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Thank you for that compliment. I really appreciate that!

That’s a good analogy for my portfolio haha. I also agree with what you wrote and I can see the issue clearer now. I will redo it and organise it much better. You guys were extremely helpful and it will help me market myself better.