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3 Tips for Developing a Professional Portfolio


Developing your own professional portfolio should be on top of your list when you're on the lookout for freelance jobs. Whether you're a graphic artist or a writer, a portfolio will surely help you bag that first freelance job. So what exactly is a professional portfolio? It is usually a collection of your past work up until the present. It will tell your potential employer everything about your works, and give them insight to your past employment and oftentimes, your work ethic. You should keep in mind that a portfolio will mainly help you sell yourself.

1. Gather and Compile Your Past Works

Let's say you're a freelance writer. When putting together your writing samples, gather your strongest pieces. If you have blog, use your blog posts. If you already have a website running, you can extract excerpts from your published articles. If you're not that confident with your past works, you can make recent samples if you want.

If you're a teacher, include items that will show your potential employer of your teaching experience. You can also compile your favorite lesson plans that will show off your true teaching style. You can toss in photos of your students at work and/or your past bulletin boards.

For graphic artists, choose at least six but not more than nine pieces of your best designs. Choose pieces that display and demonstrate your skills. Your chosen pieces should include a brochure, a letterhead and a logo. Cover art and posters using various media should also be added in to your portfolio. 

If you have hundreds of works to choose from, choose pieces that will best represent the work that is required in the position you are applying for. When arranging your portfolio pieces, open with a good piece, but reserve the best piece in the middle. Your second best piece should be placed last, something that will leave an impression on your prospective employer.

2. Add Your Resume

Adding your resume may seem like a no-brainer but you have to keep in mind that it should sell. Simplify it by highlighting your strengths and work history that are related to the position you are applying for. You can also create a strong personal statement about yourself and emphasize several selling points about yourself.

In your resume, you can also put in your pricing structure plus a clear explanation of why you priced them at such. Create a statement that will justify your pricing; highlight on research, speed, optimization and style.

3. Find a Decent Portfolio Case

To convey a sense of professionalism, look for a decent looking portfolio case. It should be of the right size and should look put together. A leather made portfolio with a nice binder will do; look for three-ring plastic page protectors if you can. 

If you're planning on creating an online portfolio, make sure that your website looks professional and well-maintained. Stick with the basic colors and avoid colored and fancy-looking headers, avatars and fonts. Check for grammar and spelling as well.

You can also choose to be creative and add a little bit of your personality to your portfolio. By doing so, your portfolio will most likely stand out among hundreds of freelance job seekers.

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