Tag Archives: portfolio

Nov09

Tips for Perfecting a Portfolio

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Arguably the most important part of getting a job in any creative field is having a solid body of work. Creating and maintaining this ever-changing resource is of paramount importance for career advancement. Although it seems like a daunting task, it can be kept simple by consistently following a few steps.

 Consume as much quality content as you can

There is a good chance that whatever idea you have has already been thought of before. There are simply too many people in the world to have completely original ideas all the time; it’s just a numbers game. But no one who wants a job in a creative field got into this to think about numbers. The trick to keeping ideas fresh is to stop worrying about how similar your ideas are to others, and start thinking of ways to do the same thing differently. The only way to achieve this type of thinking is to see what’s out there. Make consuming content your hobby, and coming up with fresh ideas will become easy.

Start simple when working on a project

Get small details right when starting a project. The creative process is long and unforgiving, and what you start out with will rarely be included in the finished project. Getting a good groundwork right away will be sure to prevent frustration later. If you can keep focus on perfecting one aspect in the short term, it will help to keep the project from getting convoluted in the long term.

Perfect a finished project through excessive editing

You need to have your best work possible if you want to succeed in a very competitive field. Once you think you’re done with a project, start the creative process again. Look at every word or image and evaluate it. Every single aspect of your project must have the same focus and correct context in order for it to be portfolio-ready.

Know when to kill a project

This is by far the most difficult thing to master when creating content. You need to be willing and able to see when a project just won’t work out. There is no easy way to do this as it forces you to be objective about your own work. Finding someone whom you trust to be honest with you can be a huge asset, and if you can manage to have thick skin you will have a notable advantage over your competition.

Position your Portfolio effectively

This includes both the place employers can find your portfolio, and the content in it. The preferred format for a portfolio is online, and it is important to have your website reflect your work. As for the work itself, you are going to want to frame it so that any potential employers see your best work first. Even after all of the editing and perfecting of work, you are still going to have projects that are simply better than others. If you can promote these first, you will have a much better shot at getting hired.

Sep24

Get Blogging

Blogging-TipsIf you’re hoping to break into a creative industry and are constantly trying to get your foot in the door, the first step to gain exposure is to start by branding yourself. I’m sure you’ve heard that a thousand times, but it’s really something that is necessary when you’re trying to establish a career for yourself. One of the most beneficial methods of doing that is to take your online presence to the next level. Sure, you have Facebook and Twitter, but a great way to get noticed is by having your own blog. Blogging can get you published on your own terms and to share your work with the world, whether you are a writer, videographer, photographer, or whatever field you may be in. Take initiative to get a blog up and running as a way to showcase your talent. You can build up your portfolio and direct potential employers to a URL in addition to a standard resume.

Blogging can also bring about tons of unique opportunities. You never know when a company might be looking for someone with your tone of writing and your perspective. It’s a tool that wasn’t accessible to people back in the day, so take advantage of what is available to you now. It’s simple and free, so why not? Here are some tips to help get the blog roll going.

Find your niche.

Decide what type of content your blog will consist of. Are you a sports fanatic? A movie buff? A fashionista? A tech wiz? Or even a combination. There are so many different topics that you can focus on, so find what suits your interests and let your creative juices flow. You could be as specific or as general as you’d like, just be true to yourself. Let your passion show through the content you create and people will take notice.

Choose your platform.

Next, you might be wondering which blogging platform is right for you. From Blogger to WordPress to Tumblr, the list goes on. All of them have their pros and cons, but it really depends on your personal preferences. I’ve used multiple platforms and have found the one that is most comfortable for my style. I chose Blogger, but WordPress and Tumblr are both great options as well. Give them all a test run and it’ll be much easier to find one that works best for you. The great thing about having your own blog is that you have complete creative control and freedom to take it in whatever direction you want—you can play around with layouts, fonts, colors, the works.

Share, share, share.

Spread the content that you’ve worked so hard on producing! Share on all your social networks and get it out there. You can always use your different accounts to connect your work. Write a blog post, tweet about it, post it on Facebook, the more the merrier. You’ll gain more exposure and bring in a wider audience. Although, you must keep in mind that people like unique content, not spam. Show your readers the value of your content.

Collaborate and connect.

With so many people now online, it’s so easy to find others with similar interests and connect with them over the web. Having a blog instantly makes you a part of a blogging community, which is great for meeting new people and engaging in interesting conversations, all while building up your own brand. Join different groups and take part in Twitter chats to find other bloggers who you could potentially collaborate with in the future. You really never know who you might meet and where these connections could lead.

Be consistent.

Once you’ve got your blog up and running, stay committed. You’re building up an audience now, who want to follow what you have to say, so be actively posting. You have this awesome voice and perspective, so put in the effort to make your blog as great as it can possibly be. Keep it up-to-date and always post fresh content to keep your readers coming back. Soon enough, you’ll gain an audience that is eager to see what you post next.

I hope this has inspired you to start up your own blog. Don’t worry if it’s just your friends and family reading in the beginning—you’ve got to start somewhere! It’s definitely worth it, so get on it. Happy blogging!

Jun13

Let’s Get Visual

The days of using a generic resume template from Microsoft Word are becoming a thing of the past with the increase of creativity floating around cyberspace. Many employers are now looking for a URL to an online portfolio or even your Twitter handle to get a better sense of who you are.

So how can you fully reflect yourself and everything you have to offer on an 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper? That’s where your creativity kicks in. And with so many different tools out there, it’s easy to get started.

Indiana University student Lauren Jerdonek saw this as an opportunity and jumped on the chance to help others create resumes that would help them stand out from the crowd. She launched Précis Resumes as a resource for young professionals to get their feet in the door with a resume that would catch any employers’ eye.

Lauren Jerdonek

CreativeInterns: What made you want to start your own resume writing business?

Lauren Jerdonek: I was so frustrated when I was applying to jobs in New York City. I was sending my resume to hundreds of employers and not hearing back from anyone. I knew that I was well-qualified for the positions and I was sure that if I could personally hand them my resume they would be able see that. I knew that wasn’t possible so I decided to create a resume that was mature, but was also infused with my personality. I re-sent my resume and heard back from dozens of the same employers that had previously ignored it within hours. I knew I was onto something.

CI: Why do you think it’s important to break the traditional resume format?

LJ: Sending out your resume is essentially the first interview — you’re just at a disadvantage because you’re not there to defend yourself. I think it’s important to have your resume reflect your professional personality 100%. Whether or not that reflection is traditional or not is up to you.

CI: What is the best way for students to get noticed in this creative industry?

LJ: Create your own opportunities. So many students come to me and want to know how to even get content for their resume on top of an internship and the answer is to create opportunities for yourself. Always put that 120% effort in your classes, not for your grades sake but for your portfolio’s sake. Team up with friends or local businesses who have different talents but the same ambitions and create something to show of it—a photo shoot, a campaign, website. Exchanging your talents for one another’s benefit is a free yet amazing resource. When you have experience to show your future employer, and that experience is self-made, it shows your ambition. Plus, you can talk about your trials and errors as a leader which is something every boss wants to hear of their new hire. Don’t go the extra mile, go the extra ten miles.

CI: Has your revamped resume led to any cool opportunities?

LJ: Having a show-stopping resume got me in the door to a lot of amazing brands and companies. Being able to sit in a room with some of my industry idols were surreal moments for me.

CI: When you’re designing a resume, what’s the process like?

LJ: Before I do anything, I like to have Google+ Hang Out with my client. I like to see them & get a feel for their personality before I begin to craft something that’s supposed to represent them. I ask them about their ambitions, where they see themselves in ten years and silly questions, too. Immediately after that, I put together an inspiration board with colors, images and fonts that serve as a baseboard for that particular piece. I get a draft ready and my client and I work on fine-tuning it to their satisfaction.

CI: What tips do you have for college students when writing their own resumes?

LJ: Choose your words wisely. Avoid the dull trigger words like “organized,” “responsible” and “assisted.” Scouts read those words six-hundred times a day and phrases with those words in them make you seem boring and robotic…you’re not! You don’t need to make it obvious that you used the Online Thesaurus, but try to incorporate impact words like “accelerated,” “created” and “orchestrated.” It’s amazing how powerful your positions can sound by just choosing better action words. Another tip is that some things are better left off your resume. When you craft a resume you want to appear as the perfect candidate—don’t put work or jobs down that make you appear less than what you are in that moment of time. If you’re in college, leave all high school experience off your resume. If you have three similar internships under your belt, pick and choose different aspects of each you felt you were strong at doing rather than being redundant in your descriptions. It’s important to remain concise in conveying your work. The third tip is to be honest! Transparency is the key to building to a good relationship with your employer and if you’re unable to live up to your initial words it looks poorly on you, your boss, the department and the company…your contribution isn’t the ant you think it is! Aspiring employees put too much value on what they aren’t and less on what they are. Be different in saying “Hey, I know this area isn’t my strong point, but I can do THIS area better than anyone you’ve met and I’ll work day-and-night until my weak areas improve.” Be eager, keep your head down but be the hardest working employee or intern in the whole building.

She’s living proof that putting the time and effort into making a stellar resume can get you one step closer to your dream career. She’s a budding entrepreneur working with different fashion brands on projects in New York City this summer. Need resume-building inspiration? Check out Precis Resume at www.precisresumes.com.

Apr27

Your Internship’s Over…Now What?

Image courtesy of ores2k

It’s easy to end an internship and feel like you need a break afterward. But you’re wrong! Your internship may be over, but there are a few things you can do afterward that will make the time spent there much more worth it.

Ask your boss if he/she can be a reference: Of course, you want to be a top-notch intern your entire run there. But when it’s over, don’t be that intern that runs out the door and never speaks to anyone again. Make it a clear point that you will want to use your boss as a reference in the future and whenever you start sending out your resume give your internship supervisor a heads up so they can refresh in their memory about you.

Create a portfolio of everything you’ve done: If you’re a writer, save clips of everything you wrote. If you designed a website, make sure you save it before it’s replaced or altered. It’s crucial to save and organize all of your work before you forget or you are no longer able to access it. For example, it’s much better for your portfolio to get shots of your work as it was published rather than having to send out a Word document of a writing sample.

Update your resume: While all your projects are still fresh in your brain it’s a good idea to jot down  the specifics for your resume. There may be a time gap between then end of your internship and your next job so having a list will come in handy for helping you update your resume and remembering things you worked on to talk about during an interview.

Look for your next internship or job! We at CreativeInterns.com like to breed overachievers. Internships are one of the best ways to find out what career path you want so take advantage of experimenting with different internships before you have bills and student loans to pay.

Written by Diane Ly

Feb27

Design A Mind-Blowing Portfolio

CreativeInterns.com’s Motion Graphics Intern, Diane Bruzzese from Stevens Institute of Technology created this animation to illustrate some important points in Designing A Mind-Blowing Portfolio.