Your public portfolio is one of the most important things you’ll ever design. It presents you to the world and, if you’re a freelancer, tends to play a major role in whether or not people choose to hire you.
Because of my role as the editor of Design Shack, I’ve viewed a ton of online portfolios and today I’d like to walk through some of the weaknesses I see time and time again. Read on to see if you’ve made some of these mistakes.
1. Listing Your Age
Oddly enough, this is an extremely common piece of information to find on web designer portfolios. Designers feel the need to introduce themselves to make the page more personal, but can’t think of anything good to say and therefore revert to the basics: “I’m a 22 year old web designer from Papua New Guinea.”
This bugs me every single time I see it. It’s not the worst mistake that you could make, but it just reeks of a rookie move. This is evident by the fact that you never see someone bragging about being a 43 year old web designer. It’s only the young folks who feel the need to wear their age like a badge. I’m surprised I’ve never read one boasting about being “twenty and a half.”
“You never see someone bragging about being a 43 year old web designer.”
You’ll find that the experienced designers brag about exactly that: experience. “I’ve been building websites for Fortune 500 companies for over 10 years.” Now that’s a number to brag about.
Here’s my gripe with this piece of information: who gives a crap? Do you want people to hire you based on talent and experience or on the year that you were born? If you don’t want potential clients to judge your age, then why are you broadcasting it?
The only time that a potential client might think twice about hiring someone based on age is if they seem too young, and as I said above the only people who do this are the twenties crowd so they’re really just shooting themselves in the foot.
Just The Necessities
Skip the fluff. I don’t want to know how old you are, what type of computer mouse you use or how often you buy a new pair of Converse. Tell me what you do and prove it with some solid examples. Which brings me to my next point.
2. Showing School Projects
Here’s another one that always gets me with the young designers. They always feel the need to show off their school projects. This ain’t your momma’s refrigerator junior, it’s a professional portfolio and clients want to see real work.