Tips to build your portfolio

Get the most out of it!

Start early
A portfolio is not a one-time task, but rather a lifetime project that needs to be completed as you move forward with your studies and then work. Start in the early stages of your studies, and update it as more projects and skills are built. Even if you are at the beginning stages of your studies, you can use your coursework or assignments as part of your work and then update your portfolio and replace those with more intensive projects.
Not a CV
You must remember at all times that your portfolio is not your CV. It can be an extension of your CV, but while your CV mostly highlights what you have done and what you are capable of, the Portfolio will show those capabilities and samples of your work. The portfolio itself can be a great demo of your talents. So ensure you spend enough time and patience on it.
Ethics
Honesty is valued and considered a great asset. So make sure you are honest, clear, and give credit to work done as part of a project or a team. You don’t necessarily need to mention everyone involved, but make sure you point out that the work was done in collaboration and what your contribution was in the project.
Be Unique
As mentioned, portfolio is your brand. As any other brand it has be unique to stand out from the rest. Do your research, find portfolios you like, and take inspiration from them. What you should remember is that while being unique and having your own touch, you should ensure that the viewers are not left with uncertainties and any questions. Be sure to address this and look at it from the perspective of the viewer
Basic blocks
Before getting excited and starting planning an A to Z solution for yourself, start with the basics and the building blocks. Ask yourself what you would like to highlight and what information would you like to share. Gather all the little pieces of the puzzle and have some data ready before you make your portfolio. Even if you don’t have anything in the beginning that is not a problem: plane the process, get the skeleton made and add to it bit by bit.
Your Brand
Think of your portfolio as your brand when creating it. Your overall theme, colors, fonts, visuals, photos, and other elements must complement each other and communicate one message. At the early stages this might sound confusing, but chose 2 or 3 colors to work with and then update your portfolio at a later stage when you have a more clear idea of design principles, color theories, and the small detail.
Embrace Change
There will come a time that you may need to completely shift your portfolio. This is not easy, but sometimes you need to start work from the ground up and go back to square one. The reason could be that the final result did not have the desired effect, or you simply think it's time for a new look.
Feedback
Getting feedback from your friends, peers, and colleagues is perhaps the best method of evaluating your work and finding your week points. Take a UCD approach and ensure you ask people to have a look and evaluate your work and iterate as needed.

Portfolio elements

The basic elements will deliver the message to your audience, creativity will enforce it

Sections
Basic sections are About Me, Education, Experience, Skills, and Contact Me. One section recommended is the Testimonials that adds value to your portfolio. You can add other sections based on your talents and skills. Photography, videos, or even music created by you are some talents that potential employers would appreciate. Feel free to get creative and think outside the box.
Text
You want your words to be read and not ignored. So make sure you have enough, but not too much. When describing a project or a certain work experience, give a snapshot of the topic and the main idea rather than the whole story. Write your text, have your peers review it, then iterate as needed.
Links
Make sure to include links to connect your portfolio to your other profiles such as Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. This will ensure that potential employers can get to know you before you even meet them.
Visuals
Make sure to complement your text with visuals. Sample of work you have done previously play a key role. Even if your work is on a paper form, scan it and include it. If you have demo videos make sure to link to them. Photos also play a key role in re-enforcing the message. So make sure you select related photos for your portfolio that follow the theme.
Approach
As UI/UX designers, it is extremely important to show how you approach a problem, what process you go through, and how you come up with a solution. Make sure this is well written and clear to the reader as they can clearly see if you are a match for the position.
Contact
In your portfolio there has to be a way to reach you, so include a “contact me” form if you are using an interactive online portfolio, or clear contact information if you use an offline portfolio.

Choosing the platform

After the basics are covered and you are ready to start, it's time to choose your platform and decide how you want to move forward

Physical Portfolio
If you are hands on with design, and want to create your portfolio from scratch and in the form of a booklet or similar, then you can use InDesign or other similar tools to achieve your goals. You can also create a PDF version of this as well based on your requirements
Website
A website is a great tool to showcase your skills to the audience. You can either code from scratch or use CMS tools such as WordPress to achieve your goals. No matter what route you take, be sure to pay attention to the details and make sure you test it on mobile devices as well.
Online Tools
There are thousands of templates, tools, and websites available online to make an online interactive portfolio. A few examples are LinkedIn, Branded, Wix, and other similar platforms. Explore your options and take some time reading the details of each and see if it matches your needs.

Ready to get started with your portfolio?

To get you started, we have chosen an awesome and easy platform as an example and by following these 7 steps you  will have a stunning portfolio ready in a matter of hours

Sign up

Visit branded.me and sign up

Add your own style

Choose your theme, font and style

Fill in your information

Fill the Intro, Education, Experience, Projects and Contact sections

Add the visuals

Add background images and adjust brightness

Photo and social

Add your profile photo and social media

Publish
Iterate

Continue refining your work