Over the years of running Case Study Club, I've had the pleasure of reviewing hundreds of portfolios.
Here's a compiled list of the most common mistakes I see get made over and over again (even seasoned designers fall into this trap.)
Potential employers will want to know who you are before considering bringing you in for an interview.
An about page enables you to personalize your portfolio and gives you a chance to tell your story — It's the perfect opportunity to differentiate yourself.
One of the more critical aspects of social cognition is face perception — we're hardwired to recognize faces from day one.
Besides, It's always nice to put a face to a name. It makes it more personal, human, and memorable.
Resist the urge to include your hobbies in your value proposition (that's what your about page is for.)
Instead, include the what for who, and if possible, the desired benefit.
Don't make the mistake of linking to inactive or irrelevant social media accounts (or any other irrelevant links, for that matter.)
If you have a design-related Instagram account, then go for it. Have a 2-year-old tutorial project on GitHub, leave it be.
Don't include a random gallery of case studies in your portfolio. Instead, curate your project to specific roles.
Consider a hero case study that you put extra effort into, then take advantage of hierarchy to steer people towards that piece. From there, you can lead people into your other projects. Less is more.
The most crucial part of a case study is to show how your efforts impacted your work. The easiest way to show this is through impact metrics.
If the above is not an option, you can demonstrate value through client testimonials or user quotes.
Make it incredibly easy to let people get in touch with you. Invite them to take action.
Liked these tips? Consider becoming a Case Study Club member, where I curate and share case studies, portfolios, and insightful articles every Monday. Sign up below (it's 100% free!)
Whether you're preparing for your first interview, switching jobs, hiring for your company or just want insight into how things are done; this book is a must-read.
It gives you a step-by-step framework to follow and teaches you what to expect. The book even goes into the business side of design (a huge competitive edge).
Alexander Graham Bell said it well:
"Before anything else, preparation is the key to success".