Web Designer: The importance of the portfolio
Some time ago talking to an agency, he told me that the portfolio for a Web Designer, even a junior, can be his own website. Obviously and rightly it is almost always required and often the agencies require both their own site and the portfolio. I appeal to the younger ones who are still looking for an internship or a junior position and then I wondered that maybe the portfolio is something else.
What is expected of a candidate as a portfolio?
When I submit new candidates to CV, the first thing I do is see their website. But be careful, I do not dwell on the jobs carried out or on the famous but useless percentages of the candidate (90% html, 80% css etc). I sift the site from top to bottom, paying attention to the code used, choosing a CMS or less, choosing a theme or creating a custom one, errors in the console, speed of the site itself, and comments in the code. In short, if you know how to do your site well you are probably good, otherwise you are a sucker. I see it that way.
Among other things, many people work with web agencies and cannot publish their work on the personal website. I have been working in the sector for over ten years and despite having made very important sites, I cannot include them in my portfolio because they are made on behalf of third parties. So if I can give you some advice make a clean site, don’t use CMS, and make sure it’s performing and perfect in every detail. The selectors will keep this in mind.
Portfolio means a showcase of your best projects.
I believe a portfolio will never cease to be updated, because it grows with you and your experience. If you are junior just out of school you will clearly have a type of projects to show, different from a senior, but this is also trivial to write.
I think it is important to have our own website, especially for a web designer. It will be hard work, creating things for yourself is difficult … You are never happy! At least that’s the way it is for me.
I understand that as a junior you have very little to show, if not your own site made during an internship (often useless) where precisely when you didn’t put photos on the site of the company that hosted you, you created yours. Aware of wanting to revolutionize and improve it, you waited to do it after or during an internship that you are not able to find any more to do.
Then there are the companies that want the portfolio as a file, so I imagine a kind of mock up.
In fact I myself didn’t understand the reasons for the paper, if I already have my site.
So your site could be something personal but not necessarily proof of your skills, while paper, which is the mock-up of a site, serves to demonstrate your talent, knowledge and experience, and pass on your inventiveness:
Tips for the personal web site from Junior web designers: inspired personalize, you don’t have to “show jobs”, those will come with time, you have to tell who you are and what you can express, nobody expects you to “work”, but ideas yes.
Your portfolio is your site where you show your skills by writing and showing the jobs you’ve done. If you want to cut your teeth and create a portfolio, the alternatives can be many. e.g. open source projects, or work pro bono for not-for-profit organizations that perhaps carry out causes that interest you, or classic internships.
A good idea is to use the personal website as a blog by publishing industry articles or to describe the services we are willing to offer.