Portfolio Do’s and Dont’s

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The Tenfold Collective posted this super helpful list of portfolio do’s and dont’s when it comes to applying for a job at their agency. We thought it was worth a share:

1. Send us something via snail-mail. This always gets our attention because usually we just get an email and a link to a website or an attached PDF. Keep in mind, this doesn’t have to be your entire portfolio as a hard copy, the more creative the better. Actually, this list idea came about because we received an incredible inquiry from Mark Pinkerton (that’s his self-promo package pictured above, visit his online portfolio here) who sent us a custom-made hotel key. It’s so creative and nicely put together, bravo sir. We love your style and ingenuity.

2. Make sure you know who you’re sending the inquiry to and spell our names correctly. It’s a small thing, but it shows you care, and that you actually know who we are. That way, we don’t think that we’re getting an almost spam-like mass email.

3. Take the time to add something personal about why you’d like to work with us. Is it our work? If so, what? A style in general? Process? Just love Colorado? Whatever it is, we want to know because it shows that you’ve done your research.

4. Tell us what you love and how you work. Do you love mid-century modern design? Are you more of a Swiss grid person? Who inspires you (not us please – we would love to believe it but somehow you just can’t say it without sounding like a brown-noser)? Do you have other interests? Do other types of art? We want to know not only that you can handle yourself in the realm of design, but we’ve love a little peek at who you are as a person.

1. Swear in your cover letter. We know that there’s a certain amount of familiarity and casual-ness to the design profession which we love and appreciate, but this doesn’t make you seem laid back – it makes you seem unprofessional.

2. Mess up our company name. We’ve had people call us everything from Tinfold to Tenspeed. We’ll throw your resume out if you do this. By the same token, keep everything you write as close to typo-free as possible. We all make mistakes, we know it’s really hard to proof something you write yourself. We won’t throw your stuff out for this, but we might notice, so be careful.

3. Send us an attached PDF. We won’t take the time to look at it. Instead we would prefer a portfolio website so that we can experience your brand. There’s a lot of companies that are doing templates especially for online portfolios. We love Cargo + Indexhibit, free and great looking. There’s no reason not to do this, and you can customize it so much more than a PDF.”

Published by Ross

Ross grew up on the wrong side of the Jukskei. He studied at Vega and was awarded the Top Student prize at his graduation. After working as a freelancer for four years, he founded Nicework with Ben Vorster. He has a penchant for Scandinavian wood furniture and really nice shirts. He is open to bribery- all iPads are welcome. He also likes chocolate cake and is happily married.

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