Have you updated your professional profile or design portfolio this year?
Below, we’ll discuss what these are and how you can make the most of them to forward your design career.
Professional Profile vs. Portfolio – What’s The Difference?
According to the job search site Indeed, the professional profile “is a description that highlights your skills and expertise and it shows employers what assets you will bring to the role you are applying for.”
Your design portfolio, on the other hand, is a supplement to your resume. It is a curated collection of your best design work.
You may show your portfolio – digital or printed – to potential employers or clients.
Can Professional Profiles Appear On Resumes And CVs?
Depending on where you live or where you are applying, you may need to submit a CV rather than a resume.
What is the difference between CV and resume? The honest answer is, not much.
Both are structured chronologically, but CVs are generally a bit longer. CVs are also more detailed, while resumes are purposely concise.
If you live and work in the United States, you will almost certainly use a resume.
If applying elsewhere, carefully read the application instructions to determine the proper document.
Can professional summaries appear on both types of documents? Yes, they can.
However, you want to make sure your summary is adding value to your document and not merely taking up space. To do that, follow the profile refresh tips below.
Refreshing Your Professional Profile
Professional profiles are an important means of quickly hooking your hiring manager’s attention.
According to a 2018 study by Ladders, employers spent about 7.4 seconds reviewing each resume before deciding whether to pass on a candidate or investigate them further.
So make sure you profile describes who you are now, not who you were 12 months ago.
Your profile, located just below your contact information, should be a brief, compelling pitch, one to four sentences in length.
It should highlight your experience and most relevant skills, even linking divergent past positions to the job you are seeking.
Think about the last 12 months. What new design skills have you developed?
Add any new achievements, certifications or qualifications, and remove any older, more irrelevant ones.
While you are at it, consider giving your entire resume an update and a visual refresh.
You can use a number of design tools like Adobe Photoshop to really flex your design skills within your resume design.
Or, you may choose to employ an online resume maker stocked with plenty of professionally designed resume templates.
Refreshing Your Portfolio
Your design portfolio should highlight your best work. It should also show that you are versatile and flexible.
Portfolios fall into two main categories: print and digital. The type of portfolio you need may differ from one situation to another, but it is good planning to have both available.
A print portfolio is basically a photo album. You can often design your album online, choosing the order and layout of the images, before it is professionally printed and bound.
The major drawback of this portfolio style is that it must be delivered in person or by mail, and expense is involved in its production. It is also less flexible to update regularly.
Digital portfolios are increasingly common, and if you have not already done so, you should convert your print portfolio to a digital one.
A portfolio website is a common means. You can post images of your designs and include links to your productions “in the wild.”
You can also include links to articles you have written or press media that features your work.
Then, include a link to your portfolio website on your LinkedIn account and your resume contact information.
Some creators also use social media for dedicated portfolios.
For example, you might create an Instagram account or a Pinterest board featuring only your designs.
Remember to maintain the sovereignty of your account – use it only for business and not for personal posts.
Whatever format you choose, take time once or twice a year to look at your photos or links.
Remove any “dead” links or any images that don’t adequately showcase your skills.
For example, you might have improved your skills in a particular design concept in more recent projects.
Add links to or images of any recent projects of which you are particularly proud.
You can include a refreshed professional profile on your resume or CV.
This short section, located near the top of your document, features your professional title, experience, achievements, and skills in just a few sentences.
Remember to update it for this year so you are ready for new opportunities.
While it is good to keep a print portfolio for occasions that call for it, you should also have a digital one in the form of a portfolio website.
Analyze and update your online profile and work regularly. Good luck this year!