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InsightJun 20, 2020

From grad to gig: Crafting your portfolio

Image by storyset on Freepik

Provisional RGDs share how they tailored their resume and portfolio to showcase their skills and experience to potential employers.

Your portfolio is your little virtual pet; always keep it in shape.

"Through a portfolio review with the RGD, I realized what I thought was a great portfolio was just a PDF showing final pieces of my work. In the session, I learned some essentials to building a portfolio and presenting it. I upgraded my portfolio from a basic PDF to a storytelling tool."

— Amjad Barbour Provisional RGD, Multimedia Specialist, Legal Aid Ontario

Personalization will set you apart.

"You might think, 'Do I really need to personalize my resume for every job? I don't have the time or energy for that!' But trust me, you should! It's the best way to demonstrate that you've done your research and genuinely care about a job. Customizing your resume, portfolio and cover letter for each company you apply to shows that you've taken the time to understand the company and its specific needs."

— Yas Fakhr Provisional RGD, Designer, Rethink

Do the research and let your portfolio reflect your core skills and interests.

"I purposefully forgot everything they taught me in school about finding a job. My first step was to find out more about the companies that I wanted to work for and take note of the areas where those companies excelled. Once I had a few companies in mind, I took a look at how they were doing work and the areas where I could contribute. I thought critically about how I could help and what I needed to learn to be able to provide value."

— Thiago Santarém Souza Provisional RGD, Senior Product Designer, Performance Art

Don't hesitate to share your portfolio with fellow creatives to get feedback.

"The more designers reviewed my resume and portfolio, the better it became. The more times I shared my work with people, the better I became at explaining my projects and process. When I had the portfolio interview for my Provisional RGD Membership, I was so anxious, my palms were sweating. But my reviewer was so kind and patient, asked great questions and gave me tons of feedback on my work. I took his advice and my portfolio was so much stronger when it came time to present it to potential employers."

— Ceri Tully Provisional RGD, Graphic Designer, The Blondes

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