5 Tips for Tailoring Portfolio to Get Dream Job
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


  1. Prioritize relevant projects in your portfolio
  2. Showcase your problem-solving skills
  3. Display your personal brand
  4. Include testimonials and references
  5. Keep your portfolio up to date

Are you on the hunt for your dream job and looking for ways to stand out? Tailoring your portfolio for job applications may be the key to unlocking that door. Whether you're a seasoned professional or a fresh graduate, a well-crafted portfolio can be a game-changer. It's more than just a collection of your work; it's a showcase of your skills, experience, and creativity. So, let's dive in and explore five practical tips to tailor your portfolio and get noticed by potential employers.

Prioritize Relevant Projects in Your Portfolio

Think of your portfolio as a visual resume—it should highlight your most relevant and impressive projects. But remember, it's not just about quantity; quality matters too. So, how can you go about doing this?

Select Key Projects

Firstly, sift through your past work and pick out those that align with the job you're applying for. Say, for example, you're a graphic designer applying for a branding job, prioritize projects where you've successfully created brand identities. If you're a writer seeking a job in tech, include pieces you've written on technology topics. By doing this, you're tailoring your portfolio to fit the specific job and showing potential employers that you have relevant experience.

Showcase a Variety of Skills

Don't just focus on one type of project. Show off your range by including different kinds of work. This could be a mix of individual projects, team collaborations, client work, or even passion projects. Showing variety not only demonstrates your versatility but also keeps your portfolio interesting.

Put the Best Work First

Order matters when organizing your portfolio. Put your best foot forward by placing your most impressive work at the beginning. This grabs the viewer's attention and makes a strong first impression. Remember, you want to hook them in from the start.

By carefully selecting and ordering your projects, you're tailoring your portfolio for job applications in a way that highlights your most relevant and impressive work. It's like telling a story—you're guiding potential employers through your professional journey, showing them that you're the perfect fit for the job.

Showcase Your Problem-Solving Skills

When tailoring portfolios for job applications, it's important to remember one thing: employers aren't just interested in what you can create, but how you create it. They want to see how you think, solve problems, and overcome challenges. So, let's explore how you can effectively showcase these skills in your portfolio.

Include Case Studies

Case studies are an excellent way to demonstrate your problem-solving skills. They provide a narrative of how you approached a project, the challenges you faced, how you overcame them, and the results you achieved. For instance, if you're an app developer, you could talk about a project where you had to find an innovative solution to improve user experience. As you walk potential employers through your thought process, they get an insight into how you handle real-world problems.

Use Before and After Scenarios

Another helpful tool is the use of "before and after" scenarios. These can clearly illustrate the impact of your work. For example, if you're a digital marketer, you could show a website's traffic or sales before and after your campaign. This visual representation of your work can speak volumes about your ability to bring about positive change.

Highlight Your Role in Team Projects

When including team projects in your portfolio, be sure to clearly outline your role and contributions. Discuss the challenges the team faced and how you helped overcome them. This gives potential employers a glimpse into how you function in a team setting and your ability to contribute to problem-solving.

In essence, showcasing your problem-solving skills is all about providing context. By including case studies, before and after scenarios, and detailing your role in team projects, you're giving potential employers a holistic view of your abilities. It's not just about the final product—it's about the journey you took to get there.

Display Your Personal Brand

Another key factor in tailoring portfolios for job applications is showcasing your personal brand. Your personal brand is your unique blend of skills, experiences, and personality. It's what sets you apart from other candidates. So, let's dive into how you can effectively display your personal brand in your portfolio.

Create a Strong Bio

First things first, you need a compelling bio. This is your chance to introduce yourself, your passions, and what makes you unique. Think of it as your personal elevator pitch. Keep it concise, engaging, and—most importantly—authentic. Remember, this isn't just about stating facts. It's about telling a story—your story.

Reflect Your Style

Whether you're a graphic designer, writer, or engineer, your work should reflect your personal style. This doesn't mean every piece should look or feel the same. Instead, it's about having a common thread that ties your work together. It's this consistency that helps employers understand your unique perspective and approach to work.

Personalize Your Portfolio

Don't be afraid to let your personality shine through. This could mean using a conversational tone in your descriptions, including a bit of humor where appropriate, or showcasing hobbies and interests that complement your professional skills. This adds a personal touch to your portfolio, making it more memorable to potential employers.

Remember, your personal brand is what makes you, you. By creating a strong bio, reflecting your personal style in your work, and personalizing your portfolio, you're not just tailoring your portfolio for a job application—you're presenting a holistic view of who you are as a professional.

Include Testimonials and References

As you progress in tailoring portfolios for job applications, incorporating testimonials and references can give your portfolio an extra boost. This kind of social proof can validate your skills and experiences, making your portfolio stand out to hiring managers. Let's look at how you can make the most of this.

Add Client Testimonials

Got positive feedback from a previous client or employer? Great, don't let it gather dust in your email inbox! Instead, feature it in your portfolio. A kind word or two about your work ethic, creativity, or problem-solving skills can go a long way. Just make sure you have permission to share the feedback publicly.

List Professional References

While testimonials provide insights into your past work, references can give potential employers a more detailed picture of your capabilities. If you have former clients, bosses, or colleagues who can vouch for your skills and character, include their names and contact information in your portfolio. But remember, always ask if they're comfortable being listed as references before including them.

Include Case Studies

Case studies can serve as powerful testimonials. They provide concrete examples of what you've achieved in past roles, demonstrating your ability to deliver results. A well-crafted case study should outline the problem you faced, the action you took, and the outcome of your efforts.

In conclusion, testimonials, references, and case studies are effective ways to add credibility and substance to your portfolio. They underscore your achievements and attest to your skills, making your portfolio more convincing to potential employers.

Keep Your Portfolio Up to Date

One of the essential parts of tailoring portfolios for job applications is keeping everything current. An updated portfolio not only shows you're active in your field, but also that you're continually learning and growing. Let's jump into some ways you can keep your portfolio fresh and relevant.

Regularly Add Recent Projects

As you complete new projects, be sure to add them to your portfolio. This not only shows that you're consistently working, but also allows potential employers to see your most recent and finest work. Don't forget to swap out older projects to keep your portfolio from becoming cluttered.

Update Your Skills and Certifications

Have you recently learned a new skill or received a new certification? Make sure to add these to your portfolio too. This shows potential employers that you're dedicated to staying up-to-date in your profession and eager to learn new things.

Refresh Your Personal Brand

Your personal brand isn't a one-and-done deal—it should evolve as you do. As you gain new experiences and develop new perspectives, make sure your personal brand reflects this growth. This might mean tweaking your bio, updating your mission statement, or even revamping the design of your portfolio.

In essence, a well-maintained and up-to-date portfolio is a clear signal of your dedication and passion for your work. So, if you're tailoring portfolios for job applications, keep it current and watch how it draws in those dream job offers.

If you want to further enhance your portfolio and increase your chances of landing your dream job, don't miss the workshop 'The Ultimate Role-Getting Portfolio Layout' by Jasmine MacPhee. In this workshop, you'll learn invaluable tips and tricks to create a stunning portfolio that will capture the attention of potential employers and help you stand out from the competition.