A good portfolio is as essential as a good CV and can make or break a job offer, especially in the games industry. Here we’ve walked through all aspects of a standard portfolio and outlined how you can get the most value out of your work.
1. Make it easy to access
Have a dedicated place to host it with a short, direct link. Check out options such as WordPress, Weebly, Wix and others for hosting a simple but effective portfolio site. A GitHub or itch.io profile isn’t going to be enough as a portfolio on its own, but should definitely be referenced in it. Artists have a few more options, with platforms such as Artstation & Behance offering some good services.
2. The logo
Your logo is going to be the first thing a client sees and is what readers will associate with you and your work from now on. The western world reads from left to right, so always place your logo in the top left of your portfolio and make it link back to your home page. People have come to expect this and it feels wrong when it doesn’t happen.
If you already have a logo, great. If not, create a simple signature logo which others can easily use to identify you.
3. The profile
Similar to a profile that you’d write on a CV, you need to very briefly explain who you are and what you do to anyone interested. Keep it short and sweat. What do you do, where are you based, are you looking for work at the moment?
Ideally you want to put this either below or next to your logo – this is the next logical place a person will look.
4. The content
The content is obviously the most important part of a portfolio, but there are things you can do to elevate your work and make the experience easier for the viewer. Make a visitor’s time on your portfolio smoother and they’ll be more likely to enquire about you.
Quality over quantity is key here, showcase only your best – don’t make the viewer work to find it. Include big, high-quality images which include a link to the live version.
Write a brief description for each project you’re putting on display, while listing any technical skills you utilized. If you can get one, a testimonial from a client can do wonders and inspire confidence in your skills.
If you’re using video content, annotate or provide commentary if possible to allow the viewer a better insight into the work you’ve done and the skills you have. For collaborative projects this should also include a breakdown of the work you have personally done within the group.
5. The ‘about me’ page
If you held off on the profile, you can now add more details in the ‘about me’ page. Sharing details about yourself outside of your work can help the reader feel connected to you. Adding photos can strengthen this connection and make you seem more than just a logo.
Feel free to show off any achievements or awards you may have earned that relate to your portfolio; it can only build confidence in your abilities.
6. The Blog
Adding or attaching a blog to your portfolio can impress readers with your subject knowledge. Create a schedule of how regularly you’ll post content here and stick to it; a consistently updated blog looks like you’re committed to your field of work.
Add a comment feature for each article so that users can ask questions on content. Readers will be impressed if they see you interacting with your audience.
7. Contact details
This will be what interested parties will be looking for if you do everything right; so don’t slip up at the last stage. Make sure your phone number, email address and any other contact details are clearly presented and within an easy to find place. Either a ‘contact me’ tab at the top of the page or placed as a footer on every page will do.
If you have professional social media accounts, leave links to these here. Use thumbnails to your accounts instead of your username so that it’s less work for the reader.
Finished with your Portfolio and now looking to work on your CV? Check out our advice on how to write a CV for the games industry!