Many of you may know that I am self-taught, so I have not yet “finished” college, despite being at the end of my marketing degree. However, with more than 10 years’ experience, of which 6 years have been working as a freelancer, I have some tips here for you who are leaving college now and want to enter the job market.
What should I put in my portfolio
The main concern of those at the beginning of their careers is with their portfolio. After all, I still have no job, how will I introduce myself to my future clients?
If you developed conceptual work in college, it can be an excellent alternative to start with them. Especially if the work involved collaboration with classmates, as teamwork is well valued by your potential “contractors”, given that you are not only looking for customers but also job opportunities.
Separate the best works, collect all the conceptual material, and assemble a presentation showing the creative flow, the problem, the objective, the development of the solution, and the final result. I think you have it all ready if you needed to present it in the classroom.
Building “platonic materials” is an excellent idea, you will have complete freedom in developing solutions for both well-known brands as well as creating your brands, including developing innovative concepts that can be offered to customers later.
A tip I like to share: Choose an establishment in your region, it could be the bakery in your neighborhood, and develop a creative solution for this business. Since you are going to create material to fill the portfolio, why not create one that can be offered and perhaps sold to a local entrepreneur?
As you build your network, developing your first “official” jobs, you will have new material to include in your portfolio.
How to build a portfolio?
There are many tools available that allow you to create portfolios without having any knowledge in web design, a which even has an entire series dedicated to online curricula, with fantastic examples of portfolios for creative professionals from different fields, such as photography, design, decoration, among others. It even has a list of suggestions and tips for providing online services.
5 tips to create a differentiated portfolio
Also, there is no rule for the format of your portfolio, the more creative the better. Strolling the internet looking for references to open your mind is a great idea. Being creative and original in creating your portfolio can be decisive in your rise in the market.
What courses can I take after graduation?
Design is an area that has a wide range of options when it comes to performance in the market. You can work in several sectors and it depends directly on the direction you take when you are specializing.
Improvement courses in the use of software are an obvious step since you must learn to use your work tools, so we go beyond that. As I am a print professional (artwork), the tips I have tend to this side.
Graphic production: There are technical level courses in graphic production, these courses will help you develop skills focused on working with prepress, printing, and artwork. It is the type of course that I consider mandatory for every type of designer, especially the graphic designer, who constantly deals with projects that will be printed.
3D Modeling: Learning to model in 3D software will give you tools to go further in your projects. Can you imagine developing the graphic design of a package, from the visual to its format, specifications, etc.?
Webdesign: You can also learn to develop material for the web, essential if you intend to design web pages or online solutions.
Typography: Another good request is to develop your knowledge in typography, both in construction and in its analysis for conscientious use in different types of projects.
Drawing / Illustration: If you are like me and don’t know anything about drawing, here is a course that is worth investing in. Drawing can be learned and perfected with practice, combining your knowledge in graphic design with very detailed illustrations will certainly make you a much more complete professional.
Diagramming: There are courses dedicated exclusively to diagramming, you even study a lot about it in college, but a directed study will show you important details.
Photography: Mastering photography techniques will make you have a different view of the world and your works. There is a course that can be a beautiful differential in your curriculum.
Multimedia: Depending directly on your field, learning to edit video, sound, or make 2D / 3D animations can be essential to enter the market.
Marketing: I am graduating in marketing because it is the type of course that will allow me to combine my knowledge in communication with marketing strategies, (esp social media marketing) which will make this communication more efficient, achieving results that I never imagined before.
Advertising and Propaganda: The objective here is the same as the marketing course, to raise your level of knowledge to an area that allows you to employ design intelligently and efficiently.