In our last entry, we covered some important questions to ask yourself about how to create the best portfolio that can help you land the job you’re after. Today, we will talk about how to build a portfolio that will work in tandem with an application to a school. If you need a site that offers you the ability to store all of your digital memories and create outstanding portfolios that will make you stand out from a crowded pile of applications, sign up for a 30-day free trial of Lifestream Digital Innovations’ Lifestream Digital Memory Box. Our system is easy to use and always looks and functions great!

Answer These Questions When Building Your Portfolio

Building a portfolio to try to get into a school may seem very different than building a portfolio for a job but they’re nearly identical in terms of purpose: a portfolio is used by admissions and companies to determine if you’re going to be a good fit or if you will add something necessary to the company or school. If you approach portfolio creation as if it is a “sales pitch,” you will be more likely to communicate what makes you special. Here are a few questions to ask yourself when you’re putting your school application portfolio together:

What makes this different?
Whether you are an artist, graphic designer, photographer, writer, or a hopeful business student, you know how important it is to be different. This doesn’t mean that you have to do a full 180 from what everyone else is doing, it means that your take on something should always be fresh and original. Sometimes this means taking more time to make sure that a piece is perfect and sometimes it means trusting yourself without second-guessing. Sometimes doing something that feels counterintuitive is the only way to truly be out there doing something that is unique and only yours.

Does this represent where I am right now?
We all have pieces that hold special places in our hearts and minds. Many times these pieces led to some sort of recognition or praise or sometimes they were the beginning of a new direction (a eureka! moment.) No matter how important it is to you, you need to be able to step back and see if it still holds up with the other work you’re presenting or if your impulse to include it stems from an emotional connection. While being emotionally invested in your work is important, it can cloud your judgement and make it difficult to see that sometimes an important piece is important because it is an outlier within your work. Asking friends who understand the work you’re trying to do for help is a good way to catch problems like this.

Are these the right pieces for this school or program?
If you’re a visual artist who is skilled in everything from photography and graphic design to sculpture and painting, it could be good to include a little bit of everything in your portfolio if you’re applying for an undergrad program but it wouldn’t make sense to put everything in if the grad program you’re applying for is specifically for photography. While it might be good to show some admissions staff that you’re multi-disciplined or you love to work interdisciplinarily, other staffs might feel that you don’t understand the focus of the program and may drop your application into the rejection pile. To find out what your best course of action is, talk to people in the program. They will know what the school is looking for. If you can talk to a professor or instructor, that’s even better; they can tell you about the ins-and-outs of the program in a way that will tell you a lot about whether it is even the right place for you.

We hope that this series of blogs has been helpful to your portfolio-building process. Just remember to present the clearest vision of what is important to you and your work and to make sure that it aligns with whatever the job or program is interested in. Happiness in work and at school comes from finding the place where you best fit in, not where you stick out the most. Sign up for a free 30-day trial of our incredible, flexible online portfolio today. Lifestream Digital Innovations’ Digital Memory Box is the best way to keep track of all of your most important digital information!