top of page
  • Writer's pictureLayne Daniels

Creating a Design Portfolio That Will Get You Hired

As a visual designer, your online portfolio is the gateway to your career. Hiring managers will use your portfolio to instantly judge whether you’d be a good fit for the team. It’s vital that your portfolio accurately represents you, your visual style, and your work in the most accessible way possible.

At Paradigm, we often help the hiring managers of client companies find the perfect addition to their creative team. With this insight, we thought it would be helpful to provide pointers on what makes a successful portfolio.


  • Give enough examples—six minimum—to show your skill level. It’s better to showcase six thorough, high quality projects, than twenty projects featuring just one image each.

  • Showcase real-world experience first, followed by school projects or personal projects. Hiring managers prefer real world experience because it shows you’ve worked with teams, clients, risks, and deadlines.

  • Many artists have skills in more than one genre. Make sure to arrange art on your site to emphasize the genre in which you’re most interested in growing your career.

  • The process you took to create the final work is very important for the hiring manager to review. Not only does it prove that your work is original, but it also allows them to judge if you’ll fit in with their team’s style of project development. Include sketches, research, wire frames, marketing personas, etc.

  • Use captions to explain what a project is and your contribution to it. Did you work off pre-existing branding guidelines? Were you a part of a team? What was your specific role? Make sure those details are included.

  • Include a “Contact” page with a downloadable resume and current email address.


  • If you aren’t experienced with custom site development, it’s totally acceptable to use a development platform with preset themes. We’ve seen very strong portfolios that were created using Wix, Squarespace, and ArtStation.

  • Choose a design theme that is simple and clean so as not to compete with your original work. It should be responsive and easy to navigate.

  • Use large images of your work so the viewer will be able to see the details you put into it.

If you need a little inspiration to get your portfolio going, check out, if you’re interested in any of Paradigm’s current positions, or in becoming part of our candidate pool, sign up here. Best of luck in your portfolio endeavors and in your job hunt!


Want to love Mondays? It’s possible when you love what you do. Paradigm is a San Diego staffing agency dedicated to finding the perfect job for candidates like you. We’re connected with some of the most innovative tech companies around, giving our employees that competitive edge needed in today’s job market. We hope to hear from you today, and let's make your career goals happen.

bottom of page