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4 Ways To Personalize Your Portfolio

Adding a personal touch to your portfolio can help you land the freelance assignments you have your heart set on. iStock by Getty Images has partnered with Twine to share expert advice on how to optimize your portfolio so that it attracts the right clients.

Is your portfolio saying all the right things about you? That you possess the skills your prospective client is looking for? You keep up with the latest trends? Trying new things is within your wheelhouse? And does it define who you are as a creative and how you approach your work?

Competition today for even the smallest freelance job is stiff, and resonating with other creatives could keep them engaged and interested to learn more about you. That’s why adding your personality to a strong, strategically-curated portfolio can make all the difference between getting hired or getting passed over.

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You’ve got mere seconds to win over a prospective client

Just like at a cocktail party, if you don’t engage people in conversation, they will lose interest and quickly move onto someone else. Recruiters might look at 40 or more portfolios in one day, which gives you seconds to hook them. When your personality speaks for you, you’ll grab their attention and entice them to linger on your work.

While each client may be looking for something specific, there are a few things that the best portfolios have in common: relevancy, cohesiveness, and a strong POV. And that’s where you can let your personality do the talking to set you apart from the competition.

You might be surprised at what creative hiring managers really look for

High-quality work and well-executed design are givens for any professional portfolio. I asked the Getty Images creative team— who curate everything at iStock and critique work from around the world— to share their unique perspective on what’s needed to create a portfolio that dazzles.

Here’s what they had to say:

    1. Be true to yourself and understand your audience 
      “You know who you are as an artist and which work best reflects you both personally and professionally. You can tweak the work for different audiences but in the end, everyone will respond to what makes you stand out.” – Sarah Foster – Senior Creative Content Manager
    2. Find your creative sweet spot
      “Your portfolio should have your fingerprints all over it and clearly define your sense of style and personality. Hone in on stories you feel connected to and that express your unique creative vision.” Beth Wachtel – Manager Creative Content
    3. Show your versatility
      “Being able to cover more than one of a prospective client’s needs not only defines the depth of your talent but adds to your value. Set yourself apart by showcasing your skillset across all mediums. For instance, if you know how to code and are also well-versed at digital design, make sure your portfolio reflects that.” – Claudia Marks, Senior Art Director
    4. Make trends work for you
      “Ask yourself if the visual techniques you’re using are appropriate for the imagery and your point of view. If you don’t have a good reason for using them, design your portfolio in a way that represents you, your style preferences, and vision.”- Amy Lehfeldt – Senior Art Director

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Make sure your portfolio sends the right message

Be sure to update your portfolio on a regular basis and add your personal touch so that it’s relevant to the clients you want to work with, has a cohesive structure, and incorporates your strong POV and unique personality. Creating a portfolio that truly stands out, as Lehfeldt sums it up, can be as simple as, “…letting your personal voice come through. Do that and you’ll have no problem differentiating yourself from the competition.”

Make sure you have the right images to help your portfolio stand out. Visit iStock and new customers save 12% on any product with code 12NEWIS until Dec 31st.

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