How do you start building a professional portfolio?

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Mark Di Lucido 1 year, 9 months ago.

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  • #151353

    Yali Zhang
    Participant

    I am a new grad from L.A program of my university, and while I am looking for a job with my portfolio encompassed with academic projects, I started to wonder how to build a professional portfolio from professional work?  What I mean is in the portfolio should be a collection of my work, with my school projects i am the one who designed the site and rendered the graphics, which would showcase my design and technical skills that would convince the employer to hire me.  But as I move on to the professional world, I should rebuild my portfolio with professional work instead of school work, however as an entry level landscape architect, I would assume I won’t be doing any design for a while.  Instead as I hear from my friends from earlier classes who are already working, they mostly assist with drafting and filing projects.  So this is where my question stems from, I won’t really have my work to show in my portfolio.  If I helped to render a project, the design is someone else’s, so can I put it in my portfolio? Even then my portfolio would probably consist of pieces of rendering work, and would represent me more like a draftsman instead of designer.  So as an emerging professional, how can you build professional portfolio with professional work that tells the story of your design?  Thanks!

    #151355

    Mark Di Lucido
    Participant

    Put anything you worked on in your portfolio but explain to the person(s) interviewing you what your role was if the example does not consist entirely of your efforts. For digital job applications (when you’re not able to explain in person), add annotations to the graphic which explain your role. This will show employers that you understand some of the process of landscape architecture even if you don’t yet have professional design experience. Keep your school work in your portfolio until you’ve built up enough professional examples that showcase your professional knowledge, skills, and abilities. It doesn’t hurt to keep a few academic examples especially if they’re well done and if they convey design process, or if they happen to represent a design area that you’d eventually like to specialize in. I still have a few academic examples in my portfolio 20 years down the road because they’re still some of my best work and show potential for things I’ve yet to accomplish.

    Employers will understand that as a new grad you will likely have limited examples of professional design work. In addition to design, drafting, and rendering, make sure to include other skills and experience such as writing, public presentations, research, project management, and marketing because these are all part of the profession and what you may have to offer.

    #151354

    Yali Zhang
    Participant

    wow thank you so much for such thorough response! I feel much clearer now on building my portfolio!

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