Portfolio Thoughts Much Appreciated!

Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums PORTFOLIO & RESUME Portfolio Thoughts Much Appreciated!

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    I’m an experienced planner/mid-manager currently looking for work in Houston, Atlanta, Washington DC, and Dallas. I’ve attached a few work samples from my portfolio and would be grateful for any critiques. The job hunt has been brutal, especially since many design firms will only accept resumes with BLAs and MLAs. I have a degree in urban planning but have spent most of my career on the design side. My biggest concern is my 3D skills. I’m concerned that my 3D Sketchup work (which is now 7 years old) is looking dated. Most of the work are plans, but few elevations and renderings. I’m here to listen to your critiques, both positive and negative. Thank you very much!

    Nick Schmidt AICP, PMP
    Nick Schmidt – Portfolio

    For More About Me:

    Andres Pineda

    Hello Nick, I hope your search has gotten better by this time!

    When applying I have always asked my students to look at the firm they are looking to work in and try to relay this in their own portfolio. If you are able to transmit your experience and skills by showcasing something relatively close to the same language they carry, you will have a greater opportunity than if you don’t.

    Renderings, Elevations, Plans, Conceptual processes to even sketches are all important to showcase your thought process, structure and how you go about a project.

    This not only tells me of your skills but can begin to showcase your character and charisma.

    These are some questions I ask as part of the process when putting a portfolio together:
    • To who are presenting to?
    • How will you present?
    • If you hand your portfolio to someone out of the field, would they be able to understand what you are showcasing if you are not there to present? (Try showing it to your friends, in the field coworkers and see how they react, feedback – there is an issue with presentations, where the presenter assumes that their viewers have a full understanding. Remember we all think and see things differently.

    I am not sure if this is your full portfolio… (I felt like you did not welcome me (cover Page) or accompanied to the door as I left (Back cover) – try looking at these items:
    • Insert a cover page- If you walked into an office and sat in the lobby for some time and your portfolio was laying there with 7 other magazines. Would your cover entice you to pick it up and open it?
    • Index
    • Try looking at your presentation format (Size and dimensions) if I ask you to print this. Would it look good? How much work would you have to put into it to make it presentable? Maybe a standard 8.5×11 format will suit or maybe it won’t? If they open your portfolio on a computer, is it legible, pleasing to view, attention grabber?
    • What role did you play in all these projects? Did you do them all yourself? Was it a team effort?

    Look at companies and work for some inspiration: BIG Architects, MAD Architects, UNstudio, Harvard, UCLA, FIU students to get an idea of what they are generating vs where you are applying and create your own balance and what is important.

    The way you are showcasing your portfolio does make your work look outdated.
    Which is different from your work actually being outdated.

    By working with white space, a cleaner background (white), play with a max of 3 fonts for your Titles, subtitles and regular text. I would say, let’s get rid of the colored background (remember, if we print. What happens? Will it look good? And the cost to print?) or maybe, the color background becomes an introduction to a specific project and now we begin to talk about a possible structure.

    Take example magazines you enjoy. Pay attention to their layout, what do you like and why do you like it.
    Translate this to your portfolio and lastly ask your self. Does this represent who I am? Sell me the idea of why I really want to hire you without you being present.

    Let me know if this makes sense and help.

    Feel free to reach out and ask away.

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