Portfolio Websites?

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    Nick Mitchell

    As I walk around in studio I see everyone working diligently on creating flashy websites to market themselves for internships. How do you as an employer or anyone outside academia, view a website compared to a hard copy? Do you find it as a convenience? From my perspective, I feel a little old-fashioned by sending hard copies in the mail. Personally I don’t like emailing PDF portfolios because of the file size/quality constraints. I decided to jump on the “bandwagon” recently myself: http://www.nickmitchell.carbonmade.com. What’s your perspective?


    (website critiques are welcomed and appreciated)

    Wyatt Thompson, PLA

    For what it’s worth, we use an internet blocking software at our office and it has blocked your site. If we had a job opening, or thought we might make one for the right candidate, there are ways to turn off the filters, but that adds a step to reviewing your work. With the ratio of applicants to open positions approaching ridiculous, I don’t think principals or HR people have time to go through any additional steps to view resumes and portfolios. The same criticism could be made for Flash websites or other digital portfolios that take a long time to load. Personally, I’m all for using all the tools and skills that you have available to showcase your work and separate yourself from the competition. Just be aware that there may be unintended consequences that make you stand out in a bad way.

    Rob Halpern

    I’ll bet it depends a lot on the employer in question.

    Some will appreciate the currency of a website… some will see that a slick website does not say anything useful about the L.A. skills of the applicant… some will prefer paper copies because, well, they prefer paper copies.


    And if one is really looking for a super efficient CAD jockey, then what does the website add?

    Nick Mitchell

    Thats the first I have ever heard of it not loading correctly. Thanks for the advice. Why dont you shorten you process by flattening your image in photoshop, then create a specific adobe pdf profile in photoshop you can use over and over again when you export. I have tested it on several different internet browsers. The creators of the hosting site reassured me of compatibility, which was on of my biggest concerns. I still send hardcopys of all my work but email thank you letter with my website for added convenience. I have also designed packaging which is consistent with my portfolio/resume/cover letter. It sounds like your doing very well for yourself. Thanks for the advice!

    Nick Mitchell

    “Just be aware that there may be unintended consequences that make you stand out in a bad way.” I think that sums up website portfolios best. I can help you, but also kill you (metaphorically of course..) I never thought of the extra steps that might be involved.

    Nick Mitchell

    I agree, I think you really need to step back and look at what you are targeting and evaluate the situation.

    Jason Smith

    It has been my experience that nothing beats a hard copy portfolio.  If you have the means to create an online portfolio, then by all means create one, but a hard copy allows the employer to flip through it at his leisure, without the need for a computer.  Your own website will definitely market your tech savvy, which many employers will value, but keep in mind that many successful professionals in the field are “old school” and appreciate the traditional means of portfolio creation.  I understand the expense associated with printing and shipping a portfolio, but in my opinion, it is a more personal means of communication than a link sent through email.  My advice: do both!

    Doug Prouty

    I like Jason’s advice.  I’ve had people come into our office and meet me in person and hand me their resume along with a hard copy small portfolio/ sampler.  Depending on time, we’ll chat for 10-15 minutes and then I’ll head back to my office and go through their work.  If they have a web site address, I’ll surf that too. 


    It’s best to have a hard copy and web site.  The hard copy ensures that employers can review your work and you aren’t cconstrained by downed websites, browser issues or filters that do not allow viewing.  At our company, we have several filters in place that restrict viweing of videos, etc.

    Mark Miller

    well, I was getting ready to post something, but it appears the Chat has covered all of my points…


    But as far as a Website Critique goes:

        I’d like to see all the sections flow together better. It it’s possible, you shuld set it up so you can click through all the sections without having to return to the home screen. Otherwise it looks pretty good.



    Nina Pulver

    I agree with Jason’s comments, and also think that there is a lot to be said for having something potential employers can hold, look through, etc …  At the same time, it’s a good thing to have a website too so it can’t get misplaced in the mess of an office! 

    As far as website critique goes, I do like the simplicity of your site, and you have a wonderful array of projects, with lovely graphics.  I might be a bit more selective about which projects you put up, and somehow emphasize some of your best, so they don’t get lost in the shuffle.

    But please, please — in both website and hard copy portfolio creation — check spelling!!  This is a glaring indicator of one’s communication abilities and attention to detail.


    Sergio Maximo


    I just want to share my experience in this matter, I´ve designed a website portfolio recently nothing to fancy, just simple content with easy access info I think… in any case, fell free to look and to comment – http://www.sergiomaximo.com/home.html

    I´ve created it to try to separate myself from the rest of the candidates, and haven´t got a clue if it worked out for better or worse. In any case I have also a pdf portfolio to send in the emails.

    For my personaly experience, I´ve taken a great pleasure builting it and learning css and java, and of course I considered it to be part of my portfolio also (I mean the website).

    My opinion is that something like this is perfect to easy with your life, it´s there, visible to anyone, 24h a day… considering you pay the domain account, and if I was to hire someone I would really taken in consideration this factor, but opinions change from person to person so it´s difficult to reach some conclusion.

    Tin-Tin Azure

    Gonna be honest, I made a website during my time at Uni. And it was that which got me my current job out in China.

    Its nothing special or fancy, but, it does open up doors.

    In most cases you need both though I would imagine.

    so im with jason and doug

    Website to get the interest going.

    Hard copy for the interview.

    Is pretty bad if you turn up and say “well .. if you just go to my website” . . . don’t think that would impress


    Websites have their place. They’ve helped me. Just don’t make it your core tool. For instance, when I applied to a position this summer, I put my website on CD and then stuck it in my booklet. That circumnavigates all the issues really. There is no load time and they can view it when they feel like it. A nice CD design that meshes with the hardcopy may entice them to look further.


    I definitely feel they are a plus if well designed, but they do not replace the almighty hard copy and solid print design.

    Tin-Tin Azure

    Also one note to mention actually that I forgot

    A lot of companies, interested in sustainability etc, I rememebr when I was applying to lots in the summer.

    A lot of them only want electronic submission.

    So I dunno, I suppose it’s a case by case type of thing.

    Some companies just don’t want clutter, and other are fully behind reducing their paper use (recycled or not).

    So yeah, just research the company more I suppose and make an informed decision, you could be offending them by sending loads of paper, but likewise offending a more traditional employer by not sending.

    i’ll shut up now before I cover even more stuff everyone else has said.


    Good luck mate.


    This is my take as now being on the owner side of this profession…


    Most owners know who is a good fit for them within the first few seconds of seeing a portfolio, or meeting someone face to face by their personality, portfolio, etc…


    To me it makes no difference whether i see hard copies or an online “website”…I think it would be ideal this way to see a portfolio….


    1- Send me a link to view your online portfolio (from this I would either be interested by what i saw or not and would want to either call you back or not)

    2- If/when you meet for an interview you should ALWAYS have a hard copy of your portfolio or whatever you want to show a future employer….

    3- Leave the hard copies and your website so they can look at it online…


    Using both to your advantage in this world of technology is GREAT and IMPORTANT to me…I think it would be a shame to waste all these varied ways of communication through technology….i.e. – facebook, linkedin, land8lounge, portfolio sites, etc…


    There are so many ways to brand yourself and market yourself these days that i didn’t have 10+ years ago when i got out of school that i would say USE them all if you can!!! The more you can get your name out there and brand yourself to whomever you are marketing to the better opportunity you will have in life, in general, and in your profession…


    Might I suggest a few great books that i read lately that have nothing to do with portfolio building but rather connecting with other people…which, in essence, is all life is about…”CONNECTING WITH OTHER PEOPLE” Master this and you will have opportunities galore opened up to you in life…


    The book are these:

    Convince them in 90 Seconds or less

    The One Minute Sales Person


    Good luck to you!

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