Portfolio Websites?

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    Just to add to the whole 90 seconds thing, you don’t need to show every project you’ve ever worked on in your first contact. Just pick a few that shows your best work and fits in with the realm of work of your target. So you don’t need to spend 50 USD on a mailer thats 40 pages long, cut it down.


    If you do end up sending links, you could also tailor your site (if you wanted) to each firm by creating subdomains. You would need a host that allows that as your current site, itself, is a subdomain of carbonmade at the moment. Basically you would do something like this: If your applying to X and Y firm and X is more ecological restoration and Y is more master planning then you might have two versions of your site catering to each, say ec.nickmitchell.com for company X and ma.nickmitchell.com for company Y. Then you put a tracker on each site which you can then confirm if they actually visited it or not. If you are applying to one geographical area and you hand out only one link, it can be difficult to track who is visiting because all the IP addresses will be from the same general area. But if you know you sent ec.nickmitchell.com to only firm X and you get a hit from that geographical area you can be more confident that they looked at it.



    Nick Mitchell

    thats a great idea, I have never thought of sub-domains. And your right about how expensive it is to send them, if I do 2 day shipping with a bound portfolio with attached cover letter and resume it runs about $65!


    I am a fellow landscape architect and planner like yourself who also would like to put my portfolio on Flash.


    I have hours of tutorials (Lynda and VTC mostly)  to go through that should allow me to be self-propelled soon. Any guidance, tips, advice you can offer that you learned along the way (you have included a few already) would be most valuable.


    Good luck on your upcoming interviews. If I recall, you actually had gotten a job in the last few months when others (like myself) were bemoaning the dismal job market.


    I am all for giving my extensive and persuasive portfolio some digital juice.






    When I was last job hunting I built a website using Dreamweaver.  I was applying all over the US so it was a very useful tool.  I always sent hard copies of my portfolio, but used a link to my website in the signature line of my email correspondence. 


    My website was very simple and straight forward, no information about me was more than three clicks away from anything else.  I wanted to be sure it could be used quickly by somebody who wasn’t too computer literate (no offense meant to the silverbacks in our profession, I just didn’t want to miss anybody). 


    I included more projects than I had in my hard copy but the website is structured in a way that ensures somebody just glossing through will see my “greatest hits” first, and then the rest if they are really interested.  I also included a section of photos I’d taken at project sites and elsewhere.  Interviewers typically mentioned that positively.


    I also created individual PDFs for each project and added those as links.  That way If I needed to, I could basically print off an entire hard copy portfolio at a remote site.  That may have been a bit extreme, but whatever. Better safe than sorry.


    I think a good website should be a secondary, but essential, tool paired with a hard copy.  I think this is especially true when you are applying to jobs outside your local area, which many people are now.

    Nick Mitchell

    I really like the depth of info you have on each of your projects. I can tell you have read “digital drawing for landscape architecture”. It seems like your bottom title under ‘3d image’ is not linked or not working and I would add 2011 to your copyright on your contacts page. I really like its simplicity. Also its nice that you didnt use Flash and went with Java so its more compatible. Nice work, and great graphics!


    Nrschmid :


    I replied to your comment. I would appreciate further ones by you.


    Thank you.



    Gary Caraway

    Here’s my two cents…I think the website shows off a talent that is definately intriguing.  To me though, it doesn’t really showcase your ability to wrok with standard office software.  No office is going to ask you to work with DreamWeaver or a free template based site.  As an entrylevel employee, you will need to be able to prepare documents like proposals, reports, drawing sets, etc using standard software (i.e.-Adobe, Autocad, Office).  Plus, the ability to think through conceptual design (hand Graphics).  This is what you should showcase.


    Understanding that hard copies are expensive, I think digital format is good to show work samples up until an interview is arranged.  At that time, be sure to have a hard copy with you.  The most impressive portfolios I’ve seen on here have been with Issuu.com or similiar sites which basically show your hardcopy in digital format.


    You are looking for tips on using Flash?

    Nick Mitchell

    Thanks for the positives comments, I really took what you said in stride. I added a “process” tab that goes into detail of one of my projects. I would be glad to hear what you think. Thanks for the good advice.



    Hi, I’m actually using issuu.com !

    This is my portfolio, just to give an idea



    Nick Mitchell

    I really like the perspective of the new railway station of the staircases, awesome lighting.


    Many of my advice has been covered by several people in here! Let me emphasis on why you are going to school…are you trying to be a Landscape Architect or Graphic/Website designer? Show me a Registered Landscape Architect who also knows advanced HTML coding and all the other technical skills website designers posses. I’m not referring to simple website design with ready made templates like Land8 Lounge or Facebook. I see too many students now putting so much effort on tools and software they will rarely use in the architecture office. It’s great to be able to create a website of work samples, but don’t go overboard with it. Place more value on the print or pdf way of communication. In addition to graphic materials, include some writing samples too. By the way, whatever happened to hand-drawn skills?


    Creating a website 12 years ago while in school put me above a group of final candidates for a year long internship at a large LA firm, but as the hiring Principle told me: “it was your hard copy portfolio impressed us most”. And let me tell you, that was the last time I ever setup my own website. When you start working for a company, they ask you to perform landscape architect work using Autocad, Photoshop and Office. I don’t know of any firms that will ask you to do billable work using Flash and Dreamweaver while hired as an LA! Maybe there is such a firm and perhaps, the name is Disney? In other words, its a fantasy. 




    So many portfolio layouts I see seem so unnecessarily confusing.


    When I see a portfolio/project layout that is difficult to understand I question whether the designer had a clear direction and understanding of what they were doing as well. It also seems that 99% of the portfolios I look at it my spare time are loaded with digital graphics, but very little in the way of hand graphics or process sketches. I see a lot of data collection, but not a lot of critical, subjective thinking.


    Websites, in my opinion, are a great way to pass along your info to a potential employer quickly on the go, but I agree that it is typically the print portfolio that will get you the job. More time should be put into the design projects rather than the presentation.

    Wes Arola, RLA

    keep things simple and available to potential employers. send an employer a direct link to download a pdf of your work in school and experience in real world construction documents. truthfully, an employer looking for an entry level intern doesnt care too much about the pretty pictures and renderings. show those skills; but stress and showcase your ability and experience to being productive in construction documents – CAD.


    dont make them sift through rederings and school projects to find evidence/support of your real life working experience.

    Broc Smith

    The headhunter group, “Architectural-Elite”, which operates in Asia, discriminates and will not represent anyone over 50.

    This is due to the money. Fresh out of school they take, even managerial position are available, but seasoned professionals who know the game, forgetaboutit!

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