The UX, Interaction, and Product Design professions have experienced a massive increase in demand as more and more companies embrace technology and recognize the importance of providing a positive user experience. A designer’s portfolio is needed for almost every job application or interview process, regardless of your level of experience, and it should be an accurate representation of your process and craft. If you’re working on your portfolio or starting to interview, here are a few tips to help make your portfolio stand out.
Keep it updated with your recent work or projects you’re most proud of. About 2-4 projects is usually a good target (depending on detail and length), but don’t stretch to out-of-date projects that may not reflect your current skill set. Trust in your resume to speak to the extent of your experience and let your portfolio be a spotlight for more current work. As a rule of thumb, consider replacing work on your portfolio that’s older than 5 years. Having projects that are relevant to the space you’re applying/interviewing for is always a bonus, but at MongoDB, we hire design team members from all types of backgrounds and value different perspectives.
Details and aesthetics count. Your portfolio is a representation of yourself, your work, organizational skills, and more. Even if you keep it simple, creating a portfolio is a time consuming process that requires a ton of energy and thought. We recommend including high resolution images, and exporting animations to gifs or videos, proofreading and utilizing spell check. This is a great chance to showcase your strengths, attention to detail, and an opportunity to share parts of your personality!
Continuing to refine your visual design skills? Try using Dribbble and other communities as a resource. Drawing inspiration from other designers on the side is a great way to learn.
Tell a compelling story and be consistent with your format. Once you choose a layout and format for your portfolio, be consistent across all your projects. Don’t just show screenshots, share the details that matter most in your process and tell a compelling narrative about the end-to-end journey. We love the messy sketches, whiteboarding, wireframes, and everything in between! It’s okay if things didn’t go as planned; we also want to hear about what you learned and how you grew from the experience.
Focus on the user. We are all about the users at MongoDB, and our Product Design teams are user advocates across the organization. Hearing about how user problems are solved through collaboration, research, testing, design, and strategy is what we’re passionate about.
Know your audience and the role you’re applying for. Making your portfolio easily readable and starting with projects most relevant to your career interests and goals will really make it stand out. For longer or more complex pieces, try to bold the most important parts to quickly grasp your audience’s attention.
Pro tip: We recommend including your portfolio and password when applying to a role. We understand that it’s important to protect any sensitive work, however, providing quick access could give you the edge in this fast-paced job market!
Each person that joins our team adds something unique and special, changing the team for the better. Learn more about our Product Design team in this two-part series. If you’re passionate about technology and our Design team sounds like one you’d like to be a part of, we’d love to hear from you!
Interested in pursuing a career in design at MongoDB? We have several open roles on our teams across the globe and would love for you to transform your career with us!