This article was originally published in its entirety on themuse.com by Alec McGuffey.
“If you’ve been dreaming of leaving your job and launching a career in the creative industry, there’s never been a better time than right now. The market for design jobs is growing, and to attract talent, employers are paying more and giving their employees more freedom.
But, on the other hand, as the number of jobs has increased, there’s been an explosion in the number of junior designers entering the market, making the industry more competitive than ever before. And considering that hiring managers only look at an application for about 2 minutes before making a decision, having a unique and comprehensive portfolio’s pretty crucial if you want to stand out.
Here’s how to ensure that yours is doing enough to grab attention.
Focus on Solving Real Problems
Before deciding what projects to work on, it’s important to understand what traits employers are looking for in successful portfolios.
First and foremost, companies want to see projects that solve real world problems. If you’ve visited sites like Dribbble before, you’ve probably been impressed by the never-ending stream of beautiful designs. Interestingly, employers have told me time and time again that they don’t care about beautiful visuals on their own if those designs aren’t actually applicable to life.
To come up with ideas for projects, think about problems that exist in your target industry and think about how you could use design to solve those problems. If you’re designing an e-commerce site, for example, think about the problems that users encounter on other online stores and how you can make the experience easier and more enjoyable.”
Read the rest, and give the original some love, here.