Portfolios That Hiring Managers LOVE!

Portfolios That Hiring Managers LOVE!

By: Scott Rixon

David recently blogged about the general strategies and philosophies of the design portfolio presentation, today I want to include some further thoughts about the visual aspects of the portfolio and include some examples.

When speaking with hiring managers, what they share that they want to see in the portfolio is:

·Finished photos

·Design process examples to show how a candidate got from conceptual point A to conceptual point B.

·And a description of the design concept and the portfolio-holder’s role in all of it.

Ideally, a portfolio would include all three of these things for several projects.

We get the opportunity to review many portfolios every week here at DBI, here are some sample portfolios/work samples that highlight the priorities:

Marty McCauley: Marty’s handsketching and conceptual work is quite strong

Dustin Furseth: Dustin’s study is all digital (besides the back cover), and it’s skewed a bit technical, but is a thorough conceptual/technical process overview.

Matt Schaefer: Matt does a great job of teasing out the design process. This is one of the best overall presentations of the design process as a whole that I’ve seen.

Andika Murandi: Andika does an excellent job of juxtaposing sketch work with finished product, particularly on pages 4-7, but it’s well presented throughout.

We would also be remiss to not discuss the change in portfolios over the last decade to include more and more graphic renderings of projects, the ability to use digital rendering programs like Photoshop has become an important skillset in the presentation of conceptual design. In our experience we haven’t seen anyone that does a better job presenting physical environments using graphic rendering than Alex Hogrefe, and his site Visualizing Architecture has a seemingly endless number of rendering and graphic presentation tutorials.

Have other thoughts about portfolios? We’d love to hear from you, give us a call, send us an email, or leave a comment.


Scott Rixon is a Recruiting Consultant with DBI based in Seattle, WA. He blogs on the Architecture and Interior Design industries and recruiting best-practices the DBI Blog. Connect with Scott on LinkedIn.