Portfolio Website Review

Hi, Core 77ers

I recently finished a MFA in Industrial Design and I’ve applied for lots of jobs but haven’t really had any success. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong but I’m assuming it’s my portfolio. Would love constructive feedback on my portfolio website!

Portfolio Link:

Thank you!

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I really appreciate the time you took to respond and give me honest criticism. I’m not at all offended by being called average although it does sting a bit, I fought to get to this point and I’m proud of my progress. I’m familiar with the book you mentioned and will grab it off Amazon. I’ve been told in the past that because companies see an MFA degree that they would consider me “overqualified” for intern positions… Albeit I definitely am not and I try to remain as humble as I can as I fully recognize I still have so much to learn. I’ll continue to network and strive to improve and expand my skill-sets. Thank you again for taking the time, honest feedback is better than no feedback.

I am not sure this is quite right. Don’t give up working on your portfolio and get bitter blaming the industry.

Personally, I don’t see hiring as broken. To me it seems quite straight forward. Companies want to hire the right fit for their teams and designers want a job at the right company. We are always looking for talent and actually spend a lot of money to find the right ones.
The thing is, the competition is just very strong and in design but that’s not the industry’s fault.

Just a degree doesn’t guarantee you a job. This is different from other professions, where skills are more easily quantifiable and the artistic soft skills aren’t as important as they are here.
I have a masters as well and to be honest, I don’t think that is what is holding you back. If your portfolio, commitment and personality jive with the employer you are interviewing with, I don’t think they’ll care weather you have masters.

I would really like to encourage you to keep working on your skills and portfolio. You got some really solid groundwork there. It’s just needs a little more work and polish.

I was in a similar situation to yours. I took 9 months out after graduation, moved into my parents empty summer house in the Winter in the middle of nowhere to save money and just worked on the portfolio and my skillset and applied to anything that seemed remotely like a decent opportunity. After 9 months, it paid off and I landed an internship which propelled my career.

It does pay off. I know it doesn’t seem that way when you are in the thick of it and you start to wonder if it will ever happen but it will, given commitment, tenacity and time.

Keno’s advice to look through some of the other portfolio critiques here is a good one. I am sure you will be able to pick up a lot of advice there.

Thanks for sharing your experience I appreciate your response. It’s reassuring to hear that it can take so long to find the right fit, I know I have alot to work on and I’m lucky enough to be in place where I can commit all my time to focusing on personal projects and freelance. It’s also good to hear that my master’s degree shouldn’t hurt me in the job search. For awhile I felt like I might have to go back to school and get a four year degree in ID just to be considered for a job.

To bounce off this and even though Keno was quite blunt, his “average” comment does ring true.

I’ve found as I’ve progressed and gotten better that actually competition is relatively low. An example: an open position will have 100 people apply to it, but the reality is 95 just aren’t at the standard to get to the next stage meaning that if you are in the top 5 then you only have 4 other people to compete with at interview stage.

This happened recently to me when I joined a company, it was a small firm so when familiarizing myself with the network I found the folder for the position I had just filled. In it there were “no, maybe, yes” folders of applicants. In the yes folder was myself and another person that I actually know (and she is an incredibly talented designer). I could see the similarities in strength of both our portfolios and appropriateness for the role so it was no surprise we had beaten all those in the no and maybe pile.

Point of my story: if you have a top portfolio then the competition for positions is drastically reduced.

Thanks for sharing your experience Sketchgrad! The struggle for me recently is understanding what a company considers a “top portfolio.” Is it a portfolio filled with products that have gone to market or is it projects that are brilliantly executed or a mix of both? It doesn’t help that I’m still struggling to understand my own strengths as a designer. Much to work on! Thanks again!