"Teaser" Portfolio?!?

Hello All,

When emailing out an excellent cover letter attached with a resume, what size (8.5x11) PDF for a Teaser?

Also, how much development and process to show in the email “teaser portfolio”? I don’t want the portfolio to not give enough insight into my thought process through my projects and at the same time not overload the viewer so that I come on too strong…?

The ultimate goal is to get an interview to hopefully blow all away with tons of process and quality design solutions (11x17), but I would appreciate any suggestions with the first initial email PDF portfolio…


The teaser should really be just that - enough of a taste of your best work (that may include process work like some killer sketches or some nice models) to make someone want to either click on your web site link or open your portfolio.

Your teaser should wet their appetite to see more (single page, small enough file that it won’t clog up anyones email. 500k-1meg would be ideal - especially if you consider how many people view things on their smartphones these days.) Your online portfolio should give an overview of your breadth of a designer and your strongest projects so someone can understand them at a glance. Then the interview is where you do a deep dive into your process, research, how they informed your design etc.

Are teasers prevalent anymore? I know of many friends who send off 30-40 page full portfolio pdfs and never bothered with a teaser. Some people in school said they were important, but I just don’t know any of my peers who now have jobs that bothered.

Anyone care to weigh in?

I would say a good mailer is as much as can be packed into a 1-2MB pdf file that has been optimized for email. This gets you under most email limits (you could push it to about 5MB). Put in your best full project that best suits the firm you are applying to. Then fill out the rest. I hate teasers as most people do it- collages of stuff with no real thought or sexiness.

Better method: Create your own website- this should be your primary marketing tool. Core77 while alright for the occasional view, is not built for hiring managers who have to sift through hundreds of corefolios. I have heard many statements that attached portfolios review better, and personal websites seem to be the easiest to review. Blogs on major sites like blogger and wordpress may be blocked by corporate firewalls. So better to create your own blog using these tools but on your own domain.

Twitter may be a good solution, but you have to create a designer identity not a personal one. This could be a constant stream of your ID progress. Allows for people to buy into you. If you are any good it could actually be something that a design team looks forward to, but it is difficult to build awareness.

Supplement with the occasional mailer and reminder to the design teams you wish to work with.

Thank you! All great advice.

This may make the situation more difficult, but what if a website is not a possibility because the current employer may see increased activity(out job hunting).

The teaser really has to land a interview to show the good stuff in person.

I wasn’t sure how to angle my sample work but opted for essentially my 4 best projects reduced down to 8 pages. In interviews I can show those projects in more detail, and also supplement the portfolio with additional projects if necessary.

One thing I have against ID’ers websites is that I’d imagine a lot of hiring managers want something to print and compare candidates. A website doesn’t really allow that, and although it’s good to build a web presence, I don’t see a personal website as a necessity. Regularly updated Twitter, LinkedIn, Coroflot/Behance profiles are just as effective. To give an example, I’m currently working freelance for a client who found me on Coroflot, whilst I’ve been to a recent interview also after being found through Coroflot. In said interview, the interviewer commented that they’d check my LinkedIn and were impressed with the references I had on there. So maintaining these profiles is worth the effort in the long run.