The infamous “sticky note photo” is just spot on
Always bugs me when I see it. Using sticky notes in an excessive way is just so chic right now for some reason. Don’t get me wrong, they can be useful in some cases, but there is just this designer peer pressure that you just HAVE to use them ALL the freaking time. And if you don’t use one of those cliche photos of your (preferably) HUGE sticky note wall in your portfolio you are obviously not good at “design research” or something like that
But it is just such a nice way to show everyone how hard you are working on the project: write some random, loosely to the topic related words on them and smack them on the wall. The more, the merrier. BAM. Design research → Check
Sticky notes are cool and a very useful tool to represent single ideas, if perhaps overused in portfolios.
I actually liked the skill self ‘rating’ idea when I first saw it and borrowed it. While it can be arbitrary, I think it can be useful if someone is flipping through resumes and has a bunch of illustrator pros on their team to find a guy that feels confident in doing anything in photoshop. Same for CAD, for example.
I loved the paragraph/social network bit!
I would clarify that none of these things are really bad per se, but they may not help you stand out from the crowd. This guy is complaining about unoriginality being boring to a reviewer, not fundamentally bad portfolio things. As always, execution is everything!