Perfect Your Portfolio


Throughout life, there are a few important documents you probably want to keep track of. Your birth certificate, social security card, stuff like that. For creative professionals, consider these plus one more: your portfolio. 

Your portfolio is the fastest way to show agencies what you can do as a designer or writer. And while it can help you put your best foot forward, it can set you back just as quickly if not done right. Here’s some advice from L&S creatives on how to make sure your book puts you at the top of the list. 

Keep it Tight

“Less is more. Pick only your best pieces and resist the temptation to clutter it up with quantity over quality.”

-Kristy Laue, Senior Creative Director

“Only your best work. You should showcase your versatility, but don’t include work that doesn’t measure up to professional standards in a particular area. I have to assume the work you show is indicative of the quality we can expect from you day to day.”

-Dan Edmonds, Senior Vice President Design Services

“Including even one weak piece in an effort to bulk up your portfolio will do more harm than good.”

-K Althoff, Senior Designer

Tell the Story

“For each piece, clearly state the mission/problem, how you solved it and, whenever possible, a measure of its success.”

-Scott Weichmann, Senior Creative Director 

“Have a two-minute presentation ready to go in case the only question you get is ‘tell me about yourself.’ Practice it several times before you show up.”

-John Pohlman, Executive Creative Director 

“Be prepared to speak to each piece in your portfolio, being able to recite the goal of the piece, a brief summary of your rationale, and feedback or challenges you received while developing it. Be able to speak to why you’re proud of it and why it’s your best work.”

-Kristy Laue

Make it Awesome

“Presentation and personalization are key. Brand yourself, bring the energy and talk specifically to us. Make sure we know you want to work at Lawrence & Schiller – not just get a job at any advertising agency.”

-Les Cotton, Art Director

“Look critically at your work and don’t be afraid to change or expand on it, even after it’s been graded.”

-K Althoff

“Find a way to brand yourself. It might mean making a logo for your personal brand that carries throughout all elements, branding yourself with a tagline, choosing signature colors, etc. If you can brand yourself well, it means you can help brand clients well.”

-Kristy Laue


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