• 87% of placements
    were relocated from 19 countries

  • 230+ hires since launching
    Aspexx in 2021

  • 98% retention rate
    across all clients







87% of placements
were relocated from 19 countries

230+ hires since launching
Aspexx in 2021

98% retention rate
across all clients

How many times have you heard the saying: ‘the devil’s in the detail’? If you work in digital or design then this is probably ingrained in your brain by now, and rightly so because it’s absolutely essential to standing out in an ever-more crowded landscape.

Don’t get us wrong, identifying and then hiring the right talent in this ecosystem is not without its challenges, but we’ve lost count of the amount of portfolios we’ve seen over the years that don’t do the candidate justice. The creative vision may be there, but lack of explanation halts them from going any further.

Gone are the days where you could fluff your way through something with wooly outcomes and vague responsibilities in your portfolio. Today, you need to be able to show your methodology, your process… essentially how you think.

It’s tricky to get the measure of someone from their profile alone, but be under no illusion that hiring managers will waste their time with something that is only surface deep. Stunning visuals are all very well, but what about the rationale?

Process really is everything – we can’t say this enough. Chances are you won’t even make it to the interview stage if you haven’t presented yourself correctly in your portfolio. Tough love, we know, but honestly we know what we’re talking about.

With that in mind, we thought we’d share what makes a portfolio stand out and what hiring managers are really looking for when that RFP goes out…

1. Process Over Pictures

Of course graphics are important, but what decision-makers really want to see is the detail, the nitty gritty, the whole nine yards… OK, we’ll stop, but you get the idea. Case studies should list the design process from conception to conclusion, focusing on your approach, role within the team, specific responsibilities, any challenges or change of direction that evolved the design process, your solutions and finally, the measurable outcomes. Without this additional information, the client is viewing your work blind, and while it may look good, they know nothing about your specific input. Make sure you include written descriptions with an easy to follow narrative; clarity is key in outlining how you got from A-B. Show them wireframes, prototypes – anything that shows you can solve problems and are worth inviting for an interview.

2. Think Human…

…Specifically human-centric design – one of the most important ‘trends’ leading the digital and design sectors today. You could look at this advice as multi-purpose. 1) Ensure you talk about this within your case studies and examples to highlight your awareness and 2) consider how your intended audience will navigate your portfolio online. Is the UX easy enough to follow? Is it intuitive enough? Have you thought about their process and what they look for? Think about it: designing your portfolio with the end user in mind ensures a higher chance of success. Keep the structure simple, the design clean and whatever you do… make sure all the typography is the same!

3. Personalise  

When you work on something methodically, you can sometimes sacrifice your personality for the sake of focusing more on the professional elements. Your portfolio is a visual representation of who you are as a person and the kinds of design work you gravitate towards. There’s no reason why the two things cannot co-exist, especially when you build a portfolio that can be tailored to a design specialism too. It’s not rocket science – choose the work that best represents you and your goals.

And that, as they say, is all folks! Feel free to reach out to us with any questions and follow us on social media for further insights on the recruitment process, how to relocate to a new country, what makes the perfect employee experience and thoughts on trending topics like flexible working and the new agency model. ‘Till the next time…

Thanks for reading.

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