Portfolio of a Successful Artist: How to Get the Job You Want?
It is important for any candidate to have a portfolio, even if they do not have commercial experience.
11:18 25 October 2021
Having a portfolio for artists is one of the most important points in employment. That is why many people are interested in the following questions: "What should be the portfolio to present yourself as best as possible, attract the recruiter and get the desired offer?", and also – "what to do when there is not enough time for portfolio design, or all works are under the NDA?». Current questions are answered by the Recruitment Team Lead of Kevuru Games. In addition to the portfolio, a resume is also a crucial part of the application, resume writing service makes it extra easy to prepare a resume.
– How can a candidate show what is not his portfolio, or what to do when all the works are under the NDA?
– It is important for any candidate to have a portfolio, even if they do not have commercial experience, it helps employers assess the level of a specialist. Whether you have works from completed courses or test tasks for other companies – the latter is never used for commercial purposes, so the candidate can freely demonstrate his skills. By collecting such test papers, the candidate may well create a portfolio that will help employers conclude their experience and style.
There are other cases. A person can work for a company for a long time, but all their work is under an NDA. And she can't physically put them up, so it's very difficult to assess her as an artist. In such cases, you can immediately go to an interview so that ICE can communicate with the candidate and learn about their experience. Perhaps at that time, a person will have some pieces that are not under the NDA. Then, during the interview, the candidate can share the screen and show thumbnails. In any case, this is an option that can be adopted, and it can work for many companies.
If the candidate does not have a single job, then this indicates his initial level. He either just finished the course or trainee. Such a candidate might show a great desire to work in the company, be given a test task, and successfully pass it. In our practice, there was such a story. Subsequently, the company confirmed that the candidate is really good and capable. But this is rather an exception from the rule.
This option is suitable if the company is ready to take a promising trainee and spend time training it. If at the moment you need experienced specialists, then you can not do without a portfolio.
– What to do if the portfolio does not correspond to the requirements of the vacancy?
– The main thing here is to understand the format of the company that interests you. We, for example, are an outsourcing company that has many different areas. If the candidate is not suitable for one of the open positions, then we can offer him another one. Perhaps a person has long wanted to try something new, but did not dare or did not have the opportunity. Then we suggest that they consider a different position, taking into account the specifics of their skills and experience. It often happens that the candidate agrees, In fact, slightly changing his professional direction.
– What should I do if I don't have time for a beautiful portfolio design?
– We often encounter situations when during negotiations, candidates interested in the position say that their portfolio is not ready and they need time to complete it. A beautiful portfolio is, of course, important. But if a person has worked, even if they are not registered, posted, say, in Google Docs, then we always offer to share what is available.
Secondly, it is not difficult for our leads to view their work in a document, and not on ArtStation because it is all the same, just the presentation is different. Artists will be able to complete their portfolios later, in their spare time. This can be very important for them. But for us, it does not matter
– Which is more important: the quality or quantity of work in the portfolio?
– The main job of a recruiter is not to evaluate the quality of work, because they do not have the competencies to do so. The recruiter looks at both quality and quantity, but the main task is to provide as many candidates as possible for the next stage of selection. There can be either a lot of work or a little, this does not affect the further procedure.
– Should the portfolio be diverse or narrowly focused?
- It depends. If a company specializes in a very narrow field, then even in a diverse portfolio, the employer will only look at what is a priority for the business. Accordingly, a person will be engaged in one specific direction constantly. If the company has several areas, as in ours, then skills in several areas at once are one hundred percent plus, both for us and the candidate, since he will be able to choose what he likes best. Moreover, during their work, they will even be able to move from department to department. Each person has their desires – someone wants to do one thing and does not want to change it, and someone, on the contrary, quickly gets tired of the monotony. As for me, the most creative portfolios are those where you can see that there was a search for yourself, an understanding of your style, and your creative foundation.
- Which is more important: portfolio, hard or soft skills? What should be the portfolio of a junior or senior specialist?
– If we hire a senior specialist, then everything is important – the portfolio, soft, and hard skills. For a junior specialist, a portfolio is more important, they may not have commercial experience, but with the help of the submitted works, they will be able to show their progress over a certain period.
- What are the best resources for placing a portfolio?
- It all depends on the direction. Resources like ArtStation work well for the gaming industry. If this is a non-game simulation, then Behance. Dribble is especially relevant for UI and UX designers. A person chooses a resource where the audience they need is concentrated. At the beginning of my career, I used Dribble and used online tools to fix my resume easily.
Soft skills for everyone: skills that are valued in all professions
Flexible competencies matter. You can be the best specialist in your field, have specialized education, relevant experience in the specialty, and the necessary professional competencies. But to succeed, you need something else.
According to the National Association of colleges and employees (NACE), when employers were asked to name the qualities and competencies they were looking for in candidates, three characteristics scored the highest:
- written communication skills (82%);
- problem-solving skills (80.9%);
- ability to work in a team (78.7%).
Interestingly, the indicators of technical skills (59.6%) and computer skills (55.1%), which are often considered key competencies that a candidate can possess in today's high-tech job market, were quite low.
These results confirm that employers are paying much more attention to soft skills in the workplace today than they did a few years ago. The role of universal competencies in the modern labor market is key, and the requirements for them continue to grow.
Why are soft skills important?
Soft skills are often considered a combination of personal qualities, behavioral and social attitudes.
They mostly depend on character traits and life experience and allow you to communicate effectively, collaborate, and successfully manage conflicts.
People with developed flexible skills tend to have strong situational awareness and emotional intelligence, which allows them to adapt to work conditions and achieve successful career results.
Soft skills complement professional competencies.
Communication or social skills that determine successful interaction with others: business communication, the ability to speak in front of an audience, competent written and oral speech, sociability, emotional intelligence (the ability to recognize the emotions and motives of the interlocutor), the ability to listen, conduct negotiations and conduct presentations, teamwork, the flexibility of thinking and an adequate attitude to criticism.
Leadership competencies that are responsible for the rational use of resources to achieve business goals: delegation and distribution of tasks, decision-making skills, crisis management skills, mentoring and monitoring, conflict resolution skills, team-building skills, leadership strategies, power of persuasion.
Self-management competencies that affect the achievement of career and business goals: result-oriented, time management, stress tolerance, initiative, knowledge management and the ability to learn quickly, planning skills, flexibility and adaptability, self-motivation.
Intellectual skills that determine permanent professional development: analytical mindset, developed memory, creativity and logic, creative approaches, critical thinking, ability to work with information, project, and design thinking.
What soft skills are especially important in 2021?
According to the World Economic Forum's 2020 report, the top 10 key competencies that will be relevant for the next 5 years include:
- analytical thinking and innovative approaches;
- ability to learn quickly;
- comprehensive problem solving;
- critical thinking and analysis;
- the initiative, creativity, and creative approaches;
- leadership and social impact;
- technology use, monitoring, and control;
- technological design and programming;
- stress tolerance, adaptability, and flexibility;
- logical thinking and ideality.
The foundations for some universal competencies are given to a person from birth. But most soft skills can and should be developed all your life through constant introspection and personal development. And it's never too late to do it.