Monday, September 26, 2011

Web Portfolio Tips

The Ottawa Animation Festival hosted several discussion panels on both the creative process of animation and professional development. One of the professional development panels I attended was all about web portfolios. Along with the mediator, the panel had 2 professors and 2 recruiters. The professors would tell us about how they guided their students in making portfolios and the recruiters would tell us what they liked and didn't like in a portfolio. Here are some of the main points they made:

1. Web portfolios are so much easier for recruiters than physical portfolios. One of the recruiters (she recruits for Cartoon Network) said that CN doesn't even accept physical portfolios anymore.

2. Don't put in anything you don't want to do professionally. If you made a commercial but you would hate making commercials for a living, don't put it in there.

3. Put your best stuff first, no chronological order or anything. That way, if a recruiter only watches/looks at part of your portfolio, you know they saw your best work.

4. If you have a Tumblr or blog or website, make it organized and easy to navigate. A recruiter shouldn't have to dig for the work they want to see. Make it easy for them to get to your contact info and the portfolio you want them to see. If they like what they see off the bat, they'll dig deeper.

5. Blogspot could disappear in a few years, but a domain name won't. Domain names are better for long-term investments in getting your work visible online.

6. You'll want to rework your portfolio depending on what kind of job you want. If you're interested in both special effects and character modeling, you'll want different portfolios for each.

7. Make it clear what you want to do. Recruiters get annoyed when you say "Oh, I'm open for anything." Have something you're really interested in and aiming for.

8. If you put a PDF of your resume or portfolio on your site, the recruiter can download it and print it out if need be.

9. Research a company before applying to it so you know what they're looking for.

10. Be nice. If you have a lot of talent but you're a jerk and there's a nice guy with less talent going for the position, they'll go with the nice guy. It's common sense, but recruiters will Google you and look at your Facebook and stuff to see if you're a good person or not. So Google yourself and make sure you don't look like a jerk online.

All of this stuff can be applied to reels as well. A lot of it is common sense (be nice, make your contact info easy to see, etc), but I thought it was still good to hear all of it. Hope it helps you guys, too.

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