Ways of presenting your architecture portfolio
Web hosted portfolios
A web hosted portfolio, is a digital portfolio that has been uploaded and stored onto a specific website. This could be a section on your own personal website or more commonly a dedicated hosting site such as Behance or issuu.
These web hosted portfolio sites are great for quick and instant online presentations of your work in a digital format, however they can have certain limitations.
For example when firstly applying for a position, and simply sending a link of your work via email, online portfolios can become far less reliable and may even count against you.
This is primarily caused by students and young professionals insisting on using the free versions these websites offer, which are littered with advertising and/or do not allow copies of your work to be physically printed out.
This creates a terrible first impression and almost certainly contributes to putting you at the bottom of the pile!
However, fortunately many of these sites also provide a subscription based service that has far fewer restrictions and most importantly are ad free.
This (among other benefits) will remove all unwanted advertising, enable full and adaptive screen viewing, provide unlimited uploads and allow your work to be printed and downloaded, making it much easier for the administration team to analysis and assess your application.
Which in turn contributes to a professionally presented digital portfolio.
Choosing a web hosing platform
When choosing which platform to use, there are several good file hosting websites available, however issuu is by far the most popular and widely recognized between applicants, institutions and firms.
They have an extremely intuitive and user friendly online reader that adapts to fit any device in full screen mode, and provide ad free social sharing and printing functions via their paid subscription service.
Exporting and sending your portfolio via a PDF attachment, is another common method of portfolio submission, and one that is normally done in tandem with the above web hosting method.
This provides you (the applicant) with greater control over its formatting and presentation, and also makes it as simple as possible for the employer to receive and view it.
You should however be careful to keep your file size down and even firstly introduce yourself to the recipient, letting them know that they should expect a large attachment to be delivered.
As some architects and institutions do not like or except attachments.
The best, most reliable and professional method of presenting a digital portfolio is via your own website. This enables your work to be easily shared, found and updated with a range of text, imagery, video and audio.
For architects in particular it is hard to exist in the modern world without one.
There are many templates and platforms to choose from, but for ease of use and design, squarespace is by far the best.
Digital portfolio storage
Digital portfolios are great until the file gets corrupted, lost, forgotten and/or saved over, so backing up and carrying a copy of your work to your interviews is vitally important.
Unless you use a an ad free subscription service such as the one mentioned above, do not under any circumstance present your work in an interview via a website, and do not rely on the email attachment you sent to either yourself or the interviewer prior.
You must carry your own copy, along with a backup, via an external hard drive and/or a USB flash drive with a large memory.
When considering your next career move, plan proactively and create Portfolios that include your best work. Consider looking into finding a mentor with Architect-US, and improving your Portfolios with our Portfolio Plans and Career Advice Program. We provide coaching and personalized mentorship, so you can have a professional and experienced take on your next steps in your career, as well as a great team to confide in.