With your profiles in particular, it’s likely they won’t be looking for an aesthetic match, again, this match is more based on your processes and what you’re bringing to the table in terms of how you work through a brief and if the level of complexity, methodologies, and team structures match their way of working or not. Some consultancies are willing to forgo looking at a portfolio at first stages if you have a relevant strategic background and can prove that you’ve worked with end consumers, using design thinking methodologies... but come that all important ‘face-to-face’ round, chances are you’ll need to lead them through a document that encapsulates what you’ve done for the past few years.
My top tip here is to keep it simple! If you’ve got a visual design background, that’s amazing and definitely use your layout and typographic skills here - but if you come more from the research side and are mildly terrified of InDesign or Photoshop or even Keynote... just make sure that you outline your process thoroughly, weaving that narrative that exposes the steps that you’ve taken to creatively solve the problem or brief, and the methodologies you used along the way. Did you lead workshops? Did you prepare a large ethnographic study? Did you use a tonne of post-it notes? Show me! Show that you know what you’re talking about and that you can dive headfirst into complex challenges confidently because you’ve been there before.
To wrap it up...
It’s all about process, process, process!
Make sure to tell a cohesive and engaging story.
Maybe consider a PDF portfolio over a website…
And if you’re creating your first ever portfolio as you’re exploring the more design-led path, keep it simple and thorough.
As it’s the start of 2020, I hope this helps those of you who are looking to launch yourself into a new position, and if you need a little extra help in perfecting your portfolio or in finding the new home for your human-centred design skills, give me a nudge and I can see if I can squeeze you in to go get caffeinated together. Feel free to share your thoughts below!