portfolio advice

Why submit a CV in .doc .txt .rtf or text based .pdf?
There are two reasons, both as important to us as each other. Firstly, our database software parses the information from these files allowing us to register you very quickly. Secondly, before we send your CV to any client it is edited into a standard format, on our company letterhead. If the original document is easy to process it makes the submission of your CV that much quicker.

However for full CV advice, please check our dedicated page.

Putting together a portfolio

  • present your most recent work first and the oldest work towards the back
  • use your judgment as to whether it is still relevant to include your graduate work
  • a simple A4 or A3 portfolio is best and we advise that the portfolio be constructed in a way that allows you to change pages around or remove some projects completely so you can tailor your portfolio to the client
  • ornate presentation can look wonderful but think practically about the easiest way to show the work and the easiest way to pack up as you leave. A client may have to flip through a large number of portfolios in any one day and anything too fiddly may have a negative impact rather than the positive impact you were hoping for
  • include work not just from your professional career but continue to work on personal projects to keep your portfolio fresh. Your consultant at Denza will be able to provide some ideas for personal projects for you based on the information we have from our clients and what is happening in the market at the moment
  • make sure the work in your portfolio is 100% yours, and if it is not label it accordingly. The Denza team easily see over a thousand portfolios through our office a year of candidates we register or have update meetings with – let alone the applications we do not register. If you submit work that is not yours, we can guarantee we know who it belongs to
  • we will happily provide tailored advice for any registered candidate who wants to bring in their portfolio and latest personal projects. We may not be able to see you immediately but we endeavor to provide this service for as many of our candidates as we can

iPads or Laptops versus traditional portfolios?

There is a list of obvious reasons for transferring your portfolio to a digital format:

  • easy to email
  • it’s light weight
  • easy to carry a lot of work
  • it can sometimes look very slick
  • if a body of work containing a number of look books or photographic work it makes sense to present this way

At Denza however we have a number of reasons why we prefer pre 2008 (when the iPad was invented) presentation:

  • we have only ever had one client who has asked that all design candidates work digitally – excluding CAD roles
  • there is always the possibility of a technical glitch – no power, wireless down, no access for a CD – so we or your potential employer sees no work at all
  • to get the picture on an iPad facing the right way to show everyone in the room always causes a problem. It’s easy to switch off but see the next point –
  • candidates are very hesitant to let the iPad or laptop go. We have a short time with you and we want to look at the things that interest us most very quickly. If you insist on digital presentation, please let us flip through ourselves
  • the majority of our clients who are looking for designers want to see hand drawn work
  • the majority of our clients want to see mood boards, fabric swatches, trim samples in reality as well as imagery. Watch when interviewed by a creative – they will always touch everything in your portfolio where they can. This can actually draw someone to spend more time looking at your portfolio
  • we like to see a more intimate view of our candidate’s work. To see all the background work that usually doesn’t make it into the final iPad presentation cut is just as informative for us as the “finished product”
Why do different fashion recruitment agencies give different advice?

Firstly congratulations for using more than one fashion recruitment agency. Each fashion recruitment agency will have it’s own personality and it’s own clients. The advice we give you on your CV and portfolio may differ drastically to the information from another fashion recruitment agency because we are looking out for different things that our clients respond to or are interested in. Our job is always a delicate balance between nurturing talent and meeting the needs of our clients. Another fashion recruitment agency will have a different client base who will have different requirements. We encourage all candidates to register with more than one quality fashion recruitment agency to maximize your chances in the market for different roles. However it is important you do not allow two agencies to put you forward for the same job. The confusion caused by this for the client may cause you to be disqualified for a role.