How to Design a Portfolio for Students [+ Ideas & Tips]

The importance of putting together a comprehensive portfolio for students can’t be stressed enough. A powerful portfolio for application can help increase the chance of achieving your goal  in such cases as:

  • Building personal branding
  • Looking for freelance or part-time jobs in creative fields (i.e, graphic design, photography, web developer, content creator, etc.)
  • Applying for an academic program with a major in art, design, costume, and film production 

Whether your future company or university requires a portfolio for application or not, this is a professional and effective way to showcase your best works as well as your talent. If you're looking for the best creative student portfolio design, this article is for you! We also included 10 tips on how to design a portfolio for students. 

Are you ready to step up your student portfolio game?

15 Best Creative Portfolio Ideas for Students

1. Jian Yuxuan

Jian's portfolio on CakeResume is a great example of simple portfolio design for students. As a part-time reporter, she presents all articles written and contributed by her. They are listed out in a simple way that looks neat, organized, and professional.

Student portfolio by Jian Yuxuan
Student portfolio by Jian Yuxuan

2. Wu JingPin

If you’re looking for a basic sample portfolio design for students, check out Wu’s portfolio on CakeResume. Besides showing his projects and extracurricular activities, Wu also attaches his online resume to the personal page. By doing so, recruiters and employers can proactively approach his profile if there’s a suitable position in the future. 

Student portfolio by Wu JingPin
Student portfolio by Wu JingPin

3. So-Hee Woo

Here comes an impressive student industrial design portfolio that fully showcases Woo’s talent and skills. This portfolio website looks very interesting, unique, and lively, but also mobile-optimized and informative.

Student industrial design portfolio by So-Hee Woo
Student industrial design portfolio by So-Hee Woo

4. Marco Angelo

LinkedIn is a powerful platform for sharing and exploring student graphic design portfolios. The reason is that recruiters can easily find you and get to know more about you. Thus, if you’re looking for a part-time or entry-level job after graduation, go ahead and publish your portfolio on LinkedIn. 

Below is an example of Marco Angelo, a graduate design student. His student graphic design portfolio is very informative with everything a recruiter might want to know about him, such as profile, educational background, professional experience, and side projects.

Student graphic design portfolio by Marco Angelo
Student graphic design portfolio by Marco Angelo

5. Quyen Erin

Created on Behance, Quyen's graphic design portfolio brings a sense of youthfulness and looks like her social media channel. Similar to Marco, Quyen provides a lot of details about her, including the latest portfolio, education, social media, and most importantly, accomplished projects.

Student graphic design portfolio by Quyen Erin
Student graphic design portfolio by Quyen Erin

6. Adam Fearing

Adam publishes his portfolio as a slideshow instead of making a personal webpage. Each page shows a project with a detailed description, making it become the winning element of this landscape architecture student portfolio.

Landscape architecture student portfolio by Adam Fearing
Landscape architecture student portfolio by Adam Fearing

7. Juliet Bolton

Juliet’s portfolio looks like an e-book with each page providing details about a specific project. When looking at this landscape architecture student portfolio, you can be attracted to a very simple but effective graphic style.

Landscape architecture student portfolio by Juliet Bolton
Landscape architecture student portfolio by Juliet Bolton

8. Nicholas Gurney

Gurney followed a minimalism strategist for his architecture student portfolio website with ample white space. A grid overview shows the preview of each project, and you just need to click the thumbnail for a detailed description.

Architecture student portfolio website by Nicholas Gurney
Architecture student portfolio website by Nicholas Gurney

9. Germaine

Germaine built her architecture student portfolio website using a format that is similar to a personal blog. This way, she can include a lot more about herself other than architectural projects.  

Architecture student portfolio website by Germaine

10. Lauryn Welch

Your art school portfolio design will be more memorable if you insert your own personality into it. You can feel that when looking at Lauryn’s personal page. Moreover, all artworks are sorted out by year, which makes her art portfolio highly professional-looking and well-organized. 

Art student portfolio designed by Lauryn Welch
Art student portfolio designed by Lauryn Welch

11. Eric Theodore

Viewing Eric’s art portfolio makes you feel like joining a virtual art gallery tour. The homepage of this art student portfolio welcomes visitors with his impressive artworks. It's also easy to view all of the works as they are sorted into categories by styles of art.

Art student portfolio by Eric Theodore
Art student portfolio by Eric Theodore

12. Kate Rohr

Behance is the go-to portfolio builder for Kate Rohr. Her works and projects are presented in a simple way and described in detail. Check out the image below for a top-notch student interior design portfolio example for the university!

Interior design student portfolio by Kate Rohr
Interior design student portfolio by Kate Rohr

13. Joe Yi Lim

Lim took advantage of a unique feature on Behance, which is allowing users to select an appealing cover image. Together with her works, her interior design student portfolio seems very eye-catching and professional-looking. She also writes a detailed summary about herself and showcases many awards and accomplishments.

Interior design student portfolio by Joe Yi Lim
Interior design student portfolio by Joe Yi Lim

14. Helena González

This next one by Helena González shows a perfect example of how to include sketches in a fashion student portfolio. Besides that, she impresses clients and recruiters by listing which tools she is adept at using.

Fashion student portfolio by Helena González
Fashion student portfolio by Helena González

15. Elena

You may like the way Elena incorporated the watercolor floral print and cute graphics in her fashion student portfolio. It's also very easy to check the details of her works - just a few clicks away.

Fashion student portfolio by Elena
Fashion student portfolio by Elena

Free Websites to Create a Student Portfolio Design

1. CakeResume

CakeResume is not only a great talent matching platform but also a revolutionary tool combining your resume with your personal website into a single webpage.

✨ Features:

  • The drag-and-drop feature allows you to create highly-customized portfolios and resumes with ease and hassle-free.
  • Sort the works in the grid view - that is most efficient and convenient for viewing.
  • Attach a digital resume to your online portfolio if created by CakeResume.

Pros:

  • Simple and easy to use.  
  • Suitable for simple portfolio design for students
  • Recruiters often use CakeResume to look for the right talents. 

Cons:

  • Not much space for “About Me”.
  • Lack of creativity and personalization. 
  • Limit the size of file uploads.

Having an online portfolio website is highly crucial in paving your career path. With CakeResume’s online portfolio maker, you can create your very own online student portfolio design that showcases your true skills and creativity. Create your free student portfolio now!

2. Carbonmade

With Carbonmade, all creative portfolio design ideas for students are taken to another level. Over 200 million users across 190 countries have been using this online portfolio builder since its renovation in 2019. 

✨ Features:

  • Allow you to establish a solid web presence.
  • Offer a wide selection of customization tools.
  • Provide stylish template design. 

Pros:

  • Free trial with no credit card required.
  • Great for freshmen.

Cons:

  • Very few features for free users. 
  • Higher price compared to other student portfolio websites.

3. Behance

Behance is one of the world's most popular online portfolio builders with over 10 million members until 2021. It has now become a social media platform owned by Adobe "to showcase and discover creative work".

✨ Features:

  • Publish and share your projects. 
  • Choose an appealing cover picture for your student portfolio.
  • Add relevant metadata like creative fields and keywords. 
  • Engage with the community on Behance.

Pros:

  • Employers and recruiters often look for candidates on Behance. 
  • Easy to use and no knowledge of coding needed. 
  • Suitable for creative student portfolio design.  

Cons:

  • The uniformity and simplicity of Behance may make viewers feel tedious.
  • You can’t attach any additional files or CV and cover letters.
  • Projects with no likes could discourage you from sharing more. 

10 Tips to Make a Creative Student Portfolio Design

✅ Seek advice from experts or other people.

Don’t know where and how to start first?

No need to panic - there are many excellent portfolio website examples for students that you can refer to. When viewing other portfolios, you can grab an idea of how to design a portfolio for students, how to present your projects, how to demonstrate your value, and how to attract visitors.

✅ Fewer high-quality works are better than many low-quality works.

Instead of putting all assignments you’ve ever done in your portfolio, it’s better to share the most outstanding works/projects. Also, don’t just simply list it out, but provide as many details as possible. 

A common mistake that many students make with their portfolios is only showing the finished work. The process you went through, on the other hand, can impress potential clients and employers better, who want to know about your contribution throughout the project. 

✅ Including school activities is completely fine.

As a student, you may not have plenty of work experience yet. That’s why you can include your personal projects or school activities to showcase your skills and talent. Keep in mind to provide necessary details about the project so that employers or clients can fully understand your role. 

Example of a student graphic design portfolio:

✅ Keep your goals in mind.

As mentioned earlier, different student portfolio designs will serve a specific purpose - personal branding, job hunting, or academic application. Sticking to your goals will help you design the right student portfolio and decide what you want to show to other people.  

✅ Create an online presence.

If you're aiming for personal branding, it’s important to build your personal online presence as well. This is a particular form of personal branding, on which the posts and images can say who you are and what you’re all about. Having a strong online profile can help you expand your professional circles and expose yourself to other experts and potential employers in the industry.  

✅ Proofread.

When it comes to a professional, formal presentation, make sure the content is accurate and error-free. Thus, make sure you’ve double-checked your grammar, spelling, and punctuation before publishing your portfolio. 

✅ Show your personality.

Don't be afraid to show who you are in your portfolio, in both the About page and every project you present. When a company hires you, they not only base on your potential but also your personal traits. 

✅ Choose the right medium.

There’s no right or wrong answer for this. You’re now living in the digital world where everything's made easy with just a few clicks away. Hence, just go with the tool or platform that you feel most comfortable and familiar with. Regardless of the online portfolio builder, make sure the viewers don’t need to sign up for an account to view your portfolio.

✅ Add testimonials to your portfolio.

If you’re pursuing a freelance career, think about putting client testimonials in your portfolio. These are a very powerful marketing and branding tool that helps you gain credibility and convert prospects into actual clients.

✅ Keep your portfolio up-to-date.

It might take you a lot of time and energy to design a portfolio, especially a portfolio website. One way to save your time and practice professionalism is keeping your portfolio up-to-date once you’ve published one. You need to pay attention to both content and design to make sure you haven’t missed anything essential. 

🔑  Key Takeaways:

Portfolio design is an effective way for students to showcase their projects. By getting it right, you can achieve the academic program you’re applying for or get an excellent job after graduation. 

It’s not easy to design a kick-ass portfolio for students. However, there are thousands of creative student portfolio designs out there and you can also check out many online portfolio builders. Regardless of the platform you choose, be confident, honest, and professional! Employers and clients would expect to see how you demonstrate the best works, showcase your personality, and bring value to their organization.

--- Originally written by May Luong ---

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