Twitter Facebook Vimeo

Selling yourself without a creative portfolio

2 min, 31 sec read
16:15 PM | 30 May 2014
by Adam Oldfield
   •       •    Read later
Want your writing featured?

Not every role in the creative industries demands a creative portfolio. If you're a creative, a designer or developer, you'll definitely need one but for you planners, media, marketing and accounts people out there, here are some other ways you can sell yourself to employers.


Work on projects in your spare time. Collaborate with friends to create projects that have an outcome. This could be a book around a subject, a prototype for an app idea, writing a song or create an animated short film.

Write blogs

If you keep a nice blog going you can demonstrate your passion, personality and thinking. Pick a theme that allows you the chance for individuality. Be sure to keep your blog updated otherwise it doesn’t look great to employers about your commitment.

Join networks or societies

Get involved with groups whether at university or outside to build up your network. Not only does this look good, you’ll meet interesting people and learn new things.

Attend events

Go to events and meet people. There are numerous events around the country that will allow you to meet professionals. London alone has free and cheap events going on every week within in the creative industries. They're full of industry professionals who might offer you a job after just talking to them. At the very least, book crits, interviews and introductions are pretty easy to gain from talking to people at events.

Online training

Use sites like Coursera, Skillshare and Kahn Acedemy to build up your skills. There are courses in everything from computer science to the environment and you don’t even have to leave your home. We have a handy list of the places to learn coding if you are interested.


Even if it’s in the local bakery, farm shop, nightclub or music festival. Whatever your interest there will be a place you can find experience. Take film for instance, sign-up to Talent Circle or Shooting People and look for runner jobs on short films and music videos.


Help a local charity, hospice or council initiative. There are numerous projects and organisations out there that need peoples' help. Give a little and you’ll get a lot.

Creative CV

People have made cakes with their CVs on and have had them delivered to agencies. Others have created their CV in video, poetry, even as toys. Take inspiration from everywhere and think about how you can re-mix your CV to help you stand out.

Create a portfolio

Okay, we said you're not expected to have one. But that doesn't mean you can't. Fallon's David Adamson recommends planners have portfolios and why not everyone else too. Promote and talk about the projects you’ve worked on.

Experiences and stories can go a long way to convincing people to give you a job. This makes you different. People always want to work with those who will bring another perspective to work.

Do remember to not get carried away talking about yourself.  Ask questions, be curious and this will help you become an even more attractive hire.

Please log in or sign up before participating in the conversation.

More stories

  1. We live in difficult times

    Tony Cullingham explains that in these competitive times if you want to land a job in creative advertising, you and your portfolio need to shine through.

  2. Where to find ideas

    Ricky Richards talks about coming up with ideas in this age of distraction and gives you the clues to finding those unique ideas.

  3. The career path that has no path

    Creative Director, Jeremy Garner, explores the exciting opportunity surrounding careers in the ever changing creative industries.

  4. Google ReMind

    The rate of people being diagnosed with alzheimer’s is growing rapidly, with now 1 in 3 seniors dying of this incurable disease. Students from Miami Ad School has an idea to raise awareness.

  5. 8 ways to smash your last year at university

    Csilla Kulcsar, ex graduate of Middlesex University writes about 8 tips for smashing your last year at university.

  6. Book Review: The Typography Idea Book by Steven Heller & Gail Anderson

    We review Stephen Heller & Gail Anderson's collaborative effort, The Typography Idea Book. A must for anyone interested in typography, art direction, and graphic design.