8 Tips for Making a Student Portfolio

tips making a student portfolio

No matter if you’re into writing, cooking, photography, painting, fashion design, music, or science, having a well-curated portfolio is essential to showcase your talents. Creating a portfolio is often necessary when applying to college, especially in the fine arts, as well as when you’re aiming to score competitive internships and college scholarships. And when you’ve worked so hard to hone your craft in something, it’s super fun to sit back and look at all the amazing stuff you’ve made! Here are some useful tips for how to nail your ’folio.


  1. Start with a Short Essay — This isn’t just an introduction. It’s a personal essay that encapsulates what the entire portfolio is all about. Write about what compelled you to create certain projects, what you’re proud of, and what your goals are for the future. Your essay doesn’t need to be long — a few short paragraphs will work. Just make sure it’s well-thought-out and edited by a friend or parent.
  2. Make it Digital — As much as we love busting out the glue sticks, it’s impractical to create a physical portfolio in this day and age. Keeping it online-only allows you to send it for free, at the touch of a button, anytime you want. And you don’t need to sink any money into a custom website, either. Use Tallo to create a digital portfolio for students and showcase all of your talents in one convenient place.
  3. Include More Than Art — Portfolios aren’t just for bragging about your visual art or writing skills. They’re also ideal for telling the bigger story of who you are. With Tallo, you can highlight your extracurricular activities, hobbies, work experience, test scores, language skills, resumé, and more. A good portfolio is one that paints the picture of how well-rounded you are while also saying something about your personal goals.
  4. Be Extra with the Photography — If your portfolio involves showcasing something physical that you’ve created, such as pastries you baked or clothes you sewed, then you’re going to need to go all-out with the pics. You’ll want to use a real camera (not your phone camera) and enlist the help of someone who knows a bit about photography. Learn how to take portfolio photos so they look perfectly polished.
    pics showcasing portfolio quote
  5. Don’t Feel Constrained — Even if you are primarily looking for a way to showcase the artwork you’ve created, don’t get too hung up on a motif or medium of work you’re highlighting. When applying to colleges and internships, you want to show that you’re adaptable and balanced, so it’s A-OK to divert from a concrete theme. Showcase your skills in the arts, sciences, humanities, and even sports.
  6. Think About Your Future — When you think about possible careers for yourself, think about the skills that may be required within those fields and try to highlight them within your portfolio. For example, if you want to work as a developer someday, you’ll want to showcase your ability to code. If you dream of working in science research, don’t forget to include your show-stopping science fair projects. No matter what you include, make sure it fits into your vision of life in college and beyond.
  7. Market It — What good is a perfectly curated portfolio if you never share it with anyone? Make sure you add the link to your resumé, email signature, and social media profile so it gets plenty of action. You can also download it as a PDF and attach it to emails when you’re writing cover letters and applying for jobs.
  8. Keep it Up to Date — What good is a portfolio if it showcases last year’s you? As a student, your skills and talents are growing and advancing faster than you even realize, so it’s vital that you keep your portfolio current at this stage in the game. Be sure to use a platform, app, or tool that’s super simple and quick to update as needed.

keep your portfolio current quote

Make it Your Own

At the end of the day, as long as you put some heart, soul, and a personal touch into your portfolio, you’ll be well on your way to something to be proud of. The result is a perfectly put-together showcase of everything you’ve ever accomplished, which can help you achieve even more in the future!

Start charting your path today.

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