Gap Inc. Creative Recruiters Tell All: Four Tips for Developing an Incredible Creative Portfolio
by Giuliana Carranza, Gap Inc. blogger
Gap Inc. has been around for almost 50 years, with six brands in its portfolio, serving customers all over the world. So it’s safe to say there’s no shortage of creative talent within our brands. It’s also safe to say that our creative recruiters have seen their fair share of portfolios while interviewing for their Design, Merchandising, and Product roles.
We sat down with a few of our creative recruiters from Old Navy, Banana Republic, and Gap to discuss what makes portfolios stand out. Here’s their advice for how to create the best creative portfolio.
- Your work should tell a cohesive story. It’s imperative that your portfolio is focused enough to speak for itself without you being there to walk the recruiter through it. Curate your work in a way that takes the recruiter (or whomever else may be looking at it!) on a journey through what’s inspired you, what your thought process is, and what you’re passionate about. The colors, the patterns, the silhouettes you chose, the trend inspiration, should all tie back to your overarching style and the themes you want your story to tell.
- Have a strong creative point of view. Your portfolio should demonstrate what makes your work yours and intrinsically unique. We want to see you in your work! Your work should exemplify your creative thought process and help us get inside your head. Your portfolio should only include work that is most representative of your vision and style.
- Put your best foot forward. You never know how much time you’ll have to walk your interviewers through your portfolio. You may have a whole day, or you may have an hour. Err on the side of caution and assume that you’ll have less time rather than more. It’s important to show us the work your most proud of, the work that depicts your versatility and all the tools in your tool belt, but also work that ultimately still stays within the overall story you’re telling with your portfolio (see tip #1).
- Tailor your portfolio to the opportunity. Your portfolio is a key component in convincing your prospective employer why you make a great fit for the role you’re applying to (we dedicated a whole story to it, so you can guess where we stand on this!). Cater the pieces of work you choose to include in your portfolio to the opportunity and the company. For example, if you’re applying for a more concept focused role, show us pieces that demonstrate your strengths in creating product concepts. Also think about the ways in which your work speaks to values and culture of the brand you’re applying to. If there are any commonalities there, be sure to highlight them!