Resume and portfolio tips TwitterBlast!

Hi everybody! Here’s another TwitterBlast I did on my @jonjones Twitter account on the subject of resumes and portfolios. Here’s the info-dump, and I’ve followed that with a bit more explanation on why I dislike Blogspot and Wix.

ARTISTS!

  • Resume tip #1: Including your location is a must. Home address isn’t necessary.
  • Resume tip #2: When applying, specify the job title you’re applying for. Make sure it’s industry-standard, not something weird or made-up.
  • Resume tip #3: If your resume is light on experience, I personally like seeing skills up front..
  • Resume tip #4: It’s “3D Studio MAX,” not “3D MAX!” Even pros get this wrong, and most don’t care, but this drives me up the wall!
  • Resume tip #5: Only one typeface, and keep consistent font sizes. One resume I saw got smaller and smaller text ’til the end!
  • Resume tip #6: Since spellcheck won’t check most software names, make sure you proofread them carefully.
  • Resume tip #7: Clickable email and portfolio links in your PDF resume is a great thing to do!
  • Portfolio tip #1: If all you have is in your folio is classwork, and you graduated 1+ year ago, it looks like you stopped trying.
  • Portfolio tip #2: I like embedded demo reels, just make sure they’re big enough to see! i.e. not 320×240.
  • Portfolio tip #3: Having an “About” page on CGSociety with your full name and whatever nickname you use makes finding you even easier.
  • Portfolio tip #4: If you create a character of a different race than yours, ask honest friends if it’s unintentionally, hilariously racist.
  • Portfolio tip #5: Test your portfolio in all browsers and resolutions, especially if you’re embedding video.
  • Portfolio tip #6: I prefer seeing reels on Vimeo instead of Youtube. I just saw a full length softcore Indian porn movie as a Recommended Video.
  • Portfolio tip #7: A Blogspot page is not a portfolio.
  • Portfolio tip #8: A Wix page is not a portfolio. Wix is the Photoshop lens flare of portfolio hosts.
  • Portfolio tip #9: ENVIRONMENT ARTISTS! Dude, EVERYBODY MODELS ANGKOR WAT! Do the temples in Bhutan or something off the wall instead. Be creative!
  • Portfolio tip #10: Full Sail and Animation Mentor grads — when you graduate, use a new character model! It’s great to learn on, but I see it *everywhere.*
  • Portfolio tip #11: It’s not strictly necessary, but it’s always nice to get a Not Safe For Work warning before poppin’ out some boobs.
  • Portfolio tip #12: If you EVER autoplay music, I will find out where you live, burn your house down, and salt the earth.
  • Portfolio tip #13: You need a website in addition to just a reel, because it’s easier to update with new content.
  • Portfolio tip #14: When crediting people for assets used in your folio or reel, make sure you spell their names correctly.

So, Blogspot! Here’s why I don’t like it: It’s way too easy to have one portfolio piece per post, and have 2 – 10 pages’ worth of content I have to manually click through to see anything. Blogspot is for creating a timestamped archive of content, not a presentation of deliberately selected art. It’s fundamentally a posting format that automatically archives your work and hides it behind multiple pages anytime you post something new. You really can’t curate content or present your work that way. Imagine if every time you made a new piece of art, the 10th-latest piece of art you made before that was deleted forever. From an art director’s point of view looking at a Blogspot page, that’s how it is.

Yesterday when I was posting these, I almost passed on giving a guy an art test because he had a Blogspot page with so-so work on the first page, and his actual reel with good work in it on the second page. Fortunately I was being thorough and caught it, but not everyone’s going to do that. Make your art so easy to access I can see it accidentally!

I dislike Wix because a) it’s Flash, b) it’s VERY easy to make a horrible slow-loading page, and c) it’s VERY easy to make a horrible slow-loading page. I don’t care about fancy templates or cool presentation. Think about it this way: As an artist with a portfolio, you’re inclined to think of it as designing an experience to present your work and want it to look super polished and cool, and seeing flashy features and presentation is very tempting. As an art director, I have a list of portfolios to go through and I just want to see art IMMEDIATELY. I don’t care about bells and whistles, I’m less inclined to be forgiving of load times, and Flash-heavy websites that bog down my browser just annoy me. I see Wix and I see a platform that makes it incredibly likely art will be harder and slower for me to see.

In summary, Blogspot is for archived, non-curated content, and Wix’s temptingly flashy themes and features make it very easy to have a super slow portfolio. Some artists can do absolutely great working within those constraints to make good portfolios, but, across hundreds to thousands of portfolios, in the literal sense of “on the average” over a data set that broad, they are more annoying and badly done than not. There are exceptions, but it usually sucks.

Hope that’s helpful!

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