How to create a portfolio with no experience (or little).

A woman uses her laptop to learn how to create a portfolio.

A portfolio is a must-have for success in creative fields. Learn how to create a portfolio with little to no experience, and discover helpful tips for creating yours.

A portfolio is a collection of your best work showcasing your skills and talents to potential employers. While necessary in most creative fields, making one can sometimes be challenging, especially if you’re just starting out or the work you have is difficult to showcase. Here are some tips for putting together yours.

How to build a portfolio with no experience at all.

Portfolio styles can vary greatly. On one hand, this can make the process of putting one together confusing, but on the other hand, it also lends to great versatility. You can tailor yours to best reflect your experience no matter what type of work you do or where you are in your career.

If you have no work, creating samples can be a game-changer. Consider exchanging your services with another professional to build your portfolio. For example, if you’re a graphic designer, you can create logo work for a copywriter in exchange for writing services. Or, simply create mockups to showcase your skills.

And if your work is non-visual (writer, strategist, manager, or other non-visual professional), think of the story you want to tell. Craft narratives that help highlight your expertise and problem-solving skills. As a strategist, you might share a client’s problem, how you solved it, and the outcome. If you’re a writer, you may want to share your best headlines or combine PDFs of your best articles.

How to make a portfolio if you have little work or NDAs.

Privacy agreements, like nondisclosure agreements (NDAs), or launch dates of projects sometimes prevent you from sharing your work. In these cases, it’s best to discuss with the company how you can showcase your involvement. That might mean sharing general project outlines or even just their logo.

Importance of a portfolio even with little to no work.

Regardless of your level of experience, having a portfolio is an important asset if you want to progress in your professional journey. It’s more than just showing past accomplishments — it’s a helpful tool that can break into the industry so you can prove your worth. Even if your portfolio primarily consists of personal projects or samples you’ve created, it’s still good to have. Here’s why:

More tips for how to create a portfolio with little experience.

Save and share your portfolio.

Once your portfolio is complete, all that’s left to do is get it out there. Be sure to compress your file to make it easily shareable via email or other online platforms.

See everything you can do with Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Acrobat online services to showcase your work and impress potential employers.