So, it turns out that I need a portfolio and don't have one yet


Greetings fellow forum-person,

Story time:
A hiring recruiter messaged me and said, “…your background and experience appear to be a great fit for this position…” (Yes, I am aware that this was a copy+pasta’d message)

I looked into the company and they looked to be reputable (It turns out that they are a child company of Cox Automotive - a big name in the car industry.) I responded saying that I was interested in learning more and asked if needed any “additional information or documents” from me.

He replied today (Monday) and said, “Great! Please send me your resume and portfolio for our team to review and I will let you know next steps…”

1st of all, I do have a resume to send him.
2nd of all, I do not have a portfolio ready for him. (I just have a collection of stuff on my Google Drive)
[3rd of all will be in the ‘Post-Script’ (‘PS’) section of this post.]

I would like to give him what he needs in a portfolio from me, and I feel like I need to do so in a timely manner In my mind, “a timely manner” would optimally mean today, yet would be permissible to give something to him by tomorrow tomorrow as well.

So my questions for you are:

  1. What is “a timely manner” for these situations?
  2. What do I put in a portfolio?
  3. Should I consider counting this as a missed opportunity I cannot make a decent portfolio in “a timely manner”?

A big thanks for anybody willing to give me some thoughts on this situation.


P.S. 3rd of all, I’ve noticed a trend with business people ending their sentences with “…” when they use Instant Messaging and I don’t get it! Are they trying to convey that they lost interest in writing their message? Are they acknowledging that they don’t speak in complete sentences and use those as a crutch? Have I just missed out on some childish trend and I’m just finding these “…” references to that trend out of context? Why do people use the “…”?? I thought I knew! Gah!!!

  1. A timely manner is whatever you can reasonably turn around. If a recruiter really thinks you’re a good fit, they’ll wait a few days for you to get a portfolio better. I’d let the recruiter know that you’re in the process of putting a portfolio together and expect to have something by the end of the week, and see how it goes. Likely they’ll hem and haw and try and get you to put something together more quickly - avoid the temptation to fold to their request.
  2. A good portfolio tells your story - what your strengths are, how you think, and how you add value to an organization. The word “portfolio” comes with baggage, and for some reason there seems to be this expectation that a portfolio has to be visual. To paraphrase something @joenatoli once said - if your portfolio shows me a bunch of interfaces, I assume you’re a visual designer, not a UX professional. Personally, my advice is to go easy on the graphics, tell your story for each project in 200-300 words, and move on to the next one. Your story and value proposition should be clear and concise.
  3. Only put out quality work when it comes to your own brand. If it means you miss out on this opportunity, so be it. It’s far better to put together quality work that reflects favorably on yourself than a rushed attempt to fulfill a requirement. Only the first approach will land you a job you want.


This will help with getting started: Some advice on building a portfolio