The necessity of portfolio for a new UX designer

Dear members,
After a first career as a history professor, I “discovered” UX and fell in love. Last August I completed a UX course (100 hours) at one of the leading UX agencies in Israel. I have been trying to get a job in the last 5 months, with no luck. The answer I hear from potential employers is that I don’t have experience. I decided therefore to concentrate my efforts on a portfolio. I am looking for people who also work on a portfolio so we can share ideas and suggestions. I also have some questions about portfolio:

  1. Is it “ok” to create a portfolio using Powerpoint (or convert it to pdf) and upload it to Dropbox for instance (and share a link with someone)
  2. IS there a website like 99 Designs but only for UX projects?
  3. What would be a good mix of case-studies (e.g., web app, mobile, responsive)
  4. Do I need any knowledge in graphic design in order to create a good UX portfolio?
  5. Should I present the ENTIRE project with all screens, menus etc.? Or rather, just a “taste” from the process?

Many thanks,

Welcome Tomer, I’m glad you’ve found us! Apologies for the slow reply – we’re on holidays at the moment.

1 – Absolutely. Use whatever tools your feel comfortable with, in order to showcase your skills in the best possible light. There is no recognised standard.
2 – Not that I have ever heard of, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the case.
3 – That really depends on the area in which you want to work. The idea is to showcase your process as much as the finished product/
4 – No, as above – the premise of UX is the process, although design skills are a definite plus.
5 – The more detail the better.