The Graphic Design industry is very competitive. Being creative just isn't enough. Here's the top ten things to help you get started in your career as a Graphic Designer. I've assumed, dear reader, that you are about to graduate or have graduated from University and you are getting your portfolio together and looking for a job. This article focuses on your portfolio.

1: Does the work you have in your portfolio reflect the job you are applying for? No point in applying for a branding job and your portfolio only shows packaging.
2: Even if all you have is University projects (and that does not matter) make sure the final piece in some of your projects is commercially viable. It needs to look like the real thing might and ready to go to market.
3: If you can, do include at least one piece of printed and finished work, it shows you can take your concepts through the entire process and have some understanding of production.
4: For your best creative work, show your early sketches and the creative process you went through to arrive at your solution.
5: What order should you show your work? I get asked this question all of the time. Simply put, show your second best work at the very beginning and your very best at the end.
6: Bearing in mind point 5, that doesn't mean filling the middle with rubbish. Make sure every piece you show you are proud of, don't show work that doesn't make you shine.
7: It does not matter what platform you use to show your work. It can be a website, tablet, PDF or a printed portfolio. Potential employers and Creative Directors do like to touch and hold mock ups, so bear that in mind.
8: Make sure you 'Know Your Onions', if your type is well kerned, your images are of good quality and your spelling is checked.
9: Think about it from our point of view, we see oodles of portfolios - what would make yours stand out from the crowd?
10: Make an effort. It might sound obvious but the more effort you make, the more likely you will get the job you are looking for. Leaving University is not the end, it is the beginning. So switch off Facebook and get into InDesign. Work on your portfolio as much as you can - and keep working on it. We can tell when we are looking at old work.