Resume and portfolio combined or separate?

When applying to a firm by e-mail, what would you recommend?

I usually send my cover letter, resume and portfolio as three separate attachments, but I wonder if I'm making a mistake by doing so. Any thoughts?

Dec 4, 18 5:18 pm

I vote for separate. Portfolios can get pretty large when it comes to file size.

Dec 4, 18 6:39 pm  · 

So you're saying that they might want to have it separate so it's not as cumbersome as the portfolio?

Dec 5, 18 5:27 am  · 

As long as they like what they see you'll be fine. I usually send out letters, CV and portfolio as separates and have my CV also included in the portfolio. Works fine for me, makes it easy for them to only print out a letter or CV and they have my CV nicely incorporated in the portfolio if they would like to flip through it later on.

Dec 5, 18 8:06 am  · 

Great! my concern was that having the CV as a separate attachment and inside the portfolio as well would be redundant. I was concerned that by submitting separate attachments i'd be making it a hassle for them.

Job seeking is making me crazy and paranoid about the tiniest things.

Dec 5, 18 8:46 am  · 

Unless they specifically state 'all in one file' or, 'all in separate files' it doesn't really matter that much, focus on the content :)


Good tip. Thanks a bunch! :)


I would do the following:

1 Always follow the directions in the application, if the file has to be 5 MB that means the total size has to be under 5 MB, this does not typically mean send multiple 5 MB files.  Do not send multiple files this is very annoying when you have 100-200 applicants per day.

2 Have your portfolio on a website, Square-space is easy to use and has decent layout templates to get you started fast. Website hyperlinks can be embedded into most PDF files and should be included in the signature of your emails as you correspond with perspective employers.

3 If your resume is small in terms of the file size then consider attaching a few sheets of project images, recruiters and managers will likely print out your resume on a cheap black and white printer, letter size only, and take notes as they pass your resume around the office in the process of deciding who to call in to interview.  Do not exceed the maximum file size, do add images but always have your resume header on those images so they don't get lost.

4 Resumes often need to be customized to the specific job you are applying to, I would not make it part of your portfolio, but do keep a consistent font and layout style so your resume, cover letter, business card, website and hard copy portfolio all look like a cohesive system or brand. 

Typically you need two portfolios (design oriented and technically oriented), one website, one business card and up to 4 resume versions in a typical job search (design, technical, not tied to a specific region for out of town opportunities and something generic in case you don't know much about the firms you are applying to)

I hope this helps

Over and OUT

Peter N

Dec 5, 18 1:01 pm  · 

Thanks so much for such a comprehensive answer, Peter. Luckily I find I have done a few of those things already, namely "branding" all my application material in a way that shows cohesion and, hopefully, taste.

As for separate vs. combined, I see that there are different schools of thought. Darnit. Both options seem to be very annoying for different reasons.


The only person you need to make things easy for is the potential employer/boss the reason for someone to bring on a new person is to make it easier for them and their team to do the work in-front of them.


Of course. I meant that both options seem to bring annoyance to the employer in different ways.

Dec 6, 18 11:56 am  · 

First you need to carefully read the requirements for a resume, usually, employers indicate what they need.It is very important to follow these guidelines if you want to get a job in this company.A cover letter is also a big plus and you should not forget about it.As for the portfolio, it should also be specified in the requirements; the last time I looked for a job, I just left a link to it in my resume, so it doesn’t weigh down the file and they can always view it.

Jan 6, 19 10:16 am  · 

unless they state otherwise, separate. definitely.

Jan 9, 19 12:00 pm  · 


Jan 9, 19 12:54 pm  · 

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