A beautiful self promotion will grab the attention of perspective employers, but a promotion that also has a strong CONCEPT will keep them interested! The concept must be decided on first! It’s the idea behind the design and the underlying logic and reasoning that guides you in making all of the aesthetic choices: color, typography, visuals, format, etc. Every decision you make should support and fall back on your concept. A strong concept usually begins as a verbal, abstract idea – this allows for focus on the message you wish to communicate without being bound to a visual direction. The self promotions below all have both conceptual and aesthetic beauty. They not only communicate the designers’ talents, they stand out from the crowd by showing passion and personality.
Lastly, I've included a self promotion created by Jessica Hische (who was just named one of the most influential designers working today by GD Magazine). She combined a playful and unique illustration style with fantastic copywriting to showcase work from her student portfolio: