The expert’s guide to creating a digital portfolio that will land you the job of your dreams.
An online portfolio is a place to flaunt the work you are most proud of, demonstrate your professional experience, and show off your skills. In today’s job market, a well-formatted portfolio can be just as essential as an impressive resume.
The good news—a great digital portfolio doesn’t have to be difficult to create or maintain, as long as it reflects who you are and what you can do. Beyond that, there are a few simple tips and tricks you can follow that will really elevate your skillset and catch the eye of potential employers.
Check out our expert guide on how to create a digital portfolio that reflects your best work!
1. Choose your content
Before you do anything, you should decide how you want to represent yourself in your online portfolio. Feel free to leave out those articles you wrote for your high school paper, or that sample website you constructed in an Intro to HTML class – instead, link to pieces that closely align with the types of jobs you want while emphasizing your proven talent in that field. Similarly, it’s always good to show that you are dynamic and adaptable, no matter what industry you’re in. If you’re a graphic designer, showcase a compelling piece that also highlights your copywriting skills. If you’re a freelance journalist, consider choosing work that demonstrates your ability to write hard-hitting investigative articles in addition to cheeky blog posts. Demonstrating your breadth, while showing off your pertinent accomplishments, will only benefit you in the long run.
In addition to varying your skillset, you should try to include testimonials from former colleagues and clients. Demonstrating that you impacted people in previous roles will speak volumes to who you are as an employee and a person.
2. Craft a pleasant user experience
When you send your online portfolio to a recruiter or a potential employer, you want them to be able to understand your work quickly and easily. Arrange your photos or articles in a visually pleasing way that tells a story but is still easy to navigate. (This is especially important if you are a UI/UX designer!)
User experience goes hand in hand with the platform you use to create your online portfolio. If you’re an expert in web design, pick a site like WordPress that allows you to customize and show off your skills. Behance, on the other hand, is perfect for visual designers and filmmakers to showcase their most powerful work.
It’s not only visual designers, however, who need online portfolios. Digital marketers, writers, and industry experts need a place to show off their work in a creative, digital way, and an online portfolio is the perfect medium for that. Clippings.me offers free and paid websites where you can publish multimedia work, so it’s a great option for a professional whose work spans across industries and platforms.
3. Make it you – tell your story!
Perhaps the most important part of your online portfolio is that you illustrate why your work matters. Anyone can create exceptional work, but there is a reason you do what you do, and that reason makes your work inherently special. Share that reason with the world.
In keeping with this theme, you should also link to your social media. Your online portfolio is a great tool to exemplify your professional prowess, but your social media is where your personality really shines. Linking to these accounts — especially important if you’re involved in digital marketing — is a great way to show colleagues and potential employers how your personality influences your work, and why you’re different from the crowd.
4. Pay attention to SEO
For your portfolio to show up prominently in searches, you have to enhance your Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. If you want to be recognized as a Copywriter in Los Angeles, make sure you describe yourself as a “Copywriter in Los Angeles” throughout! This can be easily done by adding short descriptions to each piece that you post.
For tips on how to enhance your SEO, check out this helpful article!
5. Don’t forget to update!
Creating an online portfolio is not just for recent college grads or people in between jobs; it is crucial in maintaining your professional presence. Especially if you’re in a transition period in your career, you should cultivate a portfolio that is always reflective of your work. You never know who will stumble upon your online portfolio, so it’s best to make sure it is relevant to the work you are doing now.
If you’re currently looking for opportunities or want to share your brand new online portfolio with a recruiter, check out our job opportunities page!