If you are thinking about building yourself an online portfolio, you should! Many professionals and professors have recommended that university students and young pros should build an online presence for themselves. Having an online portfolio is the perfect way to do that. Having your own URL also sets you apart from the hundreds of other resumes floating out there.
Here are five tips for building an online portfolio:
I started my online portfolio in May using WordPress.org. Since then I have had so many compliments from my mentors congratulating me for my efforts. It’s nowhere near perfect, but it’s something to showcase my work and make me stand out just a little further. You can check out my portfolio as an example of what you could do. If you don’t know where to start, check out this article.
1- Let your personality shine: Resumes and cover letters are usually formal, highlighting your achievements and passions. Your portfolio, however, can reveal a lot about who you are without seeming inappropriate, like it may in a cover letter. In your “About” section give yourself a little room to talk about who YOU are as a person, not just as a professional. Leave all the work experience for your resume. Talk up your hobbies, passions, and interests. This will give the person viewing your portfolio a little glimpse into who you [really] are.
2- Use a professional-looking photo: Personality is great; giving HR a reason to pass over you is not. Please, I beg you, do not use a photo of you holding an alcoholic beverage on your portfolio. (Generally speaking, do not use a photo of you holding alcohol or partaking in any illegal activities on ANY profile.) Find a picture of you smiling nicely or have professional photos taken. The photo you choose for your portfolio is the first impression someone will have of you. Make it clean, professional and appropriate.
3- Provide your BEST work examples: While it is great that have has 50+ articles published, the chances of someone reading each example is slim. For the best results, provide links or samples of your work that you believe best represents you as a writer/professional. You can provide links to your blog or even PDF links of articles or press releases you have written for class, as long as they are your best work.
4- Link to your social media profiles: Giving links to your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts is a great way to show that you practice full disclosure, meaning that you have nothing to hide; that being said, if you do have something to hide, do not link to it. Otherwise, providing links to your social media sites is also giving people a discrete way to check you out a little more closely. Perhaps the hiring manager at that firm you have been dying to intern for will follow you on Twitter. It is also a good way to increase your SEO ranking in Google.
5- Most importantly, link to your portfolio everywhere: When your portfolio is finished, make sure that you add the link to the very top of your resume, in the text of your cover letter, on your business cards, and on every social media profile you have on the web. You want people to see this, so don’t be afraid to tweet about it or even post a link on Facebook. Chances are you worked pretty hard on that site so you might as well show everyone. You never know who could be searching for an intern or filling a position within the company. It’s worth a shot.