How To Create An Online Portfolio To Show Off Your Edge
What good is your personal brand and extensive professional experience if you aren’t showing it off to people, or recruiters? You need an online portfolio.
Brand you is great. Look at yourself. You’ve achieved so much and excel at what you do. But you need to make sure people know it. An online portfolio lets you bring together all the good stuff; your resume, your projects, any speeches or presentations you’ve given or even published work. It acts as your online storefront: an invitation for getting head-hunted. It lets you show, rather than tell, recruiters what they need to know.
Record your achievements
Before you even start creating your online portfolio, you need to set up some foundations. You should make a habit of recording everything you do.
You should be recording your KPIs for your job anyway – especially the ones you smash – but you should keeping personal records too. This will also help you tailor your resume or cover letter with tangible and specific examples.
What you can collect depends on your contract and the rights you have over content you’ve created. But you should at least be compiling all your work that is publicly available. You worked hard on it, now show it off.
Pick out pictures
They aren’t worth a thousand words but they do tell a lot. Screengrabs (again, where permitted) and performance graphs let the data do the talking.
You should also collect company logos and anything you design. An online portfolio needs to be more visually pleasing than a CV. You have more freedom to let your creativity loose – especially if design is one of the skills you’re showcasing.
You need to plan how you’re going to set your portfolio up. We recommend either by skill or format/medium (i.e. presentations, completed designs, blog posts). Under each category, you want more than one case study, or example of work.
Choose a structure that makes sense, and stick to it. You want to make it easy for the reader to find what they’re looking for. This will also make gathering evidence easier for yourself in the future. Which is handy, because you’ll be super busy with all the work your online portfolio is bringing you!
A simple portfolio
Depending on your industry, there are a number of tools that let you build or import content into a free online portfolio. This is an incredibly easy way to do it, but there are limits, such as number of categories, or a limited amount of work. Some of these include Muck Rack and Journo Portfolio.
Building a website
For total control, you’ll want to put your online portfolio on its own website.
The largest platforms are WordPress, Wix and Squarespace. Each have their own strengths and weaknesses; Wix and Squarespace are easier for designing pages, but can lock your content a bit.
WordPress offers the most flexibility, as it is a content management system as well as a website builder. This means you can post case studies as regular blog updates, and there’s less website management this route. There are plenty of tutorials available on WordPress, free of charge.
However you decide to do it, don’t let the creation of your online portfolio stress you out. This is a celebration of your achievement, so enjoy this moment!