Imagine your dream job for a moment. Does it pay well? Is it with a particular company? Who are you working for? Is it in a particular city, state or even country?
If someone reached out to you about your dream job today, would you be prepared to discuss it? Would you have a resume ready? What about a portfolio?
If your answer is no, then block off your calendar for the upcoming weekend because this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on!
Resumes and portfolios allow you to demonstrate your experience in different ways. Resumes get the reader to say, “Yes, I want to learn more!” Portfolios visually demonstrate that expertise. And everyone can visually demonstrate that expertise—not just your traditional designers, UX professionals and copywriters. Everyone should have a portfolio.
Did you hear that in the back?
So let’s get started.
Where Do I Begin?
Physical portfolios aren’t used as often anymore. There may be specific instances when a photo of your work just can’t do it justice. A digital or web-based portfolio can showcase your work in the way it deserves.
Digital portfolios are highly customizable and allow you to share them with people far and wide. You can easily update individual pieces or their summaries, keeping everything relevant and current.
Ready to get started on your web-based portfolio?
WordPress and Squarespace are easy site building resources that can get you started in a matter of minutes. If you’re not pressed for time and feeling creative, you can create your web-based portfolio from scratch.
Don’t worry, if you’re not on the creative side, you choose one of their amazing templates to get you started. Select pieces that speak for themselves, regardless of how creative or extravagant you make your digital portfolio.
What Do I Include?
Choosing which pieces to include in your portfolio can initially be a challenging and overwhelming task. We recommend selecting work that demonstrates a wide range of your strengths and accomplishments.
Be sure to edit your pieces… then edit them again. Each piece should be grammatically correct and error free (you wouldn’t send in a resume littered with typos).
After selecting your pieces, you should include a brief summary using the STAR method. The STAR method walks the reader through the Situation, Task, Action and Result of the piece or project. You should follow this process on each work in your portfolio.
Make sure to note what part of the project or piece you actually worked on. If you only had a part in the copy of a social media post, you should include that in your STAR analysis. If you talk about the piece as a whole, the reader may assume you completed the entire project.
Now it is time to organize your pieces in a way that tells your individual story. We recommend placing your stronger pieces at the top of the site, as many readers typically focus on the first few items before digging into the rest.
Include a bio and an image of yourself. Be authentic and use your own voice. Use your portfolio as an opportunity to showcase how amazing you are!
What If I Don’t Have Enough?
Sometimes a career change happens or you realize you don’t have enough pieces to fill out your web-based portfolio; that’s okay!
You can add additional pieces that you make up. Feel free to explore your creative side and challenge yourself.
How can you explore your creative side?
Take a marketing email and redo it. Show the reader how you believe the email could be stronger. Explain your changes and why you changed them.
You can do this with a variety of items or projects. Maybe you’re passionate about coding but do not have a lot of experience. Create a website or webpage for your favorite brand. Give them a nice redesign!
Freelance work or volunteer work can give you other pieces that you can include in your website. Someone with little project management experience could get involved in local events as an event planner. They can then share their spreadsheets and tools they created to stay organized.
Lastly, it is crucial to note that these pieces are fictional. We wouldn’t want readers to get a false impression that you actually worked for these companies. Regardless, the pieces still show what you are capable of doing.
Ready to get started? Remember, a digital portfolio is a great tool to make you stand out and celebrate your unique talent. Let’s get your portfolio up-to-date and get your accomplishments recognized!
Do you need additional help getting started? Schedule a FREE appointment with us any Thursday during our Office Hours. We would love to hear from you!