With potential employers checking out new hires online, having an online portfolio makes good business sense, providing a valuable introduction to your skills.
Your choice of information and how you organize it could make the difference between being hired and being overlooked, so just what should you include?
Start with these six things:
Lead Off with an Introduction
Visitors want to get a feel for the person behind the portfolio, so be sure to include an introduction.
Your introduction should inspire confidence, giving a brief background on what you do, and who you are. Keep it short, but relatable. Your visitors are interested in the person you are and what you are like to work with – you don’t need to include your life story.
As the article “The Power and Impact of an Online Portfolio” points out, it’s a good idea to start by asking yourself about the expectations within your industry.
What skills, qualifications and personal attributes are employers in your industry looking for?
By cultivating an awareness of what employers want, you can tailor your profile to make sure it answers those needs.
Avoid confusion by keeping your focus clear.
An overcrowded portfolio will fail to make an impact. Instead, summarize your key skills in one or two sentences that will leave visitors in no doubt as to what they’ll get when they work with you.
Be sure to include a strong introduction, an easy to browse selection of your work, a clear call to action to encourage contact, and visible contact details to facilitate that.
The maxim “show, don’t tell” holds true when it comes to your online portfolio. It’s not enough to simply list what you’ve done – details about your achievements are a must.
For example, if you re-designed a website for a restaurant, don’t just show your design. Talk about how many more visitors they got as a result, or how much revenue increased after it went live.
Leave your visitors with a clear impression of what you can achieve for them when they hire you.
Your Best Work
Choose your work for your portfolio carefully.
This is your chance to show your best work. It can be tempting to include everything you’ve done. However, it makes better business sense to take the opportunity to showcase the best of your work.
As well as choosing your best work, be sure to include some background on each project, such as the remit for each one and how you set about completing it.
Provide the Right Layout
Layout matters when it comes to your online portfolio.
The focus should be on your work, not on the layout surrounding it. Aim for a clear, professional look that easily draws attention to what you want to say.
Your portfolio should be easy to browse, leaving your reader free to focus on the quality of your work.
Make sure your portfolio is mobile-friendly too, or you could risk losing mobile visitors.
Your online portfolio gives you an opportunity to make your first impression count.
Take the time to plan and build it with this in mind so potential employers will like what they see when they visit your online home.
Photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com
About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on a range of topics including social media, SEO that works, and careers.