Jul 23, 2015
Are you a student with plans to soon enter the workplace? If you're looking for a career which requires shown proof of your talents, you'll probably want to create a portfolio. Many choose to create their portfolio using a website as a showcase of sorts to show off their proudest works. Here are 5 essential tips for creating an eye catching and effective portfolio.
1. Allow your personality to shine through on your website.
Don't copy someone else's design simply because you think it looks nice. Employers aren't just looking for someone who puts out work, they want to know YOU as well. Make your website portfolio unique and fitting to what kind of person you are. Great tools to use are logos, pictures and colours. Just don't over do it. You're creating a brand for yourself. Sell yourself as though you are your own company.
2. Don't overload the pages with information.
In today's technologically savvy world, less is more. Employers will likely go through many portfolios a day, this means you'll want to keep yours short and sweet. First impressions DO MATTER. So make your website look like something potential employers will want to continue to view. Also related, if your portfolio includes video, keep them quick, maybe 30 seconds or less to get the point across. Employers won't take the time to watch a 5 minute video.
3. Keep your works limited to your most proud.
Related to number three, only show your proudest works. Maybe 2 - 3 in each area of your skill sets. Employers don't want to see everything you've created, and having too much content on any page will just make visitors want to leave all the quicker. It's also a good idea to spread your works out in multiple categories across your websites, to show your variety of skills and interests. Also it's a good idea when showing your works, show your process as well. Seeing how something was made is sometimes even more important than the finished product itself. It can show off your skills at dealing with obstacles and your ability to overcome them. Bonus points for images included in your process description.
4. Start a blog with relevant interests and that shows your personality.
It's a good idea to create a blog on your website to provide incentive for repeated visits. Even if you aren't getting hundreds of viewers a day, an employer will like that you're repeatedly updating your website. It also provides practice and display of your writing chops, something that's of ever importance in the workplace.
5. Create a LinkedIn account and provide access from your website.
LinkedIn is a great tool to work as a short resume to highlight your areas of expertise, experience and interests. Therefore, it's great to provide access to your LinkedIn account from your portfolio webpage. Employers will be able to match up your related experience with your various works across your portfolio. Bonus points for providing a downloadable resume from your website as well, in PDF format.
There you have it, 5 essential tips for creating a portfolio before you enter the workplace. It goes without saying that it's also incredibly important to create a website that's visually pleasing as well. If your website is ugly, employers will be clicking that red X in the corner at breakneck speed. Even if your work displayed is of the highest quality, a good looking website will ensure that it gets seen by potential employers. Remember this, You're Selling Yourself. Good Luck!
Have more tips that have worked for you in the past? Let us know in the comments.
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