By: Diannie Chavez, Career Development Peer, ASU's Career and Professional Development Services
In a digital age, it is important to adapt to our resources and use them to our advantage. One way of doing so is by creating an online portfolio.
An online portfolio is a digital tool for showcasing your work in a more personalized and in-depth way than a resume. Portfolios are commonly created with a website, and include creative work, contacts, your resume and much more. Before you create a portfolio, however, it is important to know why it is beneficial to do so.
Professional way to showcase your work: Building a website can showcase your work and expertise in a polished way and can be more creative and innovative than a traditional portfolio. Creating an online portfolio also gives you the power to build your own brand, something that isn’t possible with a typical resume or paper portfolio.
A great first impression for employers: Employers are very likely to click on your website link if you include it on your resume. Creating an online portfolio demonstrates initiative and shows that you can put your skills into practice.
Reputation and networking: Having a website makes it possible for clients and employers to find your work with a simple google search. Moreover, your website is a good way to define your character and personality.
Self-reflection: An online portfolio is a great way to see what you’ve accomplished. There are no limits to what you can include. From art samples and writing samples to photos from campaigns you’ve participated in, you can include almost anything to express yourself and show what you’re capable of.
So what goes into creating an online portfolio?
Choose your Platform: There are many websites available to start creating your online portfolio. You’ll be able to create an effective website regardless of which one you choose. Below are some of the platforms available:
Wix: A subscription-based website builder that allows you to create a website from a selection of themes. The easy-to-use editor allows you to add several features such as widgets, forms, multimedia and more.
Squarespace: A 12-year-old platform that gives the creator the ability to control design with a vast array of choices for designs as well. This platform also has a fully adaptable website editor which makes it even easier to make your website your own.
Wordpress: A well-known platform for blogging that offers several themes built for portfolio templates. This platform also allows you to connect with millions of bloggers who can find your work with keywords or tags.
Choose your Structure: A simple structure can go a long way. There are four basic components recommended for every portfolio. Of course, you can add more if you have more to showcase.
Introduction: An introduction should be concise and to the point.
Projects: When showcasing your work, it is important to include your best work, not all of your work. Remember, quality over quantity. It is also important to provide context for each of your projects.
Your services: Depending on your career, you may be available for different services. Make sure you outline this in your portfolio whether it be through your achievements, testimonials, education, or employment status.
Contact Information: Include a variety of contact information. You can also include a contact form which is typically available through the website builder.
Simple enough, right?
It is important that you invest a good amount of time into your portfolio. What you put into it is what you will get out of it. Don’t get too stuck on following guidelines and templates, a portfolio should be your own and should be a good representation of your abilities.
Check out this example of a journalism student’s online portfolio!