A personal portfolio could be your ticket to a great job in today’s digital world. Plenty of hiring managers want to hire talent just by judging their professional achievements and abilities. And, a great personal portfolio is the best way to win them over because it conveniently demonstrates all your professional achievements. That being said, you also have to design your portfolio optimally to show your achievements–that’s exactly what we’re about to teach you today.
What is a personal Portfolio and why do you need one?
A personal portfolio shows your professional abilities and achievements. Prospective employers and clients will see your resume to judge your abilities and decide whether to work with you. So, it’s a powerful tool for winning people over.
Online portfolios are usually simple, with only a few items including your work samples, references, and written recommendations. This information is sufficient for demonstrating your professional abilities.
A good personal portfolio effectively highlights your abilities as a candidate, so a good portfolio easily convinces an employer of your value. In fact, your work portfolio would easily be one of the most important aspects of your entire application to many potential employers.
How to create a portfolio that showcases your achievements?
You can create a great online professional portfolio in the following 7 steps.
1. The portfolio should highlight the right skills
Your portfolio needs to be focused on the most relevant skills for your career. For instance, if you’re a graphic designer who’s mostly interested in logo design, your portfolio should also prioritize your logo designing achievements. Having a focused portfolio demonstrates to employers that you’re a committed and experienced professional in your domain.
Your portfolio should also be straight-to-the-point regarding your skills and instantly recognizable. Anyone who sees your portfolio should instantly know what it’s about. You don’t want anyone to see your portfolio and wonder what it’s about. It shouldn’t take longer than a split second to know what you’re all about.
2. Select the highest quality work you have produced
Your portfolio shows employers what you’re capable of producing–they also expect you to produce similar work for them. So, only include your best work in your portfolio. You have to impress visitors to your portfolio, so you need to list only the best.
For example, if you’re a writer, only include your objectively best pieces of writing. When your employer visits your portfolio, reads your samples, and expects you to produce the exact quality of work for them, too. So, make sure you only give your best.
3. Recent work is preferred
Adding recent work is a good strategy since it convinces viewers that you’ve maintained your skills over time. An employer who wants to hire you as a graphic designer will be more comfortable knowing you only recently made a design similar to what they want.
Conversely, using older work is also a red flag for employers. Using older work means you haven’t produced anything better since. That implies your skills haven’t improved over time and could even mean your skills decreased over time.
Naturally, no one wants to work with someone who doesn’t improve over time. So, having older work, even if it’s good, could undermine you professionally.
Read: How To Tell Your Career Story
4. Your portfolio should be diverse
A diverse portfolio shows how you’ve used your skills in different ways. For instance, a graphic designer could demonstrate they’ve designed both website content and social media content. Mind you, it’s the same skill being expressed differently–not completely different skills.
You could achieve a diverse portfolio by using past work examples and other projects you’ve done. The goal is for an employer to see the full range of your skill and recognize that you can use them in different ways.
5. Organize your work and avoid clutter
Any serious employer will thoroughly check your portfolio to fully understand you. They’ll likely check multiple work examples and read other information you’ve posted there. You don’t want to make their review process difficult with a cluttered portfolio.
Ideally, your portfolio should be lean and easy to navigate. Add a limited amount of information on each page and have a small but meaningful number of work samples. You don’t want to overwhelm employers with hundreds of samples.
6. Add information about yourself
A professional portfolio should contain a brief ‘about me’ section for you that provides relevant background information on you. An ‘About Me’ section is a good idea since it helps potential employers understand you better and decide whether you’re the right fit for them.
‘About me’ sections should be short but punchy. It’s also fine to make them witty or interesting but keep them short and relevant. For instance, you could include why you’re passionate about graphic design and mention your educational background if it’s relevant.
You could even add some charisma and personality through a short introduction video
Websites you can use to create a portfolio
While it’s always better to build a website on your own domain, you could also use these 2 free portfolio builders if building a website is unfeasible for you.
Graphic designers frequently use Behance.net to build personal portfolios since the builder offers great design choices.
Writers use Clippings.me the most since this site presents your portfolio as a simple list divided by multiple categories.
In short, a visually effective portfolio highlights your skills and demonstrates how you’ve used them through past work experiences and examples. An effective portfolio is also easy-to-navigate, and has your best and most recent work samples, along with being diverse, but focused.