Essential Ingredients of an Online Portfolio

I recently had to create an online portfolio for class, and quickly realized how great of a tool it is. In the digital world we live in, it’s a great way to showcase your skills to potential employers while also showing off your unique personality. I think it’s something that everyone should have. If you keep up with it, you’ll always have something in your back pocket to pull out in job situations.

There are a few tips that I learned along the way that I’d like to share. If you ever decide to create an online portfolio, or already have one (which I suggest you do), these should help you create a great one. 

1. A clean, inviting homepage

Think of this as your first time meeting someone. You want to make a great first impression, right? Your homepage should intrigue potential employers and make them want to pursue you further. Tell a little about yourself. Make it personable and engaging.

For example: Hi, my name is Katie Wright. I’m an advertising student at Florida State University. I love creating designs for standout ads. When I’m not on InDesign, I enjoy going for walks in the park with my dog.

2. A consistent theme

While designing your portfolio, come up with a professional theme that you’re going to stick with throughout. I chose to go with a cream and white chevron colored background with navy blue text and pink tabs. Choose a color scheme that represents you. Think of everything from your resume to your examples of work – they should all represent your personal brand.

3.  Examples of your best work

Haven’t had the chance to do that killer internship yet? That’s okay! You can still have a great online portfolio. Remember that big project you worked on all last semester? Include that! Include any material that highlights and provides evidence of your specific skills. For example, if you’re going into journalism, show examples of articles you wrote that are published or papers you’ve written for your creative writing class.

4. Good visuals

Make your online portfolio visually pleasing! Instead of just including a link to a project you worked on, include a screenshot of one of the pages or the end result. This makes it more eye catching as potential employers are going through your page. If you want, use an image or graphic that goes along with your story.

5. A contact page

After going through all that work, you want to make sure potential employers can contact you. The contact page should be clearly visible and easy to use. You should have some sort of contact form or email address clearly listed. If you have a Twitter, LinkedIn, or blog, include links for those! Potential employers want to be able to connect with you and see that you want to get in touch with them as well.  

There are a few platforms you can get started with that are super easy to use. My personal favorite is Wix, and there’s also Wordpress, Tumblr and plenty others out there. Once you get started, don’t forget to keep it updated with your most current information. I hope these tips help you. Good luck!