In the modern workforce, almost every job features an online component, either for branding purposes or as a part of their business operations. This is also true during the hiring process. Gone are the days where you can just walk into a company to meet the manager in person and hand-deliver a resume. In an increasingly digitized and automated world, it’s important to stand out. Many hopeful workers are building their own personal online portfolios to do just that, and they’re starting in college.
While some careers already require workers to curate a portfolio, it‘s something all students looking for internships or about to graduate should consider. A digital portfolio is a perfect addition to your resume, allowing you to show what makes you unique while also controlling your digital narrative. A digital portfolio helps you create the narrative in a positive way. It showcases what you’re capable of and highlights work that you’re the most proud of producing.
Online portfolios aren’t just for creative careers. They can be useful for just about any career field, from teachers to construction workers. A link to your portfolio in your resume allows hiring managers to become familiar with your work easily before an interview. Here are three things to consider while building an online portfolio:
1. Show off your skills
The benefit to a portfolio is that it can be both universal in scope and incredibly specific for an audience. Not every job is going to require the same thing, so your portfolio should highlight all of your skills. Think of your portfolio as an extension of your resume, as well as a trophy case of your best work. Portfolios are great for showing, not telling. Photos, short descriptions, and organized sections are perfect for highlighting the things that show how well you do each skill. Remember to keep it neat, as visual as possible, and easy to navigate for potential employers.
2. Build off your resume and define your narrative
Employers are not looking for descriptions of the previous job you had, they want concrete evidence of what you can contribute. Portfolios can be the perfect exclamation point to your resume by offering several examples of what skills you possess. The best examples of what you can do come from college assignments and even activities that you’ve been involved in. Did you help coordinate an event? Did you participate in a big project? Did you have an assignment that you aced? These papers or projects show off your ability to understand instructions and perform desired tasks, the keys to a great worker. A resume highlights your accomplishments in school, at a job, or internship. Use your portfolio to give better context to those highlights.
Portfolios are also a great way to market yourself. A portfolio can help build that narrative by offering extended contact information or access that can show how you operate in the professional world. Copying your LinkedIn URL or a dedicated Instagram page to your work can help show your ability to be professional even when outside of the work environment and linking to your online portfolio from your LinkedIn account will give potential employers further insight into your talents.
3. Be Creative
An online portfolio is meant to help show people who you are and how talented you are. Do not be afraid of making it unique. There are plenty of free online platforms that will assist in creating a website. Even free to use sites can allow for customization to really let your creativity shine. A great resume catches an employer’s eye quickly by showing what makes you unique. Let your portfolio do the same by demonstrating your personality in the professional space.
It’s always important to stand out in a shifting work landscape. The best way to do that is highlighting what makes you successful. Be proud of those accomplishments! They tell the story of who you are as a person and a worker. Employers want to get to know both sides of you.
If you need some examples of what an online portfolio looks like, do some research. A simple online search will show you a variety of portfolios and ways you can create a portfolio that’s as unique as you are.