As budding professionals in a digital age, we should look for ways to market ourselves by creating a professional online presence. So, how do you grab an employer’s attention and position yourself as a great applicant without actually meeting them? Follow these five golden rules of developing an online portfolio, and you’ll be able to introduce your personal brand, showcase your work, present your resume and invite people to contact you with just a few clicks.
1. Quality over quantity
Spice up your online portfolio with a variety of previous projects and responsibilities (in PDF versions, please), but don’t clutter your page with old work that doesn’t showcase your best abilities. You should also use the PAR technique (Problem—Action—Result) to provide a background story of your work and illustrate how you could be an asset to the employer.
2. Keep it fresh
Your website’s design should be simple, fresh and professional. Leave the tie-dye, polka dots and other busy patterns behind and work within a neutral color palette. The design should complement your professionalism and spotlight your work.
3. Brand yourself
Include an “About Me” section to introduce yourself in a personable and professional way. Feel free to be creative and tell a story about where your passions originated. Talk about your experiences in the workplace. Give an open invitation to connect on social media or LinkedIn.
I also like to include a professional picture to create a face-to-name basis for my potential employer, but that’s a personal preference and not always necessary.
4. Brag a little
If you have more to offer than a few work samples, add awards and achievements, a link to your blog if it’s active and don’t forget to include your full resume. As long as it could be a point of conversation in an interview and you’re proud of it, brag a little.
There is nothing worse than when an employer is excited to see your work only to find your portfolio hasn’t been updated in years. Make sure you refresh your page often and showcase your most recent work.
Do you have an online portfolio? What other guidelines do you have?