Tips for creating a website portfolio
Important dos and don’ts for displaying your skills and expertise online
At a Glance: Stand out to potential employers with a professional and polished online portfolio documenting your work and goals.
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When it comes to marketing yourself professionally, there is some serious power in online portfolios. They go where LinkedIn can’t, allowing you to present a polished, thorough account of your accomplishments and stand out to potential employers. And far from being solely for design-industry professionals, such as photographers and graphic designers, online portfolios can be a savvy self-marketing tool for anyone from educators to engineers. Thinking of creating a professional presence online? Here’s what you need to know:
- DO select a host site that allows you to easily create and manage your portfolio by working with existing templates. There are dozens of online tools available, including Squarespace, Weebly, Portfoliobox, SITE123, Crevado and more. Not sure where to start? Ask your University of Phoenix classmates to recommend tried-and-true hosting sites.
- DO purchase a unique-to-you domain name for your portfolio site. Nothing says “amateur” like a subdomain website address along the lines of yournamehere.portfoliohostingcompany.com. Most hosting sites make it easy for you to purchase a domain — just be sure to understand what the costs are up front (typically less than $30 annually).
- DO create a page featuring an updated, downloadable resume.
- DO include things that will give you credibility and make you stand out. For example, consider including research you have conducted, examples of your leadership and a short summary of your philanthropic or charitable activities.
- DON’T include anything that might be proprietary to your current or previous employers. Presentations or special projects that you’ve done as an employee are likely the legal property of your employer and can’t be used without permission.
- DON’T make prospective employers work hard when visiting your portfolio by having to click through pages and pages of content. Put key information on the homepage — your name, professional field, degrees and certifications (note anything that is “in progress”), and work experience.
- DON’T forget to include contact information as well as links to professional (not personal!) social media sites.
- DON’T publish your site without having at least two people review it for content, typos and grammatical errors, and ask them to give you candid feedback about the site’s overall look and appeal.
With these simple tips and tricks in mind — plus the many “push and play” tools on the market today — you’ll have an online portfolio up and running in no time. And you’ll be one step ahead of your competition when you’re searching for your next job!