An online portfolio is an excellent way to showcase your work and stand out in the crowded job market. A portfolio isn’t just for design or art students—almost any major can benefit.
An online portfolio should include anything that would be of interest to a potential employer and would help demonstrate your abilities and experience—important school projects, business competitions you participated in, newspaper clips you wrote or were written about you, awards, recommendations, school papers and design work. Be creative when crafting your portfolio. And don’t forget your resume!
Your portfolio should have a clean design and be easy to navigate. Don’t include SO much information that people get lost browsing through it. Showcase your best work first. It’s your portfolio, so you can choose which pieces to highlight and which ones not to include. Tell stories about your work to put them in context for your viewers.
You also need an effective “About Me” page that answers the questions:
* Who are you?
* What is your major?
* What is the purpose of your portfolio? Are you freelancing, job searching, full-time student, soon to be graduated?
* What can you offer employers?
* Where else do you hang out online? Link to other online profiles.
* What are some of your hobbies?
* Where do you live? At least include your state, and city if you feel comfortable.
* What is the best way to contact you? Phone? Email? A social network profile?
Here are a few portfolio building sites:
* DeviantArt: A huge online art community.
* Shown’d: Free portfolio site that offers customizable layouts and allows you to import photos from your Flickr account.
* Corflot: Coroflot does not allow for portfolio layout or style options, but it is free with no restrictions on upload amounts.
* Carbonmade: Supports images, flash and video. The free version gives you 5 projects and 35 images. For $12.00 per month, the premium account allows for 50 projects, 500 high-res images and 10 videos.
* Krop: The free version of Krop allows up to 10 images. The premium version costs $9.99 a month and opens up all features.
* Flickr: Free photo sharing site. Great for photographers, illustrators or designers.
* WordPress: This popular blogging software provides an ideal platform for a journalism or English portfolio. WordPress comes in two forms: WordPress.com and WordPress.org.
WordPress.com hosts your blog/portfolio for free, and allows you to quickly and easily choose a theme and begin creating content. There isn’t as much flexibility as WordPress.org, but it is a great place for beginner bloggers. WordPress.org, on the other hand, provides software to create your blog/portfolio, but doesn’t HOST it for you—meaning you have to pay a hosting service for a domain name. WordPress.org offers much more flexibility, but requires more technical knowledge than WordPress.com.
Cassie is a May 2009 University of Wisconsin-Madison Ag Journalism graduate. She recently unfolded her passion for public relations during her short stint as a PR consultant for a Madison, Wis. area non-profit and is looking to dive into the field professionally. Find Cassie on Twitter, BrazenCareerist, and LinkedIn.