Are you a copywriter, photographer, web designer, or marketing executive? If you work in creative or new media, it’s essential to have a standout online portfolio. Clients don’t just want to see a list of your accomplishments on your CV; they want cold hard proof of your talent and professionalism.
First impressions are just as important as ever, yet in today’s business climate they’re often made online. Make sure your portfolio impresses rather than repels by keeping the following tips in mind.
- Create an eye-catching landing page
You only have about seven seconds to make your all-important first impression. Creative hiring managers may see over 100 portfolios a week, which doesn’t leave a lot of quality time to spend with each one. Capture your viewer’s attention right off the bat with a stylish, clean design that shows your work off in its best light.
- Curate your work carefully
It’s not necessary to showcase every project you’ve worked on. Sift through your body of work to find those pieces which are most representative of your talent. If you are applying for a specific position, choose the most relevant and high-quality pieces for the role.
- Put contact information front and centre
Use plain black type and put your contact details clearly on the front of your digital portfolio. It’s common to go overboard with design flourishes, but this basic information should be straightforward and easy to find.
- Use PDF files
PDF files are perfect for design, writing, and marketing portfolios alike because they clearly show off both content and graphics. Yet be sure to scale them down to a manageable download size or they may never get looked at.
- Ensure your portfolio fits your industry
If you are a copywriter, the last thing you want is a portfolio riddled with typos. SEO executives should make sure their websites rank highly in the search engines. Your portfolio should highlight these industry-specific strengths, or it will do you more harm than good.
- Look at your competition
How can you make your portfolio stand head and shoulders above the rest if you don’t know what your competition looks like? Before you start designing your website, take a look at the portfolios of professionals you admire or those at the same level in your field.
- Keep your site quick and clean
- Create a complementary print version
Your online portfolio is your chance to capture attention, but if you have an interview it’s best to bring printed pieces as well as a backup of online samples.
- Keep improving your experience and skills
Whether you’re just starting out in your career or are a seasoned professional, you should always be striving to stay current with technology and industry trends. You don’t want your portfolio to stand out for being dated in comparison to the competition. Consider attending marketing, web design or photography courses to keep your professional skills sharp.
- Update portfolio accordingly
As you gain new skills or work on new projects, keep your portfolio current. It should grow and evolve to reflect your own professional growth. In the end, it’s best to design your portfolio with the client in mind first. Tailor your portfolio to best represent what you have to offer the client, and it can function as an extremely effective advertisement for your personal brand.