Work and Career

5 Steps to Start Your Portfolio

A portfolio can make or break it when it comes to getting hired on the spot or getting sent away. Remember that a picture is worth a thousand words, and a professional portfolio not only enumerates your strengths and successes but also shows interviewers the results you have achieved over the years. It is a common misconception that only artists and designers can build a portfolio. Any person in any field can take advantage of a well-designed and constructed portfolio.

Here are some simple steps for getting started.

Step 1: Take a step back and curate your best work.

You can put pictures, graphs, and articles in your online portfolio. However, including all of them might not be a good idea. A website with too many graphics doesn’t  always load immediately on a mobile device. You might end up irritating the interviewer instead of landing the job.

Consider only the projects or works you were praised for by your former employer. Include writing samples such as brochures, newsletters, published articles, researches, and work samples like photographs, awards, letters of commendation, and letters of praise from clients or former employer.

Step 2: Choose your platform.

There are many websites that you can use for free.

You can create your own website using Yola in just 30 minutes. There are also no third party advertisements that will make your professional online portfolio look like a billboard.

Jimdo has hundreds of fantastic templates where you can add photos and text with just a few clicks. You can even update your portfolio while on-the-go using Jimdo app.

Weebly has hundreds of professional themes, various multimedia features, and powerful hosting. It is also very compatible with mobile phones that make it great.

All of these websites have heaps of different theme options for your portfolio. So choose a theme that will best show off your work. In short, something a little sexy.

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 11.40.58 amStep 3: Build your portfolio.

One rule of thumb: Do not put all pieces of information about you in one page. Create several pages such as About Me, Projects, Writing Samples, Designs, and Presentations to make your online portfolio organised and easy to access even using a mobile device.

When writing about yourself, remember to be honest and genuine. Never pretend to be someone you are not. Refrain from using the word “expert” or “guru” if you are only a few months in the field. Instead, try using words like experienced or highly knowledgeable.

Step 4: Tag you work.

Tags make your work easily searchable on the internet. However, when you use tags, don’t overdo it. Refrain from repeating tags. For example, using ‘economy NZ’ and ‘economy New Zealand’ to tag one chart. This is not only redundant but will also make it difficult for browsers to match your page with keywords.

Make sure that your tags can specifically target the audience you are looking for. For example, if you are a yoga instructor, use specific tags like ‘yoga’. ‘ashtanga’, ‘kundalini’, ‘prenatal yoga’, or ‘aerial yoga’.

Step 5: Build your network.

Make sure to keep track of the people who matter professionally. This can be your former officemate, or a group you met at a conference. These people can share your website to others, and their websites can be your inspiration in creating your own.

Inspired? Get started building your portfolio today!

Are you a freelancer? Here are a few more tips for ideas for getting started >>

Maria Dublin

Contributor at Kami
Maria is a writer, an editor, and a law student. She plays for the Philippine national touch football team, and does a lot of travelling during the holidays.
Maria Dublin

Maria is a writer, an editor, and a law student. She plays for the Philippine national touch football team, and does a lot of travelling during the holidays.