Create an online portfolio to showcase your brilliant work

It takes more than a resume to compete in this job climate. You’ll need to use every tool in your arsenal to get noticed. Several top websites offer you the ability to create a stunningly cool website where you can show your stuff.

When creating your online portfolio, you'll have plenty of unique templates to choose from. (Credit: Dzineblog.com)

When creating your online portfolio, you’ll have plenty of unique templates to choose from. (Credit: Dzineblog.com)

One primary way to showcase your skills is with design portfolio examples. Let’s take a look at some of the free online portfolio sites to help you create your own portfolio.

Portfolio examples

Portfolio websites are especially effective for students who major in design fields such as photography or graphic design. In a September 17, 2013, post for Mashable.com, “20 Tools to Showcase Your Portfolio,” Grace Smith listed tools to help you get your portfolio online in no time.

The list of portfolio sites included:

  • Carbonmade: easy to use, no HTML skills required
  • Behance: use Adobe’s Creative Cloud to share your work-in-progress
  • Dunked: easy to use; just upload images, embed video or audio

Many design students may already be using deviantART.com as a source of images and ideas. According to Smith, “[…]you can display your portfolio to an audience of more than 28 million members. It’s simple to set up a profile, create galleries and build a fan base around your work and brand. You can sell your art via the deviantART Shop and communicate, collaborate and learn from artists from more than 190 countries.”

Create your design portfolio

If you have basic computer skills, Internet access and a few hours of time, you can create your portfolio site. Brittany Duffy explained the process in her article for Instructables.com, “College Students: How to Create Your Professional Online Portfolio.”

The first step is to gather the best samples of your work along with documentation of your training and experience.

These items can include:

  • resume
  • certificates and diplomas
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • awards and scholarships
  • letters of recommendation
  • summaries of major projects

Go for quality rather than quantity. Don’t make a potential employer dig through tons of projects trying to find the best ones. They may run out of patience. Duffy suggested no more than eight items to showcase.

You’ll have to scan these documents in order to get them into a digital format for the web. Be sure to save copies of all documents.

Next you’ll choose a platform to use. Duffy suggested Weebly.com because of its ease of use. Weebly is a drag-and-drop builder with hundreds of themes to choose from.

When naming your site, keep it simple and professional. It’s a good idea to include your name in the site’s title. This same advice applies to choosing the domain name or website URL.

“Always use a professional name. Employers will not find it funny if your website address is www.ISUhotstuff.weebly.com,” Duffy advised.

Free online portfolio sites

Portfolio sites aren’t just for visual design portfolios. Susan Currie Sivek explained how other college majors can use portfolio sites to their advantage in her March 11, 2014, article for PBS.org, “Journalism Students: Tools for Jazzing Up Your Portfolio.”

If you’re up for a challenge, you will want to explore using a self-hosted WordPress site under your own domain name.

According to Sivek, “Working with WordPress is a good experience for aspiring media professionals, who will find that WordPress is used as a content management system by many media organizations, including this one.”

Even though using WordPress is a bit more involved than a drag-and-drop site such as Weebly, you’ll be able to use the domain name of your choice if you self-host your site. You’ll also have much more control over the site design and it will be easier to grow the site as your career progresses.

Portfolios for journalists

In an April 10, 2013, article for Poynter.org, “Digital portfolios for journalists: What are your options?” Susanna Speier listed sites that are useful for showcasing written work.

Sites such as Pressfolios, MuckRack, Clippings.me and Contently offer turnkey solutions to help you organize your portfolio so that it will be easily accessible to employers.

“For this piece, I compared online digital portfolio platforms from Clippings.me, Contently, Muckrack and Pressfolios. I inventoried the features that would help journalists categorize, customizable and brand their interface,” Speier said. 

How could an online portfolio help you to showcase your best work? Tell us in the comments.

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