How to Create an Online Career Portfolio
The days of the one page resume stapled to a job application are over. Employers are looking for candidates who have not only the skills they need for a particular job, but the experience necessary to perform the job.
To land that new job you’ve been wishing for, start building an online career portfolio to showcase what you can bring to the employment table.
Like any project, you’ll need to gather the needed materials before you begin. Before building your portfolio, spend some time determining what the purpose of your career showcase will be. Is it to land a new job? To demonstrate competency in a particular field? Whatever the purpose of the portfolio, begin collecting the pieces that will help achieve your goal.
Determine the groupings that you’ll use in your portfolio. Are you going to showcase skill sets? Competencies within your field? Make a list of potential subheadings that you can use to group material together.
What items do you have that fulfill the categories you’ve created? If you’re showcasing your skill sets, find work samples or research elements that demonstrate your proficiency. If you’re demonstrating competencies, evidence of awards or achievements would be appropriate. Collect your ‘evidence’, scanning or photographing non-digital pieces as needed.
Write several short sentences describing the samples you’re including. Explain the skills used, the criteria you met to receive the award…whatever pieces of information you have to demonstrate your experience should be summarized for each sample included.
Determine how interested parties should contact you. Will you provide an email address? Phone number? LinkedIn profile? Verify that all contact information is current and correct.
Once you have assembled the pieces of your portfolio, it is time to put it together. Determine the most appropriate platform for your work and then fit your material to that platform.
Do-it-yourself website builders give even the most novice computer user the ability to create robust websites. Domain names can be purchased very inexpensively, and there are multiple free options for hosting small sites.
LinkedIn or Other Social Media Tools
Social media offers individuals platforms to showcase their interests and career information easily. Developing a comprehensive social media identity can be an effective method of building a career portfolio.
Apps and Portfolio Sites
Many portfolio applications have been developed to provide college students and other career minded people a secure method of maintaining a portfolio. Virtual storage allows for easy updating and maintenance. Apps such as Portfolio to Go or Portfolio for iPad make it easy to create a virtual portfolio.
Contently is a great portfolio site for writers. It shows the title and introductory paragraph for each article shared. Also, at a quick glance, visitors can easily see how much social media attention the writer has achieved and the publications the writer contributed to. For example, a look at Monica Eaton-Cardone’s Contently page shows her publications in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time, and more. It also highlights Eaton-Cardone’s impressive social media activity.
Once your portfolio is complete, find ways to share your information.
- Include your portfolio’s location in the signature line of emails, on your resume, business card and online social profiles.
- Mention your portfolio during networking events to potential employers or clients.
- Develop a presentation that includes your portfolio to use during interviews.
- Make sure your portfolio is mobile ready.
- Find industry opportunities such as trade shows or posting boards to place your portfolio’s link.
Taking the time to develop a quality career portfolio can be an asset, even if you’re not currently looking for a new job. By creating a place to virtually store your work experiences, you will always have a ‘file’ to put new skills or accomplishments in, creating a personalized, unique look at your career. You never know when that ‘dream job’ will become available – make sure your career portfolio can be ready at a moment’s notice.