Create an Online Portfolio
Online portfolios are an easy way for potential employers to view your work samples.
The Internet makes it easier than ever to share your work samples. Include your portfolio's web address on all job search communication. If you participate in online networking, add a link to your online portfolio. This will make it easier for your network to recommend your work to others.
Organize your work samples thoughtfully as you would with paper portfolios, but take advantage of the Internet's ability to link pages with one another.
Research your technical options carefully. Free services allow you to get up and running quickly with limited design skills, but may come with some disadvantages:
- They may restrict how many files you can upload as well as the type AND size of the files.
- They may allow limited customization.
- They may insert ads on your pages. (This is how some can offer it for free.)
There is no "one-size-fits-all" solution. Which you choose will depend on your needs, time, budget, and web skills. Carefully compare features to determine which one meets your needs.
Blogs can be an excellent starting point, especially if you use it only for that purpose. They tend to be easy to set up and use. Most allow you to organize content easily. You can also embed almost anything. Blogs are often free, but many have subscription options with advanced features. This may be a good option if you need a simple portfolio. Below are some popular blog platforms, but there are many others:
- TypePad (subscription only)
Free or subscription-based portfolios tend to allow larger and a wider range of file types. These files are uploaded directly to the host site. There are a variety of free portfolio options, including eFolioMinnesota. Most are geared toward presenting graphic elements rather than text. These are ideal if you need to showcase work visually. If your needs are basic, sites like Flickr or DeviantArt may work well for you. If your needs are graphic-heavy, a dedicated portfolio site like those listed below may be your best option:
- Big Black Bag (subscription only)
- Pixpa (subscription only)
Custom portfolios give you the most control over how your work is presented. They also require the most hands-on labor since you must design the site yourself. Free templates and tools can simplify the process. You will also need to register a domain name and host the site somewhere.
Make sure you keep back-up copies (electronic or physical) of everything included on your online portfolio. No site is fail-proof. You don't want to lose all your hard work if your portfolio is hacked, deleted due to a server failure, or is the casualty of your host going out of business.