An online portfolio is one of the most important tools you can have these days, not only while looking for a job or internship, but throughout your entire career. Essentially the same as a professional portfolio, just in digital form, an online portfolio allows you to showcase your résumé, writing samples, and additional work, in one convenient online location.
The advantages of an online portfolio are that it can easily be updated with every move you make, it can be conveniently accessed at any time, and it can showcase all of your skills in one place. A portfolio should always be a working document. You should constantly be updating and adding your work; luckily, using an online portfolio makes updating easy. Employers can access your portfolio at any time—before, during, and after the interview; giving employers complete access to your portfolio is never a bad thing. And finally, an online portfolio shows your own technological skills. If you’re able to put together a solid online portfolio, it shows you have a good understanding of technology, various social media, possibly HTML coding, etc.
So now that you know the benefits of an online portfolio, you ask, what should you include? A welcome/about page is a good place to start. Include a picture of yourself to make your wonderful portfolio more human. Show viewers the person behind all of this hard work. On this page, make sure to add a small bio; include the things you’d tell an employer when they say, “So tell me about yourself.”
The bulk of the portfolio should be PR samples and a variety of writing samples. If you’ve been published, include the links to your work! Attach your résumé. Remember to continuously update your résumé as well. Include all of your contact information—phone, email, and links to social media such as LinkedIn. A personal online portfolio is a tool. Prepare it to represent you.
There are many great sites that will host an online portfolio for free. WordPress is a perfect example. Consciously weigh all of your options before purchasing your own domain name. If this is an option you’d consider, make sure you’re at the right point in your career. If that’s what it takes to boost you to the next level, purchasing a domain name may be right for you. Another great option is creating an About.me page. About.me is a platform that allows you to build simple and aesthetically pleasing pages to point your visitors to your content around the web. Figure out what works best for you and get to making your online portfolio.