Portfolio websites are becoming increasingly popular, some may say even essential, for graduates to stand out during the application process. This ‘one-stop shop’ is a fantastic way for you to showcase your university, professional or personal work to employers that can be shared easily through a link in your resume or cover letter. In this article, we go through how you can create a portfolio site to impress – even if you’re not in a visual/media-based discipline!
1. Decide on an Objective
Similar to your resume, you should have a clear objective in mind when building out your portfolio site aligned with the specific role and industry you’re going after. You can include this in your about/bio section alongside a short snippet of your interests, career journey so far and future career goals. This will also help you decide what to include and the overall design to appeal to your target audience (aka potential recruiters). Check out this portfolio site from recent UX grad Dalya Green for a great example of a succinct bio and objective summary.
2. What to Include
While it might be tempting to include your entire archive of past work, it’s important to be selective when choosing what to display on your portfolio page. Think of it as a highlights reel of the work that’s the most relevant and that you’re the most proud of! This is an excellent place to utilise your university assignments, contributions to student societies and any other projects you may have completed during your internships or on the job – just make sure you have the employer/client’s permission before sharing the last two.
Some Example of Work You Can Feature:
- Any visual design projects – logos, websites, social assets, artwork, photography, videos you were involved in creating
- Any tech/development projects – were you part of programming or designing an app, website, new product or service?
- Any published media – think newspaper/magazine articles (including those written for uni outlets!), blogs, newsletters, podcasts, university/community radio show appearances or production credits
- Any published academic material – research papers, journal articles, media coverage on your research
- Summary of notable company/brand specific projects – this could be a successful or highly commended campaign you helped launch at your last internship or a marketing project you pitched during uni
- Summary of notable project proposals or case studies – you may have presented these at case competitions or for an assignment
Other Things to Include:
- Your preferred contact information i.e. email or LinkedIn profile
- Your socials (with an appropriate spring-cleaned feed)
- A link to a downloadable version of your resume
- Testimonials or words of recommendation
3. Choose a Platform
Fortunately, in our current world you don't need to be a tech genius to be able to create an awesome looking portfolio site. Here are some platforms (not spon) that you can use without all the fuss of worrying about a domain or knowing how to code.
- Wordpress (Free & Paid Options)
- Wix (Free & Paid Options)
- Weebly (Free & Paid Options)
- Webflow (Free & Paid Options)
- Squarespace (Free Trial & Paid Options)
- Clippings.me (For journalists, bloggers, writers)
- Behance (For UX/UI Designers)
4. Make it Pretty!
Whether you’re choosing from a handy template design or crafting the building blocks yourself, the fun part comes in deciding on a design that best suits your objective and audience and leaves a lasting impact. if you’re a UX/Graphic Design grad, this is your chance to experiment visually and showcase your creativity and personal style. Whereas if you’re looking at the legal or professional services fields, you may want to go for something more clean and simple. Regardless, a good rule to keep in mind keep in mind is to make sure it’s easy to navigate – tabs and subheadings are your friend!