4 ways creative professionals can make a good portfolio
In these times of waning attention spans, one can be sure that resumes are not one of the first things that hirers seek out; at least they are not the only thing they look at. Studies have found that about 84 percent of all companies use social media for their recruiting process, and in a recent survey by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, 83 percent of the respondents said that online portfolios are useful in ensuring that job applicants have the requisite knowledge and skills. Hiring managers may still ask you for your resume, but that would mostly be after they have done a preliminary background study on social media about you. So here’s how creative professionals, architects, interior designers and other professionals can make a good online portfolio:
Display only your best work
There is no point in listing out all your work on your portfolio because no one has the time to go through all of them. Moreover, it does not reflect well on you and it can be misunderstood as your inability to choose the best among the work you have done. The best way to go about it is by showcasing the kind of work you would want to be hired for. If you do not have many projects to display, then choose the ones you are most proud of. Try to diversify the samples a bit. The ones you love the most may all be of a certain kind, so don’t fall into the trap of displaying the same kind of work. Use projects of different sizes, done in different mediums, styles and so on to demonstrate the breadth of your work.
Keep the website design simple
The idea of the website is to let others get a glimpse of your work, so avoid the mistake of distracting them with over-the-top and elaborate web designing. Even if you are a web developer/designer, clarity and simplicity are what people look for today. In a study conducted by Google, it was found that “visually complex” websites were consistently rated less beautiful than simpler ones. Make your work the centre point of the site and make it easily accessible. You don’t need too many sections – a portfolio page, an about page and a contact page should work well. Be consistent in your use of font and colour. Let your personality shine through the design of the site.
Provide brief explanations
Like we already mentioned, no one has the time these days to sit and read things. So you don’t want to put off a potential employer by going on and on about how you worked on a project. Keep the explanations that go with your work as brief as possible. Explain what you were hired for, how you came up with the origin idea and how you delivered it. Go into your creative process only if it is an extremely difficult one – like use of uncommon software or research from unlikely sources and so on. It would do you good to elaborate only if it displays a special skill that would make others want to hire you.
Keep it updated
There is no point in putting your portfolio together and forgetting about it. It should be an evolving website that showcases all your recent work. Your style evolves and with experience your work might get better. You may have picked up newer skills and have projects that can be used as an example of this. You may also not want to include work you don’t want to get hired for anymore. If your portfolio hasn’t been updated in a long time, you may be giving off the vibe that you are inactive, not available for work or just plain uncommitted.
Done the right way, a portfolio can bring about a huge boost to your career. It helps you stand out from the crowd of candidates with traditional resumes and LinkedIn profiles. According to a survey conducted by Workfolio, a company that develops professional visibility apps, it was found that 56 percent of all hiring managers are more impressed by a personal portfolio website than any other personal branding tool. So display the right projects, make the website simple to navigate through and keep your work updated to land your next big job.