Is it one of your new year’s resolutions to secure a new job? 2020 was a rough year, and the end is finally near. Millions of Americans are struggling to find new employment opportunities and looking for new strategies to lock down a new job. If you are searching for a way to stand out from your competition, it might be time to create a professional portfolio to show off some of your talents! Here’s how to build a professional portfolio from scratch to help you land a new job in 2021.
Platforms to build your portfolio
A common misconception for job seekers is that professional portfolios are only for designers or other creative roles. That is an urban myth that we are going to bust for you right now! Almost any job seeker can create a professional portfolio, regardless of what industry or role you are in. Another misconception is you have to know web design to construct your portfolio. A portfolio is, according to the career balance, “A collection of work and other documents that ideally provide a complete picture of a job candidate’s abilities to potential employers.”
There are dozens of different free and paid platforms to build and host your professional portfolio. Most of these platforms have templates you can start with to make the building process easy. Some popular examples are Wix, Squarespace, and Zyro. These sites will make it easy to build a portfolio from the ground up with absolutely no web design experience.
Keep the structure simple
When building your portfolio, keep the design simple. Make the structure easy for hiring managers to follow and read. This should be natural if you are using a template from one of the sites above! Have you heard of the expression KISS? Keep it simple, stupid. Don’t over-complicate it or try to get too fancy with it. Just make it clean, clear, and professional. Use consistent fonts and colors throughout, label pages and documents clearly, and ensure all links work correctly.
Ask a friend or someone else you trust to take a look at it before you publish it. It’s always a good idea to get a second pair of eyes on it to ensure it looks flawless.
The contents to include in your portfolio
A lot of people struggle with determining what to include in their professional portfolios. The contents of your portfolio will depend on your field in which you work. You can add some basic things: your resume, cover letter, career objective, links to examples of your work, and your contact details. This can include projects, press releases, blogs, images, spreadsheets, reports, and other works. As we said, the examples will depend on your field of work, but there are always items you can include to show off your expertise.
How to show off your professional portfolio
So, now that you have a sleek looking portfolio, what do you do with it? Well, for starters, you can add it to your LinkedIn profile. This will allow your connections, recruiters, and others to check out your resume and additional information about you. You can also add a link to your resumes and cover letters so hiring managers can see it right off the bat when you apply for jobs. If you feel a little more social, you can also share your portfolio with groups on social media sites like LinkedIn or Facebook. These sites have groups 100% dedicated to job searches or other employment resources.
Plus, when you are filling out job applications, many of them ask for links to portfolios. That is the best place to drop those links and show off your skills!