August 24, 2016

How To Build Your Professional Portfolio

A professional portfolio is a way to showcase your creative work. It allows people to see what you are capable of by highlighting projects that you have created. It’s an essential part of the job search if you’re trying to land a portfolio career.

Messy desk with notepad that says portfolio

Portfolio careers include any job that needs to highlight skills, talents, and potential. Here are handful of jobs where a portfolio is necessary:

Most of these jobs have some sort of creative element to them. When you apply for one of these jobs, employers and hiring managers will want to see your portfolio. This crucial element allows them to see what you can create so they know if they want to hire you. It’s your job as a job seeker or as a creative professional to build your professional portfolio. It will increase your web presence and help you stand out amongst the job search competition. Create yours now before you need it.

Building a professional portfolio is a time consuming process, but it is an absolute necessity if you want to get hired. Below you’ll find tips that will help you to build your professional portfolio:

  • Choose Your Format – The standard options are blog, website, or portfolio platform A blog is good to help you highlight your portfolio and establish you as an expert in your niche. A website is a good way to showcase your work with the ability to expand. A portfolio platform is designed specifically to highlight your work.
  • Pick A Domain Name – You need to purchase a relevant domain. Our domain is Use something that represents what you do and who you are.
  • Add Social Links – Be sure that anyone who finds your portfolio can share your work to the world via social. This is a good way to build your personal brand.
  • About Me Section – Add a page where you tell people your story. Explain your credentials, your back story, and your work. Let people know what you do.
  • SEO It – SEO is an important part of your online presence. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, helps your page rank higher in the search engines. This makes it easier for people to find you and your portfolio.
  • Focus On One Thing – Even if you’re a Swiss Army knife of skills, focus your portfolio on the one thing that you’re trying to sell. For example, if you’re a writer, focus on writing. Use links to your writing samples. Don’t tell the world how you’re also available to dog sit too.
  • Add Your Work – Add clips, photos, or links to your very best work. You don’t need to link to everything, just link to the best of the best. This really highlights your skills and talents.
  • KISS – “Keep It Simple Silly” is a term that can be applied to portfolios. Don’t go overboard on your portfolio. Keep it simple, organized, and easy to navigate.
  • Hire Me” – Include a button where anyone can easily contact you and hire you for freelance work.

Anyone pursuing a portfolio career can understand the importance of a professional portfolio. Take the time to create one that captivates your audience and highlights your skill set. Make it permanently available. Add your URL to your email signature, business card, and resume. Update your professional portfolio regularly.

Pros And Cons Of  A Portfolio Career

Many people read this post and then wonder, “what if I have nothing to put in my portfolio?” Create sample pieces that showoff your talents. You don’t have to have published work to create a portfolio. If your professional portfolio is lacking, take the time to create more work by creating new samples or finding paying jobs in the freelance shared economy.

Are you ready to build your professional portfolio?

About this Author 

Derek Lennon is a skier and writer who lives, works, and plays in the mountains. He travels the globe in search of snow and adventure. Life has allowed him to live and work all over the world doing cool jobs and loving every minute of it.

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