7 Tips to Keep in Mind When Creating a Career Portfolio

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Whether your aim is to start your own business in the future or work with a company that can provide you with your dream career, there are several great reasons to consider putting an online career portfolio together. Whether most of your work has been part- or full-time employment, or you’ve been freelancing for a wide range of clients, a career portfolio can certainly help you stand out from your competition and get your foot in the door when it comes to landing your dream job for the future.

Career Portfolio

No matter what kind of industry you’re looking to work in, there are several reasons why an online portfolio can help. They’re different to your regular resume and cover letter and can be sent to prospective employers alongside these to help better showcase your best work and really help others get to know you as a professional. In short, an online portfolio can really show off your expertise and capabilities in a way that written text about yourself simply cannot.

So, how do you go about creating a stand-out online career portfolio for yourself? We’ve put together some top tips.

1. Choose a Professional Website Builder

First of all, you’ll need to make sure that you have the best foundations for your professional portfolio. The best way to do this is to go with a website builder that’s easy to use but produces professional, modern results. Bear in mind that your portfolio should be clean, classy and easy for visitors to use and navigate.

You can consider creating an online portfolio as it has never been easier with a wide range of tools and software packages at your fingertips today. Consider your abilities when it comes to making your choice – is web development and design your forte, or have you little experience in the field? If you’re a complete novice, opt for a website building tool, such as Format, that’s easy for anybody to use.

2. Reflect on Your Educational Background

Do you have a range of qualifications that are very relevant to your chosen career? Perhaps you’ve studied for your master’s degree or have invested much time and energy into gaining qualifications that will help you pursue the career of your dreams. Maybe your qualifications are of little relevance to your future career aspirations, as your experience holds more weight.

Either way, it’s definitely worth weighing up whether or not it’s worth showcasing your qualifications on your online portfolio. In addition to any relevant credentials, it’s also a good idea to think about the skills and abilities that you learned from the experience, and which courses, subjects or modules you enjoyed the most. Listing this information as well will help prospective clients and employers get to know you better as an individual.

3. Think About Your Hobbies and Interests

What do you like to do in your spare time, and how have these hobbies and interests helped you strengthen your career? Many of us don’t realize it, but what we do for fun can have a greater impact on our professional lives than we think at the time.

For example, perhaps you love to travel. Travelling can teach you a wide range of things that could be relevant to your future career choice, or even provide you with amazing opportunities to create work that can be showcased in the future to promote your skills and expertise.

Photographers, for example, can get some great results from taking travel snaps, or perhaps making videos is more your thing. Maybe traveling has enabled you to meet new people who you’ve networked with and spoken to about your professional choices; perhaps they’ve given you valuable advice that you’ve used to further your career.

Talk about what you like to do for fun on your portfolio; this shows that you’re human and have interests outside of the workplace, too.

4. Consider Your Objectives to Develop a Plan

Keeping your career objectives and goals in mind are absolutely essential when putting together a career portfolio. Think about what you’re trying to achieve from this activity. Do you want to be hired by certain companies? Are you looking to take on clients who’ll enable you to pursue your career as a freelancer and be your own boss?

Once you’ve got a clear list in your mind of what you want to achieve, it will be much easier to curate your portfolio accordingly. For example, if you’re hoping to be shortlisted for a particular job opening, you can put together a portfolio that’s more relevant and interesting to the employer by doing some research beforehand on what they are looking for in a potential employee. This will help you stand out from the crowd and get an edge over your competition.

5. Have a Support System

Having a support system is particularly important, especially during the early stages of putting your portfolio together and coming up with a career plan for the future. In the beginning, it can be difficult to get used to rejection or criticism, so make sure that you have good people around you who can help you see things from a different perspective and provide you with solid advice for future improvements.

Whether it’s family and friends, past work colleagues or professional connections, surround yourself with people who are supportive of your endeavors and invested in helping you meet your career goals. It’s not unusual to feel a bit nervous and isolated at the start, so you’ll need to have people there who can help you stay focused.

6. Reach Out to Past Employers and Clients

Positive references and recommendations can go a long way when it comes to building your professional career portfolio. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people who you’ve worked with in the past to ask them for references and testimonials that you can display.

This could be past employers that you did a great job working for, clients who were exceptionally pleased with the work that you produced for them, or even people who found you a pleasure to work with. Glowing references from people who’ve experienced working with you in a professional setting can make a huge difference when it comes to swaying future employers and clients in your favor.

7. Remain Professional and Make Good Impressions

Always bear in mind that your career portfolio is an ongoing work in progress. Because of this, approach any work that you do get with a professional mindset and make the best impression that you can on the people that you work with, whether you’re offered permanent employment or a short-term gig.

When it comes to your portfolio, your reputation is one of the most important tools that you can possess. Performing your jobs professionally and to the highest standard will help to generate more positive word-of-mouth amongst the people that you’ve worked with in the past or are currently working with right now. As a result, you will be more likely to see better and bigger opportunities coming your way.

Creating a portfolio of your work, education, and experience is a great way to boost your career and help you land your dream job. Did you find these tips helpful? We’d love to hear from you.

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Vishal Gaikar

Article by Vishal

Vishal Gaikar is a professional blogger from Pune, India. If you like this post, you can follow him on Twitter, also you can add him on Google+.

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