How To Build An Online Portfolio:
There are countless ways to build a portfolio. I'll list a few basic ways to give readers a starting point and some ideas about how to build portfolios and what to include in them.
- What to include?
- Accounting/Finance: Include spreadsheets, dashboard reports, variance analysis, written reports, reports you've designed, presentations, PowerPoints, special projects, ROI proposals, cost saving proposals. Black out words selectively if current employer privacy is a concern.
- IT: Programs, applications, code, flow charts, diagrams. Make sure to leave enough information to not violate propriety concerns of current employer.
- Engineering:Plans, designs, pictures of completed projects, reports, proposals, marketing brochures, specs. Again, take care not to include proprietary details or trade secrets.
- Production: Production/inventory reports, dashboards, charts demonstrating cost savings, analysis, project proposals.
- Marketing: Graphics, marketing sheets, websites, advertisements, video, photos, online marketing, reports, project proposals, charts demonstrating sales/margin gains, design.
- Media/Design: Video, logos, artwork, photos, drawings, work samples, websites.
- What platform?
- Website: There are a number of good free options available, with templates website builders designed to make the process easy for non-web designers. Google Sites (http://google.com/sites) and Webs.com (http://webs.com) are two of the best free choices. There are a huge number of options for paid sites with the option of a customized URL - one of the most popular are GoDaddy (http://godaddy.com) and Yahoo Sitebuilder (http://webhosting.yahoo.com/ps/sb/index.php). A Website will allow you total customization, but may take a little more technical knowledge to build.
- Facebook: Set up a Facebook business page to post your portfolio. It's free and easy to use, but has limitations on the layout an look/feel of how your portfolio will look.
- MySpace: MySpace's easy ability to integrate pictures, video, and audio into profiles make it a natural for portfolios. Also free, takes a little more technical knowledge than Facebook, but not as locked in as Facebook. Many designers/media professionals have been using MySpace as a portfolio for years.
- Blogs: Blogs can also be free (recommended http:/blogger.com or http://wordpress.com), straightforward to set up (a basic blog), and can easily integrate all types of content. Blogs have the ability to customize more flexible design, but you'll need technical knowledge or a designer if you want to get fancy.
- Paper: Paper portfolios can be helpful to bring into an interview. You can print out the pages of your online portfolio, so you can discuss with your interviewer. Or, bring a laptop with a wireless connection and point them to your site (tip: bring paper as a backup, in case you can't get a wireless signal).
- What else to include?
- Video resume or related videos
- Articles or mentions
- Facebook stream
- Linkedin profile
- Blog posts and comments
- Links to other profiles of you on the web
Whether you are an artist, accountant, lawyer, teacher, or librarian, online portfolios can help you show your employer why they should pick you, bringing the words on your resume to life. What projects or content could you use to highlight your candidacy using an online portfolio?
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