Online Portfolio (ePortfolio)
What is an online portfolio?
An online portfolio is a tool that job seekers or graduate school applicants use to show skills, accomplishments, pictures, designs and/or reports to a potential employer or graduate program. They are usually accessible online and include PDF files, Word documents, videos, photos, and other content that shows off candidates’ skills and accomplishments.
Note: Career portfolios are different than academic portfolios that focus on what has been accomplished or mastered in a class or academic program. But, you can use works created for a class in your career portfolio.
Some fields require portfolios, especially in communications and arts related areas, but anyone can benefit from creating a strong portfolio. It can help you stand apart from other candidates when looking for internships and jobs, and when applying to graduate schools.
A few examples of industries where a digital portfolio would be helpful include:
Graphic Design, Arts (Any Medium), Marketing, UX Designers, Copywriter, Apparel Design, Acting
- A Homepage: This page is important because it is a viewer’s first impression of you. Be very aware of what this page “says about you.” If you create a very professional “look” (professional can mean a variety of things depending upon the field) you will give one impression, if this page is very casual or informal, you will give a very different impression. Think about what this site is for, who will be viewing it, and what impression you want to make. This section might also include a short narrative of who you are and what your interests or plans are. A good summary can be very helpful in introducing yourself.
- This is a great resource for building out some content that fits well on a Homepage.
- A Resume: Many sites allow you to upload a resume. Be sure it is current, and very professional in appearance, fitting for what you are looking for and carefully formatted and proofed! It is usually helpful to have a clear focus or area of interest.
- Sections & Samples: You may include pictures, PowerPoint presentations, videos, graphics, reports and more. Be sure to label items clearly and have titles on sections. Consider the following:
- What is each piece or sample?
- When did you do it?
- Was it for a class? An internship?, etc.
- What do I want to show or demonstrate in this sample?
Think about your layout and be strategic in how you format your work. Do not put items up randomly. You do not want your site to look confusing or disorganized.
Create labels that are professional in tone and “fit” the section. Possible titles for sections might include:
- Senior Research Report
- Writing Samples
- Design Samples
- Professional Proficiencies
- Photography Gallery
Note: If you are using a sample from an internship or work site, be sure to get permission to use the information in your portfolio and other social media sites.
For more information on building a digital portfolio, you can read this article.
Proofread your work multiple times for spelling, grammar and word usage. Viewers pick up mistakes right away, and just as with your resume, a mistake can hurt you as a candidate.
Have others review your site. Ask them what impression they have from your site and what works well, as well as what might be changed or edited to make it stronger.
Consult with faculty, work supervisors and colleagues, and the Career Development office to review your portfolio. Outside feedback is very important.
- Canva: A simple tool for building visually-based portfolios (see a helpful guide here)
- Github: Great tool for showcasing coding/digital design (see a helpful guide here)
- Wix: A website-building tool for creating a digital portfolio for a variety of fields (see a helpful guide here)
- Carbonmade: A portfolio-building tool made for portfolios for a variety of fields (video guides)
- Behance: A great tool for graphic design, illustration, photography, and advertising (see a helpful guide here)
- Squarespace: A website-building tool for a variety of fields (see a helpful guide here)
- Vimeo: A great tool for showcasing video and film content (see helpful guide here)
- Weebly: A website-building tool for a variety of fields (see a helpful guide here)
- WordPress: A website-building tool for a variety of fields (see a helpful guide here)
LinkedIn: This professional networking site allows job seekers to post information, resumes, samples of work, PowerPoint presentations, videos, and more. Even though this site is not a formal portfolio program, it does offer a number of options and with its ease of use, it can be readily utilized by many students in any major or program to show samples of their skills and work.
For more information on LinkedIn, click here.