Let’s talk about digital portfolios! No recruiter loves having to coach a candidate on how to put together something that the candidate should already have together and ready to send at the drop of a hat. These days, candidates have no choice but to send their portfolios in a digital format, so, let’s dive into why and how to make that happen!
It’s always frustrating when a recruiter finds a great candidate that hits all the marks for an opportunity, only to get their portfolio back and find out that it’s bland, outdated, or unprofessional.
But just to clear the air, let’s start with what NOT to do:
- Google Drive. This should just be a storage system for your portfolio assets, not how you present your work to potential employers, clients, or a recruiter! It’s one thing if you keep individual portfolio files in your Google Drive, but a link to that folder isn’t a finished product by any means.
- Screenshots. No. Just no. This is the perfect way to show that you don’t care enough about the opportunity to put any effort into how you present yourself digitally. Your portfolio is a huge part of your brand, not a series of screenshots that you email via loose files in different formats and/or sizes.
- A Word Document or Excel Sheet. Okay, we’ll give it to you that this is just a tad bit better than screenshots or Google Drive links, but BARELY. This might be passable if you are fresh out of college with not much more than school projects to show for your experience, but even those can be spruced up. A Word document full of portfolio assets doesn’t equate to a professional portfolio that’s recruiter or employer ready. An Excel sheet doesn’t do the trick either.
- The Zip file. Oh yes, we’ve seen this. This may be the least effective format to send your portfolio over as, and here’s why: Sending over a .Zip file usually results in the recruiter having to ask you for more materials, or worse, asking you to put them together AGAIN. You’re going to want to put your best foot forward the first time around!
Oh, what’s that? You want to know the preferred and professional ways for you to digitize your portfolio? I’m glad you asked because it just so happens to be the next topic on the agenda.
Start with a Simple Website
So, which package do you need to represent yourself and your work? For high-level engineering, digital design, animation, and project management roles, you won’t even be considered for the opportunity if you don’t have a .com (recruiter lingo for a website). Even if it’s a simple site with a portfolio page and “Contact Me” form, that at least shows that you have put forth the initiative to present yourself and your work professionally. Hint: candidates with .com’s get preferential status in the application process! Let’s dive into some options now, shall we?
If you’re starting your digital portfolio from scratch, the first things you’re going to want to tackle are:
- Buy a domain. This can be done for super cheap, and most licenses last for five to ten years.
- Figure out who you want your website hosted by.
Squarespace, WordPress, Wix, and Bluehost have thousands of options to help you with building your portfolio and the basics for a functional website. If this is what you’re looking to do, you’re going to want to get familiar with the host websites’ framework too. There are so many great youtube channels on this, and all of the platforms listed above have in-depth guides on how to do this as well!
Now You Can Start to Build Your Digital Portfolio!
When a recruiter, hiring manager, or potential client requests your portfolio, you want to be sure to capture their attention right away. Even if they weren’t considering using your services or expertise before, they are now that they’ve seen your killer digital portfolio. It’s clean, it’s professional, it’s unique, and it shows you and your work off in an irresistible way.
Some of our most liked digital portfolios have been made via these awesome websites:
- Behance (AKA Adobe Portfolio) has a great variety of user-friendly, easy-to-use templates for all portfolio types, styles, and brands.
- Canva is an application and web-based tool, Canva is ideal for dipping your toes into the digital portfolio realm, especially on a time crunch.
- Colorlib is a great marketplace for digital portfolio templates, you can see all sorts of different options and see a preview before you commit to your template of choice.
- DevFolio is a free portfolio website HTML template created with the Bootstrap framework. Devfolio is made for developers and high-level digital designers who know their way around website coding.
- Dessign.net has lots of free templates for all sorts of tech professions, from developers to illustrators to design teams in general. This is more of a one-stop-shop where you can build and host a website, create a digital portfolio, and build a multi-faceted platform off of in the future.
- Bootstrapious‘s IT Worker portfolio theme is great for all tech roles and has the capabilities to show your IT projects off in a fully responsive way. Think testimonial carousels, filterable portfolio items per role applied for, and a fully responsive framework.
Okay, now you have all of our deepest darkest portfolio design tips. Now it’s time for you to go forth and prosper in your next interview process with a shiny, new digital portfolio.