As someone who started working on her website portfolio during freshman year of college, I’ve spent a lot of time playing with design and experimenting with the best ways to capture my work. Thankfully, this attention to detail paid off, and actually helped me land my internship for this summer—so I firmly believe that having an exceptional professional portfolio could be a game-changer. However, there are literally countless online portfolios out there, which may leave you asking, “How do I stand out?” Creativity, accessibility, and a great selection of work are generally the answers, but let the tips on how to build a portfolio website below guide you in detail.
Make a Great First Impression
Make a logo: Having a logo at the top of your website it a great way to visually express your brand. It’s also a first chance to express your creativity and will lead you to being more easily remembered.
Include a standout headshot: Many times, the headshot is one of the first things a potential employer will see on your website and gives a face to your name—which is why it’s essential that this image is professional and captures you and your personality in the best possible way.
Create a clean but creative landing page: The landing page is another key element to capturing your reader. You need this page to be easily comprehensible. Avoid any crazy designs and, instead, keep things clean and simple while still granting room for creativity.
Write a tagline: A clever tagline is a great way to quickly explain who are. It also aids in differentiation and in helping potential employers recall your work.
Show your personality: Ensure that you choose your words, pictures, and themes wisely, as they are all excellent ways to showcase your personality and help you stand out.
Choose a fitting website aesthetic: A website aesthetic can really make or break your website. Make sure to choose one that allows your work to be easily understood while also being unique and fitting to your personality.
Highlight Your Work
Create a comprehensive (but brief) “About Me” page: Highlighting your best work is the main reason for having a portfolio website. Include a tab that directs to a clear and concise summary of what you’ve been up to, or a brief explanation of your primary goals and experiences on the landing page. It’s key to mention your background, how many years of experience you have, and any achievements and awards you’ve received.
Include easy-to-find links to bodies of work: Make sure to include any standout pieces of work you’ve done that you want potential employers to see. If you’ve done work that was published or featured on another website, make sure to include this in your portfolio as well. Always double-check, however, that all the links to these external pieces are working and that there are several ways to click to access them. For example, if you’ve had an article published, try to get both the picture and the story title to link to the external site.
Demonstrate your work with visuals: The work you’ve done can seem mundane if it’s not presented well. Get creative and include pictures, videos, and references from people whom you’ve worked with. People need to be able to quickly understand what you can do—meaning that you have to think critically about how they’re going to see it.
Summarize any services you offer: If you offer certain services, make sure to include them in your portfolio as well. This will allow people to reach out to you if they need a photographer, copywriter, or whatever services you’re offering.
List out your relevant social media platforms: Including social media platforms which are relevant to the work you will be doing or further highlight your work is a necessity. For example, if you want to be a social media manager, include your exemplary Instagram profile. LinkedIn is another great platform to include because it quickly summarizes your work experience and allows people to professionally connect with and contact you.
Provide your contact information: One of the most important elements of building a portfolio website is including a contact page that’s both easy to find and use. Create a tab that directs to a contact page, or even include the information right on the landing page. Or better yet, include a contact form so that users don’t even have to open up their email to get in contact with you.
What is your favorite tip for building a unique portfolio website? Let us know in the comments below.
Featured photo by @cassidiaah.