Your portfolio website is usually the first point of contact between you and a potential employer. It’s important to ensure that it’s well-designed and eye-catching, but you also want it to properly showcase your skills, knowledge and experience. Even if you’re yet to delve into your first official job, there are plenty of ways to make your portfolio stand out.
In this post, we’ve listed eight tips that will help you create a client-landing portfolio website. Many of these tips will be geared towards people like you, who work in tech jobs. But before we get started with those, let’s take a look at the universal portfolio website standards that apply to any industry.
You may know about a few of these already, but let’s run over the basics of any good portfolio before moving onto the important stuff:
Logo: Your logo is usually where a user’s eyes go when they first see your website. It should be creative and representative of who you are.
List of Services: In order to understand whether you’re what they’re looking for, potential clients should be able to immediately know what services you offer.
Original Tagline: Avoid cliché taglines and opt for a combination of what you can do and why you’re the best at it.
Contact Information: This needs to be in a prominent and easily accessible position on your website. If relevant, be sure to add your social media and LinkedIn contact details.
Showcase as Many Projects as Possible
The more comprehensive your portfolio of projects is, the higher your chances of enticing a client who needs a specific type of work done. If you only have a handful of projects to show, you’ll appear less experienced and those projects may not be in line with what a potential client wants. Therefore, it’s wiser to include as much as possible.
Whether it’s unpaid projects you did to learn new skills, projects that were part of your education, or even smaller exercises that you did to create certain components of a bigger project, anything that showcases your knowledge and abilities should be included.
Since you aren’t constrained by the page count limits of physical portfolios, it would only make sense to utilize the power of modern web design and include as much relevant content as you can.
Create a Brand Image
This is especially helpful for those who don’t yet have years of work under their belt to showcase. You can help potential clients get to know who you are, where you came from and what brought you into your line of work by writing a bio in your portfolio.
Think of it as a more personal resume page that potential clients can read in order to get to know who they’re working with. Try getting creative here. For example, you could present your details in an attractive infographic. Be sure to keep it relevant and interesting.
Showcase Your Testimonials
Testimonials are still a highly effective way to entice clients and prove that you’re capable of producing quality work. Don’t be afraid to ask for testimonials from all the people that you’ve done projects for. Whether you’ve been working for 10 years or 10 days, requesting some flattering shout outs is a great way to create a narrative of credibility.
Include Your Volunteer Work
Instead of only including projects that are directly within your line of work, you can also add things that you’ve done for local community groups and organizations. As long as they loosely relate to what you do, they might be worth a mention.
For example, a web developer can include a website they made for a local charity, while an SEO expert can include the marketing work they did for a music festival in their area. This all contributes to your experience level in the eyes of your potential clients.
Include Your Education
Potential employers will feel more compelled to work with you if they can see that you’re qualified for the job. Be sure to include any education that you’ve undertaken over the years. If your education is minimal, consider running through a few online courses within your line of work.
For example, if you work in engineering and want to truly impress your potential clients, perhaps it’s time to consider an online engineering management masters from Kettering University. This will equip you with an esteemed certification that will greatly increase your work opportunities. What’s great about this course is that you can take it entirely online, even without a GRE or GMAT.
These are the fundamentals of a good portfolio and apply to any line of work. But since we’re all about tech here, let’s also take a look at what to include in the portfolio of a digital marketer, web developer and web designer.
Digital Marketer Portfolio
When it comes to showcasing your digital marketing portfolio, you can start as big or as small as you like. You could include entire digital branding packages, or simply focus on smaller parts that create a compelling product. This can include your social media maintenance skills, something that brands are in high demand of today.
You could also include a style guide. This will give potential clients an idea of what your long-term brand strategist abilities are and how meticulous your work is. Lastly, you could include your ability to create SEO-friendly websites by showing how you can tweak a website’s architecture to make it more search engine friendly.
Web Developer Portfolio
Of course, as a web developer, it would be fair for any potential client to expect your portfolio website to perform at peak condition, so be sure to pay attention to that aspect of your portfolio. Performance aside, be sure to create your website using custom themes and templates that showcase your ability to create a unique product.
Web Designer Portfolio
Similar to that of a web developer’s portfolio, a web designer’s portfolio needs to be… well designed. If you’re yet to get any paid work, you can redesign an existing website or mobile app and include that in your portfolio. By showing what you can do with familiar brands, potential clients will get a better idea of what you can do for them.
Creating a comprehensive and attractive portfolio will take some time, but don’t be overwhelmed. As long as you can proudly share what you’re capable of and what makes you the one to be hired, you’re destined for greatness. Don’t be afraid to go all out and create something truly impressive. It should be a testament to your work ethic and abilities.