Building & Distributing Your Professional Portfolio in 2022
A professional portfolio is a portal to career-launching opportunities. It is an entirely separate entity from your CV but is the springboard from which possibilities bounce. But the process of building it can feel laborious, especially if you are doing so from the ground up. In fact, many graduates struggle to build it, much less distribute it. They feel like they simply don’t have the professional clout to fill the pages. That they can’t wow their prospective employers.
At Everytalent, we understand this predicament. We’ve all been through it. In this article, we will show you how to make use of what you know, build on top of it, and distribute your professional portfolio in 2022. This is a great place to find career portfolio tips, and an answer to how to create a professional portfolio.
- What Is A Professional Portfolio?
- Building Your Professional Portfolio
- Distributing Your Professional Portfolio Online
- Online Portfolio Options
What Is A Professional Portfolio?
CVs, portfolios and cover letters are different things and they carry out separate purposes. First, what is a job or professional portfolio?
A portfolio is a demonstration of your professional development, as well as your academic success and qualifications. Professional portfolios can contain examples of your work, letters of recommendation, and any number of features that you can think of. But its job is to prove the points made in your CV.
There is no limit to what a portfolio can showcase and the manner in which it can do so. To that end, there are many platforms that help with this – we will explore some of them in this article. Because the shape and content of your portfolio depends on your field you are submitting to, it can change from when submitting different job applications.
A CV is essentially a bullet-pointed list of educational achievements, qualifications, and extra-curricular skills. It often uses ‘incorrect’ grammar for the sake of getting to the point and summarizing the candidate. It should contain practical things too such as contact information and a reference or two. In short, a CV is a way for employers to take a quick look at you and decide if you’re what they’re looking for. If so, then they will read your cover letters and portfolios.
A resume is a succinct, one-two page summary of working experience relevant to the position in question. The main manner in which it differs from a CV is that it has less focus on vocational aspects of your ventures, and more on the professional elements.
To sum it up, CVs list your successes, but portfolios prove them. When making a professional portfolio, it is important that you show your proudest accomplishments, and make it accessible to your employer for them to browse. Out of all the career portfolio tips, this is the broadest, but also the most important to bear in mind.
Finally, there are cover letters. This is a personalized letter detailing why you are the ideal candidate for the job. The purpose of these is to show your employer that you have taken a keen interest. It should use points from your CV, and highlight pieces from your portfolio that are relevant to the main job requirements noted by the recruiter. While your CV summarizes skill points for recruiters, and your portfolio proves them, both are objective and don’t necessarily show cognizance on your part, or demonstrate your personal interest fully. For this, you need to make a point of communicating the specific needs of the employer, and giving a sense of you, the person.
Overall, you will want to use all three sources when applying for a job. That is the ideal situation, anyway. Not every job you apply for will provide this opportunity, because from job to job, there are different selection processes and intricacies. But while every source is important, the portfolio is debatably the most important as it shows your skills. Creating a professional portfolio might seem like a complicated process at this stage, but once you have it, it does a lot of the talking for you. With that in mind, how should you set about building a professional portfolio?
Building Your Professional Portfolio
1: Specialize In Something
There are a number of factors to keep in mind when creating a work portfolio, but specializing is the starting point. According to Creative Bloq, one of the first things employers will look for is what you specialize in. Therefore, building your portfolio in a way that covers all bases (the infamous ‘a little bit of everything’ approach) is not the way to go. Employers are likely to dismiss your application on this basis. In contrast, you should pick an area you are passionate about and make it the focal point of your job application portfolio.
2: Be Creative
If you are starting with a blank page, try and think of creative ways that you can showcase your skills. A portfolio doesn’t have to be just formal experience – it can be personal endeavors too. If you are breaking into an industry that requires creativity, then show this in your portfolio. Conversely, if you are breaking into a business/corporate environment, think about showing your interpersonal skills by talking on camera. You can achieve this by filming and then uploading the video to an accessible platform. In total, use your imagination and wow potential employers.
3: Look For Work Experience
Take a look at the work experience options. In the world of virtual work, there is a platform for every industry. So do your research and find something suitable. For instance, if you are looking for photography work, try freelancing, or offering your services to local businesses for a discounted rate. All of these endeavors are practical, possible, and give you some killer experience. Maybe even some cash, but if you can, focus on the experience first. In the end, experience leads to jobs. Limiting yourself based on the ‘get paid’ ethic can sometimes slow that process down.
Check out Everytalent for this purpose too. The platform is designed to match career-seeking graduates with relevant jobs and works to fill in the gaps in candidates’ resumes. It does so by providing them with links to courses and jobs to make their resume stronger, using AI selection.
4: Be Careful With Imagery
In portfolios, imagery is great in the right doses. But don’t make the images too big. If they are the wrong size they can take up too much of the page and look abrasive, or if they are too small they look out of place and make no impression. If using images, work hard to make them complement your achievements and skills, and not to overshadow them.
5: Include Extra-Curricular Experience
There are many other experiences that you can use to make your portfolio even better. The trick is always in finding the relevance in regards to the job you are applying for, but guess what? Everything is relevant. It’s all about phrasing. You can take the most minute parallel and make it sound great. What’s more, this isn’t a disingenuous tactic at all. All of your academic, personal and professional experience counts. To that end, think about societies you have been involved in during your education or the modules in your course, or even your background. Where you come from can play a role in your personal development, especially in the world of remote work. In short, use all of the ammo you have.
Distributing Your Professional Portfolio Online
Online portfolios are very convenient for recruiters. Reports by Hover found that 71% of recruiters agree or strongly agree that a strong online portfolio will affect their decision of whether or not they will hire a particular candidate. It is worth noting that the key word here is ‘strong’, not ‘online’. Your portfolio needs to be strong, regardless of its medium. But in 2022, an online portfolio is the most accessible way for employers to see what you can do. Take a look at Hover’s statistics for more proof:
Online Portfolio Options
The thing about online portfolios is that even without you applying for the jobs, industry professionals can find you. We live in the world of algorithms, and those algorithms can bring you up for a person looking for a particular set of skills. So, aside from showcasing skills to employers, online portfolios carry other benefits. The main one is that they put you out there. With all that in mind, let’s take a look at 6 solid examples of platforms for online portfolios.
Behance is primarily for designers, artists, and photographers, but also appeals to interviewers and recruiters for talent acquisition. So, if you are of that persuasion, remember that recruiters will include platforms such as these when looking for skilled candidates, and it is a great way to provide work samples.
Like Behance, Clippings is a free service and there is no limit to how large your portfolio can be. Primarily for writers and journalists, it allows users to upload links to their work. It is very convenient for recruiters, and you can link them to your profile with ease.
Weebly is a website builder, and unlike the first two platforms, its structure is not limited to a specific design. You design the layout using its user-friendly interface, meaning that you can present yourself in any way you see fit. Just make sure that you compare the result with a few professional portfolios and make sure yours looks professional too!
Carbonmade is another platform that doesn’t saddle you with templates. The designs are once again, all yours. What’s more, it also offers unlimited uploads and utilizes a drag-and-drop system, meaning that you don’t need to be a computer programmer to use it. It’s a subscription service but is a great option for creatives.
Coroflot is focused on connecting creative people with potential employers in the industries of architecture, 3D modeling, fashion design, and many others. It is ideal if you are interested in remote work, as it connects users with employers around the world. It’s free too.
The first five platforms all have a specific niche. Everytalent is different. It is an innovative new platform designed to connect candidates with recruiters, and helps applicants create stronger portfolios with a globally tested aptitude and competency assessment tool. It is an ideal service for graduates because it helps them to find potential career paths to go down.
Building a terrific portfolio is an achievable task for anybody, no matter where you are on the career ladder. You just have to examine your achievements and put them to good use. Yes, it takes time, energy and a lot of digging, but that effort is rewarded greatly as your career options broaden. What’s more, the more you dig, the more you find. And there is always more than you think.
And in the process of creating a career portfolio, you will figure out where you need to distribute it. This will lead to logistics such as where to put it, and who to get in touch with, but it is the start of something great.
Want to know more about how to create a work portfolio? Need more practical methods? Then sign up for Everytalent and find opportunities for skill assessment, career fairs, professional development, and more.