Career Woman

6 Steps to creating an awesome career portfolio


Knowing you’re the best is not enough. You have to show it. And in this age, simply creating a resume and sending it in with your proposals is not enough anymore either. Clients want to see proof of the skill you claim to have, and there’s no better way to showcase it than to create a breathtaking portfolio that gets clients lining up your doorstep.

You should look at your portfolio as one of your most important projects; it is. In fact, it can be the most important project you’ll ever work on, as it combines all of your expertise, skills, and talents.

To keep your game as strong as ever, here are the 6 steps you can follow to create an awesome career portfolio:

1. Gather up your best work

Before starting on your portfolio, you’ll need to spend a good amount of time going through the work you’ve done so far. Simply adding everything you’ve worked on in your portfolio won’t work; you need to showcase your masterpieces. Your portfolio should include your strongest work, the most inspiring, the best detailed, and the closest thing to perfect you’ve created. This will take a significant amount of time and energy depending on your line of work. On the other hand, you might not have sufficient work to showcase. In this scenario, you can either wait for a masterpiece to work on, or you can do your own project and give out your best performance.

2. Decide on your preferred line of work

In case you’re like many freelancers, then you’ve worked on various kinds of projects to make a living. However, there are high chances that you prefer a certain line of work over others, and this is the category you need to focus on in your career portfolio. If you’ve spent a few years working in marketing, project management, and HR, but you want to focus on social media management, then you need to create a personal social media portfolio, not a management portfolio or one that includes everything. This is where you’ll showcase your social management skills, adding the projects you’ve worked on and previous clients’ testimonials. Being the “guy who works on everything” will get you clients, but it will neither allow you to be specialized nor advance your career of choice.

3. Tell about yourself

You may think that adding a resume will take care of this part, but you’ll be surprised how a well-devised bio in your portfolio will go a long way. The clients you seek will definitely want to see your work for themselves, but they’ll also want to get an idea about who you are as a person. Resumes do little to convey your personality, something that you can express creatively, but briefly, in your portfolio.

4. Choose your website, platform, or program

Depending on the kind of work you do, you’ll find a preferred kind of portfolio creation in your field. Writers need a blog to showcase their magnificent pieces of writing, photographers and graphic designers choose platforms like Behance, and videographers go for Vimeo and YouTube. Whichever platform or website you use, make sure to keep the design simple and make your work speak for itself.

5. Devise a way to present it

After choosing your platform, one of the most important steps in creating your portfolio is presenting it. This is where your creative juices will come to work their magic. Present your work in a way that’s pleasing to the eye, straight to the point, and breathtaking in its simplicity. You can divide it into categories, create a standard template for cover photos, and organize its presentation in a logical sequence.

6. Show off your work

Finally, make sure to show off your work in the best setting. For instance, if you’re a photographer, then the pictures you shoot should indicate its setting. Create a background of a working environment if you’re shooting a person working or prepare an outdoor setting for event coverage and group photos. Make your work speak for itself by delivering the full message. 

When you go through the plethora of career portfolios out there, creating your portfolio can feel like an overwhelming task to achieve. However, everyone who’s ever done it, has started right where you are right now. To create your awesome career portfolio, all you need to do is follow some simple steps. You’ll start by gathering your best pieces of work, deciding in the process which ones to choose to advance your career. Include a creative and brief biography about yourself, after which you’ll choose your preferred platform to create the portfolio. Make sure to present it aesthetically and let it speak for itself.

About Peta McGrath

Peta McGrath is an accomplished marketing and career advisor, specialising in helping women develop their best possible strategies for career and business advancement.

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