Résumés are boring. Necessary, but boring. I always feel like I sound robotic when I’m writing my accomplishments and skills, and as much as I try to use expressive adjectives, I feel like a résumé cannot capture my personality or really show potential employers how my skills and experience set me apart from everyone else.
When we learned about digital portfolios in class, I decided that I needed to create one in order to provide a fuller and more accurate account of who I am as an employee and as a person. They are the perfect complement to a well-written résumé.
Select a Platform
I researched many portfolio platforms specifically geared towards writers. I was looking for a website that was easy to use and had the most features for the “free account” option. I definitely think the extra features, such as a distinct domain name are worth the extra monthly or yearly fee, but since I’m basically starting from scratch in terms of an online presence—no Facebook, Twitter, blog, outdated LinkedIn profile, and no online samples of work—I can upgrade later after I build up my portfolio. I settled on www.journoportfolio.com because it offers the ability to upload multiple types of media, such as videos, photos and PDFs, and I can customize the look of my portfolio.
Design the Layout
After a quick registration process, I was able to choose my layout, upload a cover photo, customize my background, and write a quick introduction. I didn’t have any of my own images available, so I used pictures of a sunset and a starry night from a stock photo website (www.freeimages.com) to prevent copyright infringement.
Journo Portfolio also allows you to add links to your multimedia and personal websites, and a copy of your résumé can be prominently displayed above your logo.
Projects and articles can be added directly to your home page. You can blog directly onto your home page also, which is a great feature—no need to link to a blog on another website. Additional pages can be created and edited. I chose to add a “Projects” and “About Me” page.
My portfolio is definitely not complete. Most of the content and links are placeholders for future multimedia sites and projects, but building it gave me an idea of the possibilities of a digital portfolio. The visual impact that they create and the user’s ability to upload different types of media in many different designs has convinced me that portfolios are an essential tool for creating a strong and personal internet presence. No matter what platform you choose, a digital portfolio will set you apart and help you to deliver your unique message.