Your portfolio is your passport to getting hired; it should tell people who you are as a creative, apart from being easy for people to find and view. Here are 10 steps to take to create a killer portfolio that speaks volumes about your skills and get you hired.
#1 Put Your Best Foot Forward
The average reader spends only 15 seconds deciding if your portfolio is worth a closer look. Always place your best work at the beginning of the portfolio. Leave out the work you don’t love: it may hurt you more than it helps you.
#2 Categorise Your Work
Imagine hunting for a book in a library without an index of titles. Or the Dewey Decimal system. The horror! Categories make for easy viewing and show the reader how diverse your skill set is.
#3 Choose a Good Portfolio Website Builder
If you don’t know how to build a website from scratch… don’t attempt it. (You could grow old trying to learn how to do it yourself.) A self-hosted WordPress platform is a good bet, along with a stylish theme that’s easy to customise. You could also use WYSIWIG website builder software online. This typically has drag-and-drop UX and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Bonus: zero coding knowledge required.
#4 Get A Custom Domain Name
This is a cornerstone of your brand presence, so pick a name that’s memorable and accurately describes you and your work. What’s easier to remember? ‘Shoot Me, Please’ or ‘Bob’s Photography’? Having your own domain and a unique brand tells people that you’re a professional.
#5 Optimise Your Portfolio Site for Search Engines
You can have a brilliant portfolio and a witty, memorable domain name, but your portfolio won’t get much traction if you don’t give your website some SEO love. Invest some time in learning how to make your site and its content optimised for search engines so that your site (and your portfolio) show up more frequently in searches. A responsive site gives you a huge advantage, as it’ll look good on mobile devices too.
#6 Go High-Def
It’s 2017, not 1997. If your images aren’t HD, you might as well be from another planet — or an accidental time traveller. Fun fact: HD images are more likely to be shared on social media, and give you the best print quality for face-to-face client meetings.
#7 Keep It Simple
Your work should be the main star, so resist the temptation to use overly flashy (pun intended) effects like Flash and animations on your website. They’re distracting, and they’ll bloat your website’s loading time — the bandwidth would be better spent to load the HD images of your portfolio instead. Use light backgrounds to avoid visual fatigue and stick to one colour theme that makes sense for your branding.
#8 Keep It Fresh
Update your portfolio consistently so that search engines recognise your site’s new content regularly. This improves your chances of showing up in search results.
#9 Content Marketing: Your BFF
Valuable content is the best way to stay relevant while also showing your brand personality to readers and potential clients. Blogging can be done remotely, and it’s also a fantastic, low-cost way to reach potential clients far and wide. With a few hours of content creation every week, your portfolio will be more than just a carousel of pretty things.
#10 Be Social
Online, that is. Be active on social media (and stay active) so that potential clients and collaborators can discover and connect with you more easily. Optimise your content for social sharing so that readers can show their friends your work.