When it comes to the tenuous journey of job-hunting or changing careers, success often boils down to standing out. In other words, all those saturated job markets mean that applicants need to find creative ways to attract notice. For writers and communication specialists, one of the easiest ways to establish professionalism and catch the attention of overloaded hiring managers sifting through piles of résumés is to include a web portfolio.
Online portfolios accomplish a number of things all in a tidy, web-savvy bundle. For one thing, the portfolio itself is a sign of technological aptitude and awareness—the majority of companies have a significant online presence, so showing off your tech know-how with a slick design template can be immediately, visually impressive. Collecting a wide array of your best pieces in one place is also a great chance to showcase your past work and can often serve as a substitute for writing samples. In addition, online portfolios can show off your personality and put a face to a name; even a simple writing portfolio can leave an impression if the hiring manager enjoys the “voice” they’re experiencing in your personal website. Whether it’s a general website or a photography portfolio, there are numerous options for building an online presence to add on to your credentials.
If you’re looking for a simple portfolio that offers the basics without complication, Pressfolio is a quality option. The three-tab, (Snapshot, Stories, About Me) scroll-down template is fresh and free of clutter, offering enough customization to make the website your own without bogging you down with technical details. The free plan offers a limited, but adequate number of story slots for showcasing; upgrades are priced at $7.49/month (Lite) and $11.99/month (Pro), respectively. Pressfolio is intended for journalists and other professional writers, so it’s best suited for an online writing portfolio.
Weebly offers a number of customizations and themes for portfolio-seekers who wish to have more control over their format and add-ons. The website builder utilizes a “drag and drop” tool to integrate anything from text to maps to your site, which can be used for blogging, business and online portfolios. Weebly has pricing plans ranging from free to $25/month as well as apps for both iPhone and Android.
Contentedly is a similar concept to Pressfolio, but the difference lies in Contentedly’s ability to include social sharing stats. Facebook and Twitter shares are available at the base of every story displayed, which can be a helpful tool for showcasing popular work. The layout itself is simple but effective, and offers some nifty features like the story/publication counter that goes under your profile, sharing how many stories were published in how many publications.
Wix offers an abundance of options when it comes to picking a website category: Choices include anything from portfolios to online stores and band pages. There are a surplus of free design templates and a drag-and-drop design tool for easy customization; Wix’s HTML5 coding also makes it viewable on all devices and browsers. As with many of the other websites, Wix offers upgrades for premium use for as little as $4.08/month; there are also options to purchase a unique domain name.
If you have photography or graphic design work that you want to use as to supplement your personal portfolio, Behance can be a helpful tool. Behance’s strength lies in variety of options for uploading creative work: Categories range all the way from architecture to web design and illustration. Once projects are uploaded onto your profile page, they are displayed in a crisp scroll-down popup window, which comes with both commenting and “appreciating” (similar to liking something on Facebook) features to help build a following on the site; projects can also be shared via social media.
Whether you’re job hunting or simply want to expand your online presence, creating a web portfolio is a good option to boost your professionalism and showcase your credentials. Building a superior online portfolio to include in your résumé is by no means a golden ticket to a job offer, but it can help: You can’t make hiring managers like your application, after all, but you can at least make it easy for them to try to like it.