An online portfolio provides a way to reveal your credentials to the world. It allows you to package the best evidence of your candidacy for employment such as your resume, artwork, reports, lesson plans, transcripts, certifications, articles, letters, and more in a form easily accessible via the Internet.
The Purpose of a Portfolio
A well-prepared portfolio provides "evidence" to an employer of your accomplishments, skills, abilities and it documents the scope and quality of your experience and training. It is an organized collection of documentation that presents both your personal and professional achievements in a concrete way.
Portfolios can range in from something as simple as an online version of your resume to a web site full of materials. A portfolio can include word processing files of your resume and writing samples, digital images of your graphic and artwork, and video and audio files.
Designing your web site well can significantly alter your user's reaction to your work. Your goal in creating a portfolio is to present your credentials and personal information in a manner that is functional, user friendly, and aesthetically pleasing. If you have some HTML or other web programming skills, you may want to consider creating a web portfolio that utilizes a more interactive and presentational effect. If not, you may want to utilize a portfolio service where you can simply upload your documents to a portfolio web site.
There are sites which offer free web hosting and other sites which offer a free option specifically for portfolios. Other, more extensive, portfolio options are available for a fee.
Build Your Portfolio
Remember that your portfolio is a work in a process. You don't need to upload everything at once. Take it one step at a time and take the time to create a professional, polished portfolio. Shoddy work won't reflect well on your candidacy for employment.
Keep your portfolio current. Check to make sure everything is in working order on a regular basis. That means no broken images or broken links to other sites or outdated information. If you have a link to your email address test it to make sure it works.
Add a link to your portfolio to your resume and mention it in your cover letters so employers can access the information quickly and easily.
Finally, remember that your portfolio, if you have done an excellent job, could be what makes you stand out in a crowd of candidates!