Web development is one of those careers where portfolios prove to be more helpful than a standard resume. Having a place where employers can view your work and personalized style can help them determine if you’re a good fit. A portfolio can be created from scratch or, if you’re pressed for time, you can consider using portfolio websites, templates or themes. One of the ways that employers can discover you or learn more about you is through your portfolio. So taking the time necessary to perfect it, will better prepare you for a possible job. It’s always better to have a portfolio than not to have one.
Here are 6 important sections to include in your online portfolio, if you're a web developer:
1. Contact Information
Make it visible. And by visible, we mean easy-to-find. Having a great portfolio is pointless if you can’t be contacted. So be sure to include, at least your email address. No need to put a personal phone number down. That can be exchanged after the initial email conversation.
Finally, adding a small and professional photo to your portfolio will create trust and reliability.
2. Bio/About Me
Make sure to show your personality with your bio. Just don't provide too much detail, include only relevant highlights! Mixing in a hobby with your experience could help you stand out from the rest, characterizing you as more personable and likable!
It seems odd to leave out your college education but if you majored in something completely irrelevant to web development, you should leave it out. Then, be sure to include related bootcamps, certificates or relevant individual courses. Of course, having a master's degree in this field will not only set you apart from the competition but give you highest credibility.
4. Relevant Experience/Skills
Showcase your projects that are related to the position or type of job you want to be hired for! However, that doesn’t mean to leave out your best work. As a bonus, you can include testimonials from your clients or previous employers to set you apart from other candidates. For those of you who don’t have much experience, you can focus your energy on personal projects like a blog or website.
This goes for your skill section too. Only include your strongest skills that are related to and useful for the role you are looking to land.
Praises from others who you have worked with make a difference too. Avoid notation of trivial awards. Competitions, tech blog contributions, and other relevant achievements should be mentioned in your portfolio. These will give you an extra edge over your competition.
6. Project Context
A “job title” isn’t enough to WOW your prospects. Give your potential employer more information about the job (previous or current) to help them understand what they’re looking at. That means including who it was for, a description, project dates, and any relevant work samples. You can easily accomplish this by providing links to your LinkedIn and Github accounts. Employers use these social sites to better understand what you're capable of. So provide them with the content that will demonstrate that you're capable of the types of projects that you would like to be hired for.
This goes for documenting source code as well. If you adding links to your repositories on Github, you can help people understand the context by explaining what the project is and how to use it (try a readme.md).
Before You Go...
As a bonus for the hiring department, include an easy-to-find downloadable resume since having a hard-copy is still helpful! Plus, you can utilize your portfolio on LinkedIn where employers can search for candidates that meet their requirements.
By including the above sections, you should be well on your way to building your online portfolio. Finally, remember to update your portfolio as you gain experience or learn new skills. Now go hit the ground running towards your web development career!
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