The job market today is ripe with opportunities. If you can travel back in time and tell people that they can work from home and earn money, people wouldn’t believe you. What usually happened back then was people get a job and stick all throughout their lives. The idea of having multiple sources of income was almost an impossible idea. But now, with the internet and with most people owning a personal computer, all you need to do is let other people know what skills you have to offer.
According to a research conducted in 2019, the number of U.S. freelancers was approximately 57.3 million (that is 36% of the whole workforce). That is definitely a lot of people, and it’s just growing more each day. More and more people are accepting the idea of remote work in this pandemic, and it’s easy to see why. The stricter government regulations to contain the widespread disease has affected a lot of people. Some people who work regular jobs are suddenly jobless and, therefore, financially unstable. The main reason for freelancing is to supplement their income. Or, in some cases, to venture into a different career path altogether.
If you are a freelancer in particular, you would know how important it is to have an online portfolio. Creating an online portfolio is the first step to start your freelance journey. To help, we will be explaining what is an online portfolio, why you should make a portfolio, tips on how to make a portfolio website, and some professional portfolio examples.
What Is an Online Portfolio?
An online portfolio, in its simplest terms, is a collection of your best work that future employers or clients can see. When applying for a job, the standard practice is to submit your CV or resume to the employer. If you are working in specific fields, however, head hunters want to know more about the output you can produce. There are different types of industries you can work in as a freelancer, namely: accounting, marketing, graphic design, writing, fashion, photography, videography, art, data entry, programming, consulting, human resources, and many more. For most (if not all) of these jobs, an online portfolio will be needed from you.
Reasons to Make a Portfolio
Display your competencies - An online portfolio is a medium to showcase your work to employers and future clients. It presents evidence of your relevant skills and abilities to the position you’re applying for. Truth be told, the portfolio is the epitome of showing and not just telling, because it will show your skills and what you’re all about. The good news is, you have control over what goes into that portfolio. So if you are applying for a graphic design position, for example, you don’t need to display that one artwork you aren’t satisfied with.
Keep track of your accomplishments - During these times where being busy is the norm, people have a tendency to keep on moving without stopping to smell the flowers. In short, people work towards a goal, grind day and and day out until that goal is achieved, and then most often they simply move on to the next thing that they need to accomplish. If you make a portfolio, then you can take note of when you acquired key competencies. You can also use this as a remembrance of what you did during your career when you become old already.
Build credibility - To make a portfolio is to provide solid proof that you can and that you have actually, really done something. Think of yourself as the employer for a moment and you’re deciding which among the two candidates is a better fit for the role they’re applying for. Perplexed, the hiring manager decides to turn to Google to give their candidates a quick search. The manager sees that one has an online portfolio and the other hasn’t. Now both of the candidates have promising curriculum vitaes, but it just so happened that one has an online portfolio and one doesn’t. Who do you think the hiring manager will bbe more inclined to hire? The one who just says that they can accomplish the jobb, or the one who has an online portfolio to back it up?
Build a following - If you structure your online design portfolio in the right way such as including a contact page or you integrate your social media handles into it, it is highly probable that you will build a following for yourself. By displaying your work online and regularly updating it, people who like you work would want to see more of it, and they would want to follow you to keep themselves up to date with your latest work.
Create a community - Once you gain a loyal following, it is inevitable that the next step is to create a community. The community is proven to be like minded individuals who like your work. And with this, you might decide to create an online forum wherein people could be active participants to the communninty you’ve decided to create.
Tips on How to Make a Portfolio
Curate content appropriately
When you make a portfolio, you want to put relevant skills and content in it. This means that you should showcase outputs that could help you land the job or client that you want to do in the future. Don’t include too many descriptions and really focus on what you are aiming at to be hired for.
Choose a good portfolio maker
Your online portfolio maker should help ease the process of making your work stand out from the crowd. When you make a portfolio using Strikingly, this process would be simple to do but it would yield effective results. The reason for this is you can customize the way it looks with easy to use features such as drag and drop and simple blog.
Check out a good online design portfolio for inspiration
With that being said, the overall look of your site can make all the difference in whether companies decide to work with you or not. Sometimes first impressions do count, and one way to make a good first impression is by carefully selecting templates that resonate with your brand. Check out these Strikingly templates:
This template allows you to get to the basics of having an online portfolio. It features what you do, samples of said work, testimonials of customers to boost your credibility, and a contact page. The template also has the option wherein you can link your Facebook profile should readers want to find you on that platform.
Another good template to use is this one, wherein aside from what you do and what services you offer, it also has a page for your biography and personal journey. Think of it as an About Me page, but expanded. If you’re offering life coaching services, sharing your personal journey will help connect you with readers who might have had similar experiences to you, and therefore they would feel a sense of trust with you.
Lastly, this portfolio template is made for the creative artists out there. If you are a designer, you should make a portfolio that showcases the pieces of art you’ve created. This template will allow you to explain the process of how you conceptualize your designs. A contact segment is also available.
Professional Portfolio Examples
Dan Makoski’s is the current Chief Design Officer at Lloyds. As his job title entails, Dan is a world class tech designer. When you skim through his website, his accomplishments are evidently seen and this makes him credible and trustworthy. What makes his portfolio unique is that he went the extra mile and attached his CV which is available for anyone to download.
Ashmith is also a designer who specializes in online ads as well. He nailed the art of making a portfolio by choosing a clean template that allows readers to see his body of work without having to be distracted by a lot of other irrelevant details. It is also helpful that he chose to display his best works from over 230+ websites and 60+ SEO projects.
And finally, we have the portfolio website of Rosa Villa. She is also a designer who is passionate about arts and crafts. Having studied Fine Arts in Seville, she then specialized in design and has been creating with her hands non-stop. Her creative space, “Raspberry & Lavender”, serves as an avenue for her to connect with other people who love crafts as well.
Having a portfolio is what could separate you from the rest of those who can offer the same services. If you’re still not convinced about making one for yourself now, here’s a free trial period to get started on your journey to the big world of freelancing. Click here, and make a portfolio as easy as counting one to three.