Regardless of whether you’re an incoming freshman or a graduating senior, you’re likely to have your own resume. Unfortunately, that resume might not do you justice in communicating the work that you’ve done or the accomplishments you’ve had in your past projects/internships. Fortunately, having an online portfolio solves this problem.
An online portfolio not only tells a story of who you are or what you want to be known for, it also allows you to showcase the quality of your work and your thought process. Having one will not only be helpful for future internship applications, but also for other opportunities you might encounter in school.
The Perks of An Online Portfolio
Before I share more about how to create an online portfolio, here’s why you should create one.
1. It is more dynamic
Unlike a resume, you are not confined by the structure or word limit of a resume. You can also go into greater detail about your experiences and use images to better illustrate the past projects that you have undertaken.
2. It can be personalised
When creating your online portfolio, the layout you choose, words you use, and even the imagery will showcase your personality. Take this chance to use your creativity and create something that shouts ‘YOU’. Furthermore, since you’re no longer restricted by a word limit, you’re able to include your personal thoughts and reflections.
3. It is easy to create
Content Management Systems (CMS) now have page builders and ready-made templates for you to utilise and customise. You don’t even need to touch a single line of code to build a website! Fun fact: I built my own online portfolio in 5 days with zero coding experience!
4 Steps to Creating Your Online Portfolio
Now, let’s get started on how to create an online portfolio.
Step 1. Choose your Content Management System (CMS)
Begin by deciding which CMS you would like to use. Personally, I recommend Wix as they offer an easy to follow step-by-step guide making it extremely user-friendly. Plus, it’s free too! But if you need additional features such as your own domain name, you’ll have to pay for them. In such instances, Wix offers 7 different pricing plans for you to consider.
Apart from Wix, you can also take a look at other CMS such as:
Step 2. Choose your template
Most of the time, the CMS will offer a variety of templates for you to choose from. Taking Wix as an example, they offer over 500 templates under different categories. Do note that even though you’re able to use Wix’s editing features to customise your website, once you’ve chosen a template, you cannot change it. So be sure to choose the right template design! Personally, I like to keep my portfolio simple and sleek, but really, this all depends on your personal preference.
Step 3. Add in the relevant pages and content
This where you’ll have to decide on the structure of your website. I’ll suggest to keep it simple and include 3 main pages: Work, About, Contact
This page should include an overview of the past projects you have undertaken. One common mistake made by many is to list down all of their past projects. You should be selective and only showcase works that are the best and the most relevant to what you want to be known for. This will ensure that your portfolio is consistent and clear.
For each project, you should also provide more information about it. I recommend picking a maximum of 10 projects and formatting it in this manner:
- WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT: Give a brief description of the project brief and requirements you received to set the context.
- WHAT YOU DID: Talk about the work you have done for the project, goals that were set, and what you have achieved.
- HOW YOU FELT: This is the most important aspect where you share more about your thought processes such as the skills learned and insights gained.
Here’s an example of how I did it:
This page is a space for is for readers to learn more about you. Typically, it should include:
- A short introduction of yourself together with a picture.
- Relevant information that your future employees might be interested to know such as your skill set, relevant achievements, experiences, and testimonials.
- A resume for those who do not have the time to browse through your website.
Lastly, you should create a contact page so that it is easy for people to reach out to you. If you’re comfortable, you can also include your personal contact and social accounts such as your LinkedIn.
Step 4. Hit the Publish Button
After you’re done inputting your desired content, do make sure to optimise your website for mobile. Once you’re done with that, smash the publish button and you’re good to go!
While creating an online website from scratch may sound intimidating at first, it’s definitely not as hard as you think. You’ll never know when you’ll need it and it’s always good to start prepping early!
For a more in-depth step-by-step explanation in creating an online portfolio on Wix, do check out this video tutorial.
Here’s the link to my online portfolio if you want to check it out!