Online Portfolios / LinkedIn

An online portfolio is similar to a résumé in that it represents you, your background, and qualifications. It’s different than a resume because it adds participation and multimedia to the publication. People network, link, and connect via online portfolios or professional sites such as LinkedIn. Online portfolios are critical elements in presenting yourself for employment in the contemporary job market. Certain professions, such as nursing, teaching, and others, use online portfolios to showcase work, reflect on learning, and join professional conversations, all important supportive elements in getting an interview.

If you are comfortable creating a blog or a website, you may want to create your own professional portfolio, as your own site allows you to organize information as you wish and not be restricted by a pre-set structure.  Especially if you are in a field such as information design, communication, or marketing, you may want to consider creating your own professional portfolio online. Even if you have little technical experience, free platforms such as WordPress will allow you to create a website or blog with relative ease.

The following video discusses things to consider when creating an online portfolio.

When creating your own professional portfolio online, in addition to doing a thorough situational analysis to determine appropriate content, make sure to consider information design basics.  You should should research portfolio design before designing your own site, and get others to test its usability after your initial design, to make sure that you’re creating a clear, easy-to-use site that fulfills your purpose – to get an interview.

LinkedIn offers a pre-structured online portfolio that allows you to easily input information and showcase your skills and experience in a large job search site.  There are many reasons to use LinkedIn, as stated in the following video.

Your own online portfolio and LinkedIn are not mutually exclusive, just as an online portfolio and a resume are not mutually exclusive.  For example, even though you can house multimedia professional artifacts on LinkedIn, you may still want to include a standard résumé that can be downloaded and printed.  Or even though you have your own professional blog or portfolio, you may still want to have a LinkedIn site that includes a link to your own resource.

Since LinkedIn is used so widely, it’s important to create a strong LinkedIn profile, as discussed in the two videos below.

No matter what platform you use for an online portfolio, make sure to include a summary profiling your background, skills, and achievements, similar to your professional profile or skills summary on your written resume, in order to capture your reader’s attention to delve into your portfolio more fully.