With the popularity of portfolio websites for students growing, many students and job seekers find themselves searching for what information should be on their website and how it should be formatted. As a student and job seeker who has used a portfolio site to land internships, I have outlined a few basic rules below that will help anyone looking for where to start with creating their own site.
Keep Your Objectives – Exactly how you have an objective line on your resume, you should clearly state on your website what you are hoping to gain from creating this site. Some examples include: to get a job, to sell your work, to communicate or to gain reputation. Think of your website as your resume but in an electronic version, especially if you are providing the link to possible employers or clients.
Don’t Overdo It – Less is more! Keeping every element on your website simple, clean and crisp is important to your audience. You should create a simple and easy way for your audience to view your works without overwhelming them. Show only your best works that you think would impress your audience. You may categorize your work or put them on separate pages as long as you remember that your ultimate goal is to impress your audience, not overwhelm them.
Ease of Use – Your website should be easy to use. Try looking at your website as one of your audience members. Can you easily figure out where to go next and what is going on? Yes, you may know how to do a lot of fancy tricks to your website that others don’t, but that could be distracting for your audience. Try to make your site easy to maneuver and convenient for everyone’s abilities.
Include Your Contact – Include a page or section on your website with your contact information. Just including your name and e-mail address will allow your audience to contact you should they have questions or want to hire you. You can put as many forms of contact as you’d like on your website, just make sure they are ways that your audience can easily get ahold of you.
The Power of Testimonials – Never underestimate the power of what others say about your work! Include a page on your website with what others have said. You can even add recommendations from co-workers/managers you have worked with in the past. Feel free to include the company name, logo and information so that your audience can do their research on you before contacting you.
As an avid supporter of having a portfolio website for your job search, I suggest you look into the following sites to help you build your website: WIX, WordPress and Carbonmade. These types of sites will write the code for you, allowing you to focus more on design, content and usability of your website. Happy designing!