Guest Author - Meredith Eisenberg
Want to show the world what youíve got? Think about putting up your own personal press kit Ė on online portfolio. Online portfolios are websites that showcase your work for potential employers. They are cost effective and efficient because you can simply send a link to interested employers or clients instead of putting together expensive collections of work samples. If you design web pages, write online software, write computer code or do any other sort of visible computer work, being able to quickly link people to past projects shows your professionalism and can put you at the top of the list for your next job.
Here are some components to think about as you assemble your online portfolio:
1. Use Your Name. Use your own name as the domain name if possible. This will not only look more professional, it will increase the odds that your website will appear when an employer searches for you in Google or another search engine.
2. Become A Blogger. Starting a blog is an instant way to be seen as an expert in your field of expertise. While blogs should include personal experiences to draw in readers, your blog for this purpose is a business blog so topics should focus mainly on your area of expertise. If you need help getting your blog started, Lynette Chandler offers an extemely useful blog starter pack on her website. I used it for my blog and got it up and running pretty quickly.
3. Make Sure That Your Site Represents You. Make sure that the site itself shows off your abilities in the best light possible. Make sure all links to other sites are current and working, include screenshots of older sites. Show off your very best work and include descriptions so that employers can understand the scope of the work undertaken and your role in its creation.
4. Keep Your Site Current. As new opportunities arise and as your skills increase, keep updating your site. You can even do customized pages for specific employers. Include dates in context, but be careful that the site never looks outdated or abandoned.
5. Remember Keywords. Make a list of skills that you would like to highlight and include them liberally throughout the site, make sure that the skills are listed as keywords along with your geographical area. Who knows, an unexpected opportunity may fall in your lap because you optimized your portfolio for search engines.
6. Consider including a picture. Seeing a real person behind the website adds a warm touch in this increasingly virtual world.
7. Contact Information. Donít put too much contact information. An email and a cell phone is enough. Even with password protection, it is difficult to keep personal information private.
Remember, your online portfolio represents you. Be creative and show the world what an asset you can be to their business.