Hey, #LinkedIn community! ๐Ÿ‘‹ย  I was fortunate enough to be featured in this fantastic article by Forage: ๐–ง๐—ˆ๐— ๐—๐—ˆ ๐–ข๐—‹๐–พ๐–บ๐—๐–พ ๐–บ๐—‡ ๐–ฎ๐—‡๐—…๐—‚๐—‡๐–พ ๐–ฏ๐—ˆ๐—‹๐—๐–ฟ๐—ˆ๐—…๐—‚๐—ˆ (๐–ค๐—๐–พ๐—‡ ๐–ถ๐—๐–พ๐—‡ ๐–ธ๐—ˆ๐—Ž ๐–ฃ๐—ˆ๐—‡โ€™๐— ๐–ง๐–บ๐—๐–พ ๐–ถ๐—ˆ๐—‹๐—„ ๐–ค๐—‘๐—‰๐–พ๐—‹๐—‚๐–พ๐—‡๐–ผ๐–พ)

You donโ€™t need professional work experience to have a great online portfolio. If youโ€™ve written articles for the school newspaper, conducted research for a class, developed a video game in an extracurricular, or did some graphic design on your own time, these are all things you can โ€” and should โ€” include in an online portfolio.

This guide will show you how to create an online portfolio, online portfolio examples, and why having one matters in the job search process.

My take:

Online Portfolio: Definition

Online portfolios arenโ€™t just for writers, though. Anyone whoโ€™s applying to a role where itโ€™s helpful to demonstrate your work to the hiring team should create an online portfolio.

โ€œGraphic designers, writers, photographers, architects, construction managers? Heck yes! Production foreman at an automotive company? Maybe not so much,โ€ Matthew Warzel, certified professional resume writer and former Fortune 500 recruiter, says. โ€œThink in terms of your audience (hiring managers and recruiters) and envision what you think they would like to see. If you fall in the somewhat โ€˜creativeโ€™ or โ€˜research-orientedโ€™ space, it might be a nice idea to build an online portfolio.โ€

They Add Value to Your Application

โ€œAn online portfolio can benefit your overall professional profile with a deeper dive into your key value offerings, achievements and skills that a resume cannot always offer,โ€ Warzel says.

The online portfolio is just one part of your application, and one you shouldnโ€™t rely on solely to get you the job โ€” especially because itโ€™s not guaranteed that a hiring manager will look at it.

โ€œSome do, and some do not,โ€ Warzel says. โ€œThe nature of staffing in general is that there are tons of personalities involved in hiring, each with a method of discovering or vetting a candidate in his or her own way. Some will want to see as much as they can before diving further into the interview process. Some just want a resume or LinkedIn URL to view.โ€

Make Your Skills Visible

Like adding keywords to yourย LinkedInย profile, creating an online portfolio may help recruiters find and learn more about you.

โ€œIt can boost your online visibility during searches,โ€ Warzel says. โ€œPlus, you can include the portfolioโ€™s URL on all of your job-hunting collateral as a quasi-business card or extended โ€˜digitalโ€™ resume.โ€

Choose Carefully

This is arguably the most challenging part of creating your portfolio. Start small and opt for your best pieces rather than breadth. Every piece should add value and showcase a different skill youโ€™ve acquired.

โ€œTake your time,โ€ Warzel warns. โ€œBe strategic and understand what message you are sending when creating the content. Do not just throw items in that do not sell your abilities for a certain role you are targeting.โ€

Online Portfolios: The Bottom Line

Online portfolios are a great way to add value to your job applications by showcasing your work โ€” especially if you donโ€™t have much (or any) real work experience.

โ€œIf itโ€™s cost-friendly, use an online portfolio to your advantage,โ€ Warzel says. โ€œMore likely than not, you will be the sole applicant using one as part of your application. It canโ€™t hurt unless you build a sloppy portfolio. Make sure itโ€™s sound and effective toward your brand marketability.โ€

Chime in over here and join the conversation.

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