Making your ePortfolio can seem like a stressful process, but these five tips will help you put together an ePortfolio that colleagues will respect and you’ll be proud to point employers to! Let’s begin…
1) Start with a theme that fits your needs
A free WordPress.com account is a simple way to get your ePorfolio moving. Sure, there are plenty of other website building tools out there, but WordPress is one that looks good from the start. Choosing one that fits your needs takes a little browsing though!
Are you a graphic artist? A journalist? A historian? Choose a free WordPress theme that allows you to display work that you’re proud of.
For example, take this theme that is meant as a gallery:
It sure is pretty, but it’s also meant as a graphic journal or log; not ideal showing your non-graphic work.
How about this one?
Menus already built in, room for text but also looks balanced with some pictures. Depending on the type of work you want to put on show, pick a theme that will allow you to structure your work in a way that is easy to navigate.
2) Use images
Now that you have chosen a theme (or at least have an idea of which one you’d choose) you should begin thinking about the content to include. Regardless of how much text you’re going to include, remember that people love (good) images.
A picture is worth a thousand words, so grab a few images of your own or browse Flickr for some free Creative Commons-Licensed images that relate to your work. Good images show thoughtfulness and will bring viewers (employers?) to your ePortfolio.
Which photos should I use? That’s really up to you, but make sure that they are cropped well and are meaningful. Employers look at lots of professional websites and will notice if you have just thrown up images without any connection to your content.
3) Fill it with good content
This goes without saying, but only make your best work available. Have an iMovie project from your first semester in your undergraduate education? Remember how sloppy that thing was? Clean it up and put it in your ePortfolio or move on.
This may seem harsh, but just like the images above, you only want the best work on your ePortfolio. Things you will want to include:
- Research papers (2-3 max unless they were published in an academic journal)
- Presentations (1 or 2 PPTs, Voicethreads, or Prezis)
- Descriptions of your internships and past work (keep them short and sweet)
- A short Bio about yourself (employers want to see that you have personality, too!)
4) Keep it up to date
This is absolutely the most common aspect of an ePortfolio that is overlooked.
Oh yeah, I used to have an ePortfolio/Website/Blog…lemme see if I can remember the URL.
If your ePortfolio or website has been collecting dust for the last six months, spend time cleaning and updating it before sending it to anyone. If someone were looking to hire you, would they want to see a project that you abandoned? There are exceptions to this, as you can create a relatively-static ePortfolio that won’t change much over a few months.
But also remember that employers like to see that you’re up to date and staying current in your field. It’s much more interesting to read how projects progress and how people reflect on their work. Again, short and sweet is better, but keep it updated.
5) Connect via Social Media
But I don’t want to use (insert social media tool here)
Well, you may be cutting out a chunk of prospective employers. In today’s world, making your work (ePortfolios included) easy to find and browse can only help you! I hear the argument often that “in my field, people don’t care about websites and stuff”. Yeah right! Professional use of social media (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc) is growing, and you can bet that even if employers don’t officially use these tools, employees still do. What’s the harm in getting your name out there?
Social media is a large topic, but here’s the simplest thing you can do to get started: Update your Online Profile
Make all of your social media profiles point to the same places…your ePortfolio!
**Even if you aren’t ready to commit to daily tweets and posts, connecting your accounts to the same ePortfolio is a good idea. Keep it consistent and make it easy for employers to find you on whichever social media or networking tool they use!
So to wrap this all up
- Pick a theme that works for you
- Use (good) images
- Fill it with your best content
- Keep it up to date
- Connect via Social Media platforms
Did I miss anything?
Feel free to comment below or make suggestions about how else to make your ePortfolio more easily found!