How to Create a Standout Portfolio Website

How to Create a Standout Portfolio Website

Looking for a way to show off your work and have an edge in the hiring process? Portfolio websites may be the answer.

Having a portfolio website can give an applicant an advantage in the hiring process, especially when there are a high number of candidates in consideration and/or the position is with a highly regarded company. Hover found that when employers are given the chance to visit a portfolio website, 86% of them will, and by doing so, the platform will ultimately affect their hiring decision.

Read this article to learn how to create a great portfolio website and stand out to potential employers.

Decide if You Need One

Many professionals assume that portfolio websites are used only for graphic designers, photographers and professionals in the creative industry. While there are some professions that don’t necessarily need one, there are many other professions in different industries that can benefit from having one without even realizing it.

Employers want to be sure that the selected candidate can do the role they are applying for. A portfolio website not only gives them an idea of the candidate’s previous work, but also provides them with tangible evidence that they can do the work that the position is responsible for. For this reason, many types of roles, senior and entry-level, across disciplines should consider if a portfolio website is right for them.

For example, a computer programmer could benefit greatly from having a portfolio website. This type of platform allows them to show off their latest projects, recent professional innovations and any original processes that they designed themselves. Providing a potential employer with a portfolio website will most likely leave a positive impression and ultimately help the organization know if the candidate is the right fit.

Here are more examples of professions that can benefit from a portfolio website:

  • Scrum Master
  • Project Manager
  • Cybersecurity Professional
  • UX/UI Designer
  • Computer Scientist
  • Statistician
  • Data Scientist

Having a portfolio website can be an advantage when applying for jobs by showing managers exactly the skills that are being brought to the table before even interviewing.

Gather Impressive Work Examples

Before even starting to build out a website, the best thing a professional can do is to collect and organize the best work from their professional career thus far. Candidates should consider including projects that show the breath and depth of their work.

For example, if a marketing professional is creating a portfolio website, they are going to want to gather and display projects that fully encompass their skills like advertisements, social media content, copywriting and original blog posts.

Also, candidates should think of outside-the-box examples of work that might showcase their unique perspective. Including a personal touch on the projects that are shared shows the human side of the professional. This also can show employers the candidate’s other skills such as creativity organization, technical aptitude and more, which may improve job consideration for the seeker.

More work examples can include:

  • Campaigns
  • Code sets
  • Case studies
  • Content performance analytics
  • Testimonials

These types of work examples can be displayed and organized on the website and show the candidate’s skillsets that could be brought to a future employer.

Create a Website Foundation

If coding and website development do not come naturally, candidates should consider using a website builder. There are many services that offer website builders to help people create their own sites without having to worry about manually coding the entire site. Of course, if website development is a skill that the candidate possesses, then coding the website may be the best route for them.

It is important to note that many of these builder sites start with a free version, but often they require payment for more quality features such as custom domain names, certain designs, color schemes, pre-built graphics and more.

Some website builders include:

  • Wix
  • Squarespace
  • GoDaddy
  • Weebly

Candidates should consider using builders such as these to help jumpstart the portfolio process and get amazing work published to the public.

Know What to Include

One of the most important things candidates should include on a portfolio website is current and past work that fully exemplifies the work that can be done by them. Candidates shouldn’t leave off any work that can demonstrate their abilities, as this can risk them not being considered for the role.

Additionally, jobs seekers should make sure there is clear contact information on every page of the website. There may be a chance an employer might find an online portfolio and be interested, but it will go to waste if there is no contact information readily available.

Another great idea to include on a website is a fully updated resume that can be downloaded. Not only will this give a potential employer a full look at the candidate’s career history, but will also allow them to download the resume themselves and put it in their work database.

Here are other items that can be included on a portfolio website:

  • Awards and recognitions
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Client/customer feedback

Including these elements will not only make it easier for recruiters and employers to reach out to the candidate, but it will also allow for an easier recruiting experience overall.

Create an Eye-Grabbing Homepage

The homepage will be the first thing that a visitor will see when opening an online portfolio and it is advised to make it catchy and interesting. WebFX found that 94% of first impressions of websites rely solely on the design of the website, so it is important to make a great first impression.

A great way to create an eye-grabbing homepage is to make the layout simple. The last thing a potential employer is going to want to see is blocks of text and messy organization of photos or work examples. Keeping it as minimal as possible, while still showcasing important skills is best when creating a homepage. This idea of simplicity and organization should not only be used for the homepage, but all pages on the site.

Here are more creative ways to make your website stand out:

  • Fun, but readable fonts
  • Bright colors that fit an overall theme
  • Downloadable content
  • Videos

Including these elements in a portfolio website can be a great way to accurately showcase the candidate’s work while keeping it accessible to all visitors.

While they may take time to create, portfolio websites can be a great way to showcase excellent work and demonstrate to an employer a potential employer why you are the perfect fit for the job.

Looking for your next dream job? Check out the latest openings from Hunter and start talking to one of our excellent recruiters today.