A professional portfolio is necessary for every success-minded admin, whether you’re actively looking for a new position or perfectly content in your current role. A portfolio not only shows employers who you are, it also offers proof that you can do what you say you can do.
Portfolios are useful in interviews, at review time, and whenever you want to make a case for a promotion or raise. For maximum career benefit, your portfolio should be available in three versions: print, social, and digital.
At heart, a digital portfolio is just a website for your career. It’s an easy way to share your resume, work samples, credentials, and anything else that you want to showcase about your professional life.
There are numerous benefits to having a digital portfolio, but the greatest one is that it’s easy to share it with anyone – no matter where they’re located. Another perk is that a digital portfolio can include links, downloadable files, and audio and video components that are difficult or impossible to incorporate into a print version. Plus, you can include a link to your professional portfolio website at the top of your resume, which is an instant attention-grabber!
So, are you ready to get started creating your digital portfolio? These five simple steps can help.
Step 1: Choose a Platform for Your Digital Portfolio
There are plenty of online sites that can provide a place for your digital portfolio to live, including WordPress, Wix, Google Sites, etc. Keep in mind that some are better than others, and each has its own features, interface, and cost.
Personally, I use WordPress.com because I’ve found it’s the best fit for my needs and you can get started at no cost. You might prefer a different site. Whatever you choose is fine – so take a look around and find the platform that you’re most comfortable with.
Step 2: Setup Your Website
Once you choose a platform, it’s time to setup your website. The first thing you need to do is choose your URL. I recommend making it your name in combination with the domain name extension. If you are using the free versions of any of a platform, most of them automatically include their name with the full URL. Since I use WordPress, the URL for my digital portfolio is www.julieperrine.wordpress.com.
If your first choice is taken, you may need to get creative. For instance, you could try:
Remember, your URL is a representation of you and your personal brand. Choose something that reflects your professionalism. This isn’t the time to get cutesy.
Next, you need to setup your account with your username, email address, and password. Depending on the site you use, they may try to upsell you from the free to a paid version. You don’t need to spend the money. The free version will work just fine for this purpose, and you can always upgrade later if necessary.
You’ll be prompted to choose your website title and a tagline. The title should include your name and the word “portfolio” so that visitors instantly know what they’re looking at. As far as the tagline goes, consider using a phrase or personal branding statement from your resume.
Finally, choose a theme for your website. There are tons of premade themes available, and they’re easy to customize. You don’t need to spend a lot of time picking one when you’re just getting started – that can come later.
Step 3: Create Your Website Pages
Once you complete the setup process, you can start creating pages for your website. Most likely, your home and about pages were automatically created. So start thinking about what other pages you want to include.
Here are some options to consider:
- Work Samples or Portfolio
- Contact or Contact Me
- Communication Skills
- Design and Editing
- Event Planning
- Presentation Development
- Project Management
- Website Development
- Writing Skills
Step 4: Add Content to Your Pages
Once you determine what pages you need, it’s time to populate them. For each pages, you can scan your materials, create PDFs, or even take screenshots to include in your digital portfolio. You can also add links to projects or websites you’ve worked on if they’re appropriate to share.
For instance, if you’re working on your event planning page, you might include:
- Checklists, templates, and forms you’ve created to make event planning easier
- Your event planning procedures
- A list of events you’ve planned
- Photos from prior events
Everything you add to your pages should represent your best work. It’s not necessary to include everything you’ve ever done; your main goal is to showcase your skills.
Step 5: Share Your Digital Portfolio!
Congratulations! You created your digital portfolio.
Before you share it, review all the pages to make sure they display correctly. Keep an eye out for typos, grammatical errors, and anything that looks off. Try to view it through someone else’s eyes or, even better, ask a trusted friend, family member, or colleague to look it over before you actively share it.
Once you’re confident that everything is in order, then you can include the website address on your resume, business cards, social media profiles (especially LinkedIn), and professional association profiles. Make sure to add it to your email signature and reference lists, too. Don’t be shy about calling attention to something you worked hard on!
Every admin needs a way to demonstrate their skills and shine a spotlight on their accomplishments. A digital portfolio is one of the best ways to stand out and prove yourself!
© 2022 Julie Perrine International, LLC
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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity, and Become a Procedures Pro: The Admin’s Guide to Developing Effective Office Systems and Procedures.