You’ve got an ace online portfolio that highlights your best work. Now what do you do? Put it to work.
Having a portfolio that can be searched online by clients has become more important than ever. According to CareerBuilder.com, almost half of employers use Google to search for applicants to fill in a position at their company.
If you’re a designer, you can use portfolio sites like Behance, Carbonmade and Coroflot to upload your artwork and present it to potential clients and employers. If you’re not a designer, free sites like WordPress provide tools to create professional-looking portfolios.
But an online portfolio doesn’t have to end with creating it. Make the most of having an online portfolio and increase your chances of landing a job that offers more professional growth. Here’s how:
Once you create an online portfolio site, you gain access to the site’s community. Browse for users within your industry who are thought leaders and exceptional people and follow them to receive updates.
You want to see how other people with your job description are performing. By following them in the portfolio community, you also become privy to the latest trends and best practices related to your niche. You can also get ideas for your next project by looking at what others are doing.
Collaborate and connect with others
If you like other people’s portfolios, why not make your connection with them more meaningful? Besides submitting your online portfolio along with your resume to companies, search for users within the site you want to collaborate with. Contact users who complement your skills to make your collaborative work more interesting.
Venturing with like-minded people helps you develop your craft and learn new skills. You can include the work in your portfolio site once it’s done. You can put the connections you make to good use down the line. You could request users provide a testimonial about your work that you can feature on your online portfolio, for instance.
Handle criticism graciously
Once you’ve created your online portfolio, you may enter into discussions with other users about your work. Some will love your portfolio, while others won’t — and they’ll let you know what they think. If they have a different opinion about your portfolio, make a case about your work and explain the rationale behind it.
Never forget to keep your composure and be gracious with criticisms, whether constructive or not.
Dealing with people who have a different view about your life’s work can get ugly when not handled properly. You put your portfolio work online for everyone to see to grow as a professional and develop relationships with like-minded people. How you conduct yourself through your online portfolio site is a way of managing your brand. (Click here to tweet this thought.)
Promote, promote, promote
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are good places to start promoting your online portfolio site. LinkedIn, in particular, is a great social networking site specifically for professionals.
When posting your online portfolio using these sites, however, never make the mistake of over-promoting your work. People might get annoyed with the repetitive nature of your updates.
As a professional, social media is your platform to showcase your accomplishments. By showing off your work to the biggest social networking sites, you increase your chances of getting found by companies.
Once you’ve done the steps featured above, you can expect to make a bigger splash in the market by not only having a functioning online portfolio, but also making a conscious effort for your online portfolio to be known.
Christopher Jan Benitez is a freelance writer and content writer who currently works as Web manager for PortPrep, a site that helps high school seniors build an art portfolio that will get them into arts college.