When I was new to freelancing, all I had was my email and my résumé. Those were basically what I needed to apply for a job before. So I thought, nothing could go wrong if I will use the same stuff with just a few updates. Funny thing is, if you can take a peek at my Google drive, you will notice that I have a number of versions of my CV's.

This was like this until I was introduced to the idea of having portfolios. I agree, this is not something new. For graphic artists, photographers, and most creatives position, it is common to have a compilation of your works on a portfolio. It could be a hobby for some people, but there is a growing number of professionals who are using this important career tool.

Whether you’re currently job seeking or employed, whatever field you are in, creating a professional portfolio is essential.

What is a portfolio and what is its purpose?

A professional portfolio is a compilation of your work samples, your accomplishments and accreditations. It can serve as documentation or proof of your skills and abilities. There are hiring managers who require a portfolio from the applicants as part of the application process. But required or not, it is always better to have one ready.

A professional practice portfolio may contain the following recommended components:

  • Updated résumé
  • Certifications
  • Degree
  • Awards
  • Relevant work samples
  • A blog

Reasons why you need a professional portfolio

Still thinking if YOU should create a one? The answer probably is YES. But… why having a professional portfolio? Check out the following reasons:

Résumé is good but you can do better

Your résumé is basically a summary of your professional journey and is still considered important when applying for a job. However, a portfolio is a useful tool that adds value to your application. Through it, you can better relay the qualifications you have that make you the best fit for the job. It can speak of your achievements and work for you. Help the hiring manager remember you and stand out from the rest of the applicants with your portfolio.

Imagine yourself as the product and your portfolio website as your marketing brochure.

Another thing in creating an online portfolio is that you are boosting your presence in the online community. Aside from being able to score a job or position by sending applications, you could also be found by your future employer or client through the content of your portfolio.

Helps potential clients visualize working with you

Having a professional portfolio helps clients see your whole professional picture. Present not just your technical skills but also some of your soft skills (i.e., communication skills). Some people lay out their job experience in a timeline form along with their work descriptions and samples.

You can express your personality better through portfolio templates, themes, layout, and design. Although there is a list of components that should be in a professional portfolio website, you are still free to create it in a way that is unique and personalized. It allows you to be more creative and personal in order to showcase and build on your talents, expertise, projects, and experiences. There are many creative portfolios examples where you can find inspiration. You may also want to check out the fullpage.js extensions library to find transition effects that best match your style.

Aid you in career self-assessment

Keeping track of your achievements in a portfolio can help during Performance Reviews. Whether you are an employee, a freelancer, a businessman, it is a good thing to take time to evaluate one’s performance. You will want to see areas where you excelled, your achievements, goals that were met, as well as areas that you feel challenged, you need improvement or more support. A good thing about maintaining a professional portfolio is that it urges you to look back and do exactly just that.

Your portfolio can help you receive promotion

As organizations grow in employees number, sometimes your accomplishments and contribution to the company can be overlooked. Again, a portfolio can help you self-evaluate. If you think it’s time for you to move up in your career, this tool can also come in handy.

Your portfolio webpage can help you present your previous works, providing you with visuals so you can more effectively negotiate for a promotion. Let it bring your achievements to life and do the speaking for you.

A source of motivation, self-esteem and confidence

We can agree that even a high-spirited person encounters moments of burnout, lack of motivation and work fatigue. And yes, there can be more serious underlying issues that may lead to that, so seek help if you need to.

Nevertheless, I believe it is safe to say that one way to help an individual get back on track is to stop and zoom out. As you keep a tab of your achievements in your portfolio, it is helpful to remind yourself of past accomplishments as this can lead to self-discovery, motivation and confidence-building.

Share your vocational goals and progress

Another content you can include in your portfolio, aside from your work experience timeline, are your career goals and vision. This helps hiring managers get a glimpse of what they can expect from you long-term, and may help you answer questions like, “where do you see yourself in 5 years”.

Placing your goals in your portfolio not only benefits your application but also provides you a way to evaluate yourself in the future, if you were able to meet your goals.

Contribute to the industry

Some people are just browsing the web for ideas, tips, or inspiration. You may have the answer to what they are looking for. Your portfolio website can inspire them to excel in whatever they are working on. Not all gains are about finances and material stuff. Being able to contribute to one's industry is already an achievement.

But we also understand that putting your work “out there” has its own risk. Having an online portfolio can also help you protect your work by placing a Statement of Originality and ownership.

Conclusion

Having a professional portfolio enhances who you are as a candidate, helps you stand out from other applicants, and puts you at the head of the line to get the job. It is a much better way to market your strengths and abilities by providing a creative way in presenting them. You might want to consider adding a portfolio into your arsenal. If you do not know how to start, you can try with fullPage.js library. It is a great and simple tool to create one-page websites. It is perfect for creating a simple but appealing portfolio at the same time.

But even if you are not currently on a job hunt, your portfolio can also help you improve as an individual, score much-awaited promotions, and even boost your self-motivation and self-esteem. For entrepreneurs, a professional portfolio can be of great help in finding the right business partner or investors.

You would never know when will a great opportunity pass your way, so why not get ready for it?