While being in college, you have probably overheard your classmates chattering about their blog, personal website, or even possibly, their YouTube channel and if you have been spared from those peer-to-peer conversations, you have probably been trapped in the middle of a lecture from your professors about the importance of creating a professional website-I was one of those students.
My professor could not stress enough about how important it is to have a digital portfolio throughout college and during your young professional years, or what I like to call, your “interview years”. Most students just say, “yeah sure, whatever you say, Professor”. It was my sophomore year and I had never thought about creating a digital portfolio before until he made it a requirement for our final project. If it was not mandatory for me to create one, I can honestly say, I don’t think I ever would have.
However, now that I have one, it has proven to be highly beneficial throughout my undergraduate years. As a communication student, coming into an interview equipped with a digital portfolio is a sure-fire way to stand out among the other candidates. It gives your interviewer tangible evidence that you can and have completed the tasks they are hiring you to do all while allowing for opportunity to highlight your valuable skills and experiences.
If you were like me and are intimidated by the idea of putting a website together, follow these simple steps to get your digital portfolio ready to be “published live”!
Start collecting artifacts NOW!
Search your Google drive, your downloaded files, and even check old submission folders for any work you may have done in the past that fits your portfolio. It is also important to make a mental note that you are starting a portfolio; with this in mind, don’t forget to take pictures of any events or special occasions you believe are worth documenting for your portfolio!
Digital Portfolio Essentials:
● A picture of yourself (professional headshot recommended but any nice picture from the shoulders up will do).
● Polished Resume (Be sure to include your website link within the header of your resume when sending it separately to employers)
● Contact page: a contact page within your website/portfolio with your professional email and/or any social media handles available is a great way for employers to reach out and view more of your work.
Create a Personal Digital Portfolio Folder
With all of these newly collected items, you are going to want a place you can easily access them and keep them organized. Start by creating a folder on your desktop or in Google Drive and label it “Digital Portfolio” so you will know exactly where to go when you need to start uploading to your website. Keeping a folder with all of your portfolio items will make updating and editing your website more efficient for the future, as well as, keeping your work safe.
Choose Your Website Building Tool
So, you have all of your items neatly collected into your new folder but aren’t sure which website to use? Well here are a few options that are highly recommended and most importantly FREE for you to try out:
Take Your Time When Editing & Publishing
Now that you have your website picked out, keep in mind, you do not have to finish creating your portfolio all in one night. Don’t stress if your portfolio looks incomplete or empty; a digital portfolio is never fully complete because it is supposed to grow along side of you and your accomplishments and finished work.
Your Portfolio is Your Brand
Remember, this digital portfolio is an extension of your personal brand, make it unique to YOU. A digital portfolio is easily accessible and easy to update so it will always stay true to who you are as a person and a professional. It’s like a journal, but one that you want your mother and professionals to see.
Still Not Sure?
If you are having trouble starting on your own, I highly recommend visiting the Career Center or even reaching out to the DePaul PRSSA Executive Board. The e-board doubles as mentors and would love to help you set up your digital portfolio, plus you’ll receive inside tips into making it personally “PR approved”!
For an example, here is a link to my digital portfolio down below. My page is still a work in progress, but to know that I have an additional tool to win over hiring staff and document all of my work makes me feel confident when walking into an interview. It also makes me proud being able to see all of my completed work in one place all created by ME!
I hope you enjoy the digital portfolio building process and feel free to check out my contact page and email me with any questions! https://robertsonsofficial.wixsite.com/stephrob