In the era of easily accessible technology, the way people interact is increasingly digitized, shaping every aspect of life, including the work world. For those taking on less traditionally structured careers, it’s obvious. Be it graphic design, writing, photography or any other endeavor that requires a solid student portfolio, it is more crucial than ever to make your work visible to the world.
While social networks are messy platforms, riddled with embarrassing comments left by your friends and awkward compression algorithms that stunt the quality of your work, websites eliminate those elements and allow you to present your content in a neat, professional package. Having a student portfolio website will make you look like you know what you’re doing, even if you don’t.
1. Pick the Right Website Builder
Unless you’re a coding master, it’s likely you’ll rely on a third party to create your student portfolio. Be it Squarespace, Wix, WordPress or any other company rabid to host your content, it is crucial to pick the provider that best suits your needs.
Each provider has its strengths and weaknesses, but above all you should prioritize cost efficiency and a template structure that suits your content. As long as you’re getting a product that gives you everything you need at a post-graduate-friendly cost, you’re golden.
2. Create a Cohesive Brand
You don’t have to be a marketing professional to lay down the basics of a brand, as it simply has to reflect who you are as a creator. But before you have an existential crisis, ask yourself two simple questions: What service do you offer, and why do you care about it? Afterward, your brand can be broken down into three elements: a personal logo, a tag-line and a cohesive color scheme to use throughout your student portfolio.
Thanks to the magic of the internet, you can generate your very own logo via sites like Canva or Spark, as well as some website builders. Include your name, profession and a sprinkle of personality, like a color scheme or fun design.
Tag lines are slightly less formulaic but equally important — they reflect your purpose. A tag line, a sentence introducing people to your site, belongs on the home page. Think of it as a mission statement, broad enough to summarize your work but specific enough to reflect why you do what you do.
Finally, make sure you stick to a color scheme: two or three colors used throughout the website in text, backgrounds and accents. A cohesive color scheme will give your website a neater, more professional appearance that is more palatable.
3. Clearly List Your Services
Ease of navigation is central to hooking a client, so ensure that those who visit your student portfolio can easily determine what you do and how to contact you.
To make sure visitors clearly understand your services, make your specialty prominent throughout the site: in your titles, logos and “About” page. Then, emphasize contact links that make it easy to reach you. At the end of the day, the easier you make it for them, the more likely they are to take a chance on you.
4. Include Only Your Best Work
When starting out as a content creator, your instinct will be to showcase everything you’ve ever made in your student portfolio, but when you overcompensate for your lack of experience, potential clients will click off the site and never even give you a shot.
If your work is up to par, your years of experience shouldn’t matter that much, so pick your best work samples and let them speak for themselves. After all, you should be promoting what you’re good at, not everything in between.
5. Include an “About Me” Page
Now that you’ve established the value of your work, make sure your viewers know who is behind the curtain. An “About Me” page doesn’t need to be overly long or complicated, but it is essential because it helps humanize you, creating a greater personal connection, even if you aren’t meeting face to face with your employer.
Generally, it’s a good idea to include a photo of yourself, a professional one that makes you look like you know what you’re doing, and some personal information, like your hometown, hobbies or other safe-for-work facts about who you are as an individual.
Hopefully, with these basics under your belt, you feel a ready to go forth and make the beautiful student portfolio of your dreams, or at least something that’s passable. So, go on, what are you waiting for?