Online portfolios: what are they and how to make one

What is an online portfolio and why would I need one?

An online portfolio is a collection of an individuals work that is displayed on the internet.  A user can display videos, designs, articles, images and any other type of work he or she created.  An online portfolio is easily accessible but requires updating and time.  It is a modern way of showing off a person's talent or skills.  Online portfolios also show an employer a degree of knowledge and interaction with the internet.  With everything incorporating the internet or different forms of social media it is important that individuals have a basic knowledge of how it works. It is also a different form of presenting what a person has to offer.  This is a great tool for sharing and expressing the talents of an individual because it can be viewed anywhere or anytime.

How do I make one?

There are many options for making an online portfolio.  If a user is not familiar with codes such as CSS or HTML, there are sites such as WordPress.com, Blogger.com or Tumblr.com that allow an individual to create a blog or portfolio without worrying about codes.  These sites have formats that the user can choose and customize to fit his or her own needs.  However, if a user does have knowledge about CSS or HTML, he or she is able to change certain formatting on these sites as well.



On the other hand, if CSS and HTML are  specialties to an individual, it may be more beneficial to start from scratch.  Using programs such as Dreamweaver or Komodo Edit and Filezilla allow a user to build a website from the ground up.  However with these options a user needs to purchase a domain name for the site.  Most purchases last one year and after that year the user has an option to renew or end the service.

Komodo Edit and Filezilla are two programs that when used together create the same outcome as Dreamweaver.  Komodo Edit allows for the writing of the code while Filezilla shares the files from the computer to the website.  Dreamweaver is part of the Adobe Creative Suite package.  Therefore if a user has the whole package it is free to use as well, otherwise Dreamweaver must be purchased.

What should I include in my online portfolio?

A user may include or exclude anything he or she likes.  Remember if this is going to be used to apply for jobs, it needs to be professional and show off important skills related to the job.  Each profession will have different examples of work and skills, but it is important to always include a resume and a way for an employer to make contact.  If the individual is not comfortable with putting personal information such as a phone number on an online portfolio, there are other options such as a comment box or an option for the employer to send a message via the site.

Adding social media such as Facebook or Twitter to an online portfolio can add a level interest to employers.  However, this may decrease the chances of getting a job if inappropriate posts on these different forms of media are made.  Keep in mind who the audience of this portfolio is going to be.

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