Almost Everyone Needs a Public Portfolio

Photo by Chris Piascik

Even if you’re not a freelancer or a “creative,” you’ll substantially advantage from a page that lays out your accomplishments, and not usually your work history. If we ever wish to give a talk, get quoted in an article, work a side hustle, start your possess business, or usually get a pursuit offer, afterwards we need a open portfolio.

Address a Bare Minimum

Try this experiment. Ask a crony to do a discerning Google hunt for your biggest work accomplishments, and your hit info, from scratch. If they can’t find both in thirty seconds, we have a problem to fix.


The quickest resolution is a open LinkedIn profile. Make certain it describes a work you’re proudest of—not usually a list of past jobs. Update your form picture, embody your email residence (or a throwaway that we check regularly) and check your settings to make certain you’re searchable.

Go Beyond LinkedIn

A open résumé is a good start. But résumés demeanour samey. They’re dry, completist, and they concentration on pursuit titles rather than accomplishments. You need a portfolio too, even if we work a normal full-time job.


In fact, a reduction “creative” your line of work, and a fewer of your colleagues who have portfolios, a some-more yours will mount out. It doesn’t have to be gimmicky or win any pattern awards. It usually has to pull people’s courtesy to your best work. This is essential if:

  • You’re in a swarming field
  • You have considerable clients
  • Your best work isn’t from your stream pursuit or day job
  • It’s tough to explain what we do or make
  • Your work can be visualized

Whatever we do, try to mangle it out into projects. If you’re a systems administrator, list incidents that we rubbed well, or benefaction any area of imagination as a use we provide. If we purify houses, ask your favorite customer if we can take photos of their spotless home. If your work contributes to many incomparable group projects, uncover since those projects need you. Present yourself as a specialist, not a commodity.

Consider Your Audience

Whom do we wish to reach: New clients? Audiences? Reporters looking for an consultant source? What do we wish them to know about you? This is what your portfolio can answer improved than a résumé (which, by a way, is rowdiness no one with all those accent marks).

If you’re looking for clients, prominence a kind of work we wish to keep getting. Maybe that’s a work we suffer most, or usually what creates a many money. You can list your many considerable past clients if we consider that will build certainty in your preferred destiny clients, though not if we consider it will shock them off.

If we wish to demeanour considerable to reporters, discussion organizers, or other people who competence deliberate we as an expert, afterwards underline your highest-profile work, even if it wasn’t your comprehensive best.


If we do your work for a open audience, and we wish to assistance them find some-more of it, afterwards indicate out where it can customarily be found. In any entry, indicate to other identical entries.

Remember to uncover a full operation of your work—if we wish some-more of that work. Because this isn’t a résumé, no one’s looking for practice gaps, so we can leave out anything we want. Only uncover projects that will assistance we get some-more of a work we indeed wish (or need) to do.

Use Simple Tools

You don’t need anything difficult to make a portfolio. In fact, we should select a simplest resolution that meets your needs. Because you’ll be entrance behind to your portfolio each time we have new work to add.


  • Squarespace: Besides single-handedly appropriation a podcast industry, this user-friendly hosting site gives we a plug-and-play website, with templates that we can customize as many or small as we want. Personal accounts cost $16 a month, or $144 for a year-long contract.
  • Hover: You don’t have to buy a tradition domain for your portfolio. But if we do, Hover is my favorite registrar. It’s got a purify interface, offers a far-reaching accumulation of TLDs like .me, .art, and .tech, and hides your personal information from a open Whois database.


  • Tumblr: If we don’t like a thought of profitable perpetually to keep your site alive on Squarespace, Tumblr is a good giveaway choice with a possess giveaway and paid templates. The height was built for blogs, not portfolios, so we competence have to puncture into a settings to tweak all how we like it. And don’t worry about any associations with Tumblr—if we buy a tradition domain,
  • Contently: A good resolution for freelance writers. Contently’s genuine business are selling companies that wish to sinecure creatives, so they let creatives make giveaway portfolios. As an editor, I’ve always been blissful when a impending author sends me their Contently page.

While those are my favorites, demeanour around for other options like, Behance, or Dropr. Just collect a apparatus within a initial hour, or you’ll get ragged out before you’ve finished a genuine work. An OK portfolio is still improved than no portfolio.

Be Easy to Find

Don’t censor your portfolio. Link to it from your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and anywhere that shows adult when we google your name. Listen to comics artist Rian Sygh (whose thread desirous this post):

You don’t have to write anything repulsive or self-deprecating about looking for work. The URL margin in your Twitter form is mostly enough. But if we wish to make it extra-clear that you’re accessible for work, do so!

Keep It Updated

Once you’ve got that fool adult there, we have to keep it fresh. Otherwise you’ll demeanour like we haven’t achieved anything given a day we finished it. Let that feeling of requirement import we down! You can usually lift it by updating your portfolio!


It’s like cleaning your bathroom: You’ll hatred to start doing it, though you’ll feel so good when it’s done. And distinct your lavatory (I hope), your portfolio will move behind comfortable memories of your best work, and you’ll feel achieved and prolific and honourable of new opportunities. Portfolio government is good therapy.

Don’t Be These Guys

Over a years I’ve hired designers, writers, artists, photographers, actors, coders, film crew, handymen, and carpenters. I’ve looked for talk subjects, consultant sources, and podcast guest opposite all kinds of industries. In all of these cases, anyone with a portfolio, a reel, or even a elementary list of past work had a outrageous advantage.


Even when we demeanour for work by pursuit applications or by personal connections, we need a portfolio. Many times I’ve been vehement about a claimant though indispensable to denote their value to my boss, my team, or a crony looking to allot work. Without a reel, it didn’t matter if we talked adult a earnest actor. Without a portfolio, we couldn’t make a good box for an illustrator. we found it intolerable how many competent possibilities mislaid opportunities since they didn’t give a universe an instance of their work. Most of them never found out.

Don’t be that cautionary tale. Go make your portfolio and get a work we unequivocally want.

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Posted by on Oct 11 2017. Filed under Gadgets. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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