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Irrelevant Excuses You’re Making for Not Having an Online Portfolio Yet

By: James Cummings

About everyone these days has a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram profile, and for the career-minded, LinkedIn. We understand the role our digital prints could play in the advancement of our careers; that's why we carefully edit profiles and information on LinkedIn and try to clean up our Facebook profiles.  

As a career woman, you know that representing your personal brand in the best possible light could be your key to unlocking that next big job. While we have chosen to focus on social media, many are still not looking in the direction of the online portfolio. We must have heard at least once why it is important to have one, but maybe we are too caught up making excuses like these:

You have nothing to put on your online portfolio

If you are a rookie in your field, it is easy to feel that you have nothing to put in an online portfolio. Perhaps you look at your one-page resume and think you are far from having enough material to put on an entire website. It is understandable that you feel this way, especially if you have zero work experience. That being said, this is not enough excuse to not have a portfolio, especially if you work in the creative or digital fields.

If you are a web designer, for instance, your website can be an opportunity to show off your skills to potential employers when they learn that you built it yourself. Another approach would be to build websites for free and then showcase them as part of your previous work done. This doesn't apply to designers alone but to anyone else who can offer their services for free. Or, volunteer to work with a relevant company to gain crucial experience which can then be included in an online portfolio.

It's only creatives who need an online portfolio

It is true that writers, architects, artists, and designers are most closely associated with the word the online portfolio, but there is no law that says creative professionals are the only ones who can benefit from a portfolio. In the saturated job market, you need an extra edge to extend the traditional boundaries, and an online professional portfolio could be the perfect element. Your resume might be spectacular and so might someone else's, but a properly constructed online portfolio could be the special factor that helps you stand out.

An online portfolio is an excellent way to archive your progress as you move through your career, helping to make the job search process become more organized. If you are switching jobs, you’ll get to skip the scramble of searching for good slides or writing clips from a particularly good presentation you made in the past. Showing prospective employers your best work will be as easy as sharing a link. An online portfolio makes it easy to showcase your unique personality, which is about as important as your professional capabilities, as employers would like to know who they might be working with.

It is too expensive to create an online portfolio

Contrary to what many believe, hosting your site doesn't have to be expensive. There are affordable web hosting services and you can design your site yourself. If you don't have the skills to, there are web builders that allow you build a DIY website yourself in little time by simply dragging and dropping elements. They are affordable and some are even free.

It is important to note that web builders will usually require that your website carry a subdomain, for example, yourwebsite.webbuilder.com. This is not ideal as it looks unprofessional. To eliminate this problem, some web builders allow you to upgrade to a different plan that lets you keep your own domain name when you pay a fee. Alternatively, you can buy a domain name and link it to your site.