If you’re serious about stepping away from a traditional office role and becoming a full time remote worker, there’s a few areas where you’ll likely have to step up your game. Remote work is not reserved for mysterious entrepreneurs in the know, it’s for those who are willing to showcase what they bring to the table. Successful remote workers all have one thing in common: initiative
You could be highly skilled in your field, but if you can’t demonstrate what you’re capable of then nobody will understand how good you are. You need to take initiative to build a powerful portfolio that speaks to how you are different and what kind of value you bring.
We’ve got the why, now we need the how. With that, let’s get to it…
3 Things That Most People Forget In An Online Portfolio
It’s easy to find a portfolio template and start filling in the blanks without giving it much thought. When you do that, a few key elements are often overlooked. Here’s what most people flat out forget:
1. The employer is looking to hire someone to fix a pain point. Make sure you clearly understand what that is and speak to it. For example, no one hires a content writer just to have blogs populated on their website. They hire writers to attract targeted traffic and generate more business.
2. You control what the user sees. Instead of dumping all of your samples of work onto a website, handpick your best pieces. That blog post you wrote in 2014 probably shouldn’t make the cut.
3. Communication is an essential skill for remote employees. It doesn’t matter what your field is, having strong communication applies to everyone. Your portfolio should reflect this.
The main takeaway here is that your portfolio isn’t just a recap of what you’ve done. When evaluating an online portfolio, remote employers need to see that your skills are the solution to their problem. Make sure that’s communicated throughout the content and show your best work.
We recommend using Wix to make your portfolio because they have an easy drag and drop interface and beautiful templates to choose from:
How to Style Your Portfolio To Land A Remote Job
You could take things in a number of different directions, but when it comes to styling your portfolio, less is more. Here are some general rules to follow:
1. Keep it clean and simple. It should be easy to read and navigate. The font can be any color you want, but legibility trumps artistic caliber 95% of the time.
2. Include crisp visuals. Use professional photos when available and opt to use your own images instead of stock photos.
3. Be brief and direct. Hiring managers don’t want to hunt to find info, they need to see it at a glance.
We’re not all designers, and that’s okay. When you set out to build your online portfolio, the thing to remember is that your goal should be to keep the user’s focus. Adding too much is distracting.
9 Essential Elements That Every Remote Portfolio Needs
Your online portfolio is crucial when it comes to standing out from other applicants. We’re going to start from the top and work our way down through 9 essential element. To follow along, head over to 250marketing.ca.
1) An Effective Tagline
Make your tagline clear and catchy. Keep in mind that this is something that people will only glance at.
2) One Title
You probably aren’t an expert/ninja/guru in every area of your field. Just like a movie, you should only have one title and your title will be the theme of your portfolio. It set an expectation for the viewer so they have an idea of what they’re about to read. Keep in mind this is their first time learning about you!
3) A Professional Headshot
This is mandatory. When you don’t have a picture of yourself on your website readers will wonder why. If they can’t see you they could get the impression that you’re hiding (which is the opposite of what you’re trying to do).
4) A Strong Elevator Pitch
Write out who you are and what you do in two paragraphs (max). Start with introducing yourself, talk about projects you’ve worked on, and then highlight what you’ve learned or what you value in your work. Give them a taste of what you’re like as a person and employee. It’s important to write in a conversational tone, this isn’t an essay for English class!
Here’s an example of what that could look like:
5) What You Offer
When a recruiter or potential clients visits your online portfolio, there should be no confusion over what it is you offer. This is also your opportunity to highlight what kind of projects you enjoy.
6) Tools You’ve Worked With
You never know what technology stacks companies are using. Keep a list of platforms and programs you’ve worked with on hand. They provide hiring managers a quick way to see what you’ve been up to.
There’s no excuse not to have these, even if you’re just starting out. Make a list of clients (old and new), colleagues, teachers, and employers that could help you out with this. Try to find at least 2-3 to include.
8) What Value Do You Bring
Write out a few bullet points that clearly define how you’re going to help make someone’s life easier. Lean away from jargony language and make it as direct as possible.
9) Clear Way(s) To Contact You
The whole point of your portfolio is to help you connect with potential employers; make it easy for them to do that. This can be a simple form or an emailto link.
Putting it All Together
When you put it all together, it should start to tell a story about your career, interests, and ambitions. Here’s a quick checklist of what we covered:
- An Effective Tagline
- One Title
- A Professional Headshot
- A Strong Elevator Pitch
- What You Offer
- Tools You’ve Worked With
- What Value Do You Bring
- Clear Way(s) To Contact You
Including these 9 elements in your portfolio will help you set up a solid foundation. Always keep your audience in mind and remember what the overall intent is. Use compelling language that makes it clear (to anyone) how your skills will help a client or company fix a problem.
Pro Tips to Help Your Online Portfolio Stand Out
Now that we’ve got the basics covered we’re ready to kick things up a notch! Here are some pro tips that will help you take things to the next level and make your portfolio stand out.
Pro Tip 1: Don’t make people Google you. Add links where they can find you online.
What you choose to add will depend on what your field is, but this might include your Linkedin profile, guest blog posts, and pieces of work on GitHub or Bitbucket. Including these in the footer will help keep the readers’ focus on the page. If they like what they see, the next step is to show them deliverables.
Pro Tip 2: Don’t set it and forget it. Keep it fresh.
Set a reminder in your calendar to update your portfolio regularly. It’s easy to forget different projects that you’ve worked on over the years. Take time to update your testimonials and make sure that your portfolio is reflective of your growth.
Pro Tip 3: Don’t copy people. Do get inspired.
It can be challenging to showcase your work in a way that’s effective. If you stumble across a portfolio that’s conveyed a message really well, you might want to mimic something similar down the line. Keep a bookmark folder of compelling portfolios that you come across.
When people apply for remote positions, they often send over heaps of sample work. This isn’t the best strategy if you want to stand out. Use your portfolio as an opportunity to showcase your best work. Show them that you understand you aren’t just being paid to do a role, you’re being paid to help a business grow.
Building a strong online portfolio takes time but is well worth the effort. Before you start creating anything, take a beat to consider the needs of your audience and how your skills can support the success of someone’s company. Help connect the dots by telling a story with a clear theme. It’s tempting to omit certain elements (especially if you don’t have them), but you really shouldn’t skip the basics. Once you do have a working portfolio up and running, make sure to go back to it every now and then to keep polishing it.
Now that you know all the details to make a outstanding portfolio, go to Wix to apply what you’ve learned: