What are the Benefits of a Portfolio Website?

5 reasons to have a portfolio site as a techie

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Kohei Hara

Gaining an edge over the competition is essential when it comes to career development. An excellent resume can get you noticed when applying for a position, but it’s not always enough. Today, your skills need to stand out more than ever to secure a job or promotion.

But you might be thinking: I'm not an artist or a photographer. Is a portfolio website relevant to my career?

The answer is yes! With a portfolio site, you'll notice benefits regardless of your profession.

Here's how:

More people will notice you

Visibility in a crowded job market is paramount. The recruitment process can be costly, so employers want to spot the right talent as soon as possible. Make it quick and easy for hiring managers to view your skills and experience, so you stand out from the pack.

Beyond showcasing to your expertise, you can leave a digital footprint.

What is a digital footprint?

It’s what appears when someone searches for your name online. When a hiring manager Googles your name, your portfolio will be towards the top of the results. When they visit your site, it can help them make an informed decision on your fit for the job.

You can become more visible by sharing your portfolio site in several ways:

  • Include the website URL in your email signature

  • Add it to the end of presentation slides

  • Feature it prominently on your LinkedIn profile and other communities like Github, Twitter, Dribbble, and Behance.

  • Print it on stationery and business cards

And don’t forget to include it on your resume and cover letter, too!

It’s your resume and cover letter times ten

For jobs in tech, it's a no-brainer that recruiters want examples of your work. Large companies such as Netflix and Uber even get applicants to code over the phone.

(And that's just a screening interview!)

Your portfolio website is your pre-screening, so use it to market yourself and provide evidence of the skills you boast in your resume.

But that’s not all:

A portfolio goes beyond a one-page resume. You can include a range of visual cues to bring your work to life. This includes:

  • Video

  • Photos

  • Recommendations and testimonials

  • Writing samples

  • Website designs

  • Presentation slides

Even more, you can feature your greatest achievements front and center. Tools such as portfolio website templates and website builders are widely available online to help you set up and manage an impressive site.  

People will see you as an expert

Once you have your portfolio site up and running, populate it with relevant content. Remember, recruiters and hiring managers will form an impression of you based on what they see. If possible, display projects that position yourself as an authority figure.

For instance, a software developer may want to emphasize a particular language or technology stack. The projects they include in their portfolio could contain in-depth details about:

  • The programming language used

  • How their code works and what it does

  • The developer’s role in the development cycle

The goal is to show decision makers what you can do instead of having them take your word for it.

In fact, a good portfolio will earn you credibility. When an employer trusts your abilities and know-how they’ll take your application seriously. All of this could eventually lead to a conversation about how you can apply your skills to drive their company forward.   

New opportunities will arise (with less time actively searching)

The traditional job search usually means you scour job listings and send off personalized applications. You can also leave your resume with a recruitment agency or upload it to job sites. However, that model isn’t the only way to secure a position. Employers also turn to the internet to search out the best talent.

But only recruiters and hiring managers that you contact view your portfolio, right?

Wrong!

Your portfolio is out in the open. Anybody can access it and recommend it to others. Google "portfolio website examples," and it’s amazing how many great portfolios are on display.

What does that mean? It means people approach you to work for them.

That’s right. Instead of hours spent customizing resumes for individual companies, they come to you. And it’s all down to a standout personal site.

Attract the right people--decision makers, influencers, and connections--through attention to design and detail. Add effective branding, an enticing marketing message and you’re set to go.

Besides landing new jobs or clients, you could even secure:

  • Writing gigs, like guest posts for blogs and magazines

  • Speaking engagements, at conferences and workshops, for example

  • Podcast interviews

FYI:

Keeping your portfolio up-to-date maximizes searchability--Google favors sites that are frequently updated. SEO matters because you want your site to rank high in search results. That way, if someone searches for the expertise behind an impressive project, they can trace it back to you. Moreover, if you don’t update your site, it may come across as outdated or stale. (Not something you want to convey to potential employers!)

You’ll have a stable platform on which to shine

Stability matters because if you put all your eggs in one basket and the basket crashes, you lose all your eggs. Do you see where we're going with this?

Your work history and projects are your eggs. Think of them as gold-plated eggs, because they're highly valuable for career advancement. They're your connections, projects, applications, and more.

We rely a lot on social media platforms. And guess what? We don't own those platforms, meaning we can't control what happens to our accounts there. If LinkedIn or Twitter were ever to shut down, a lot of valuable information would go away with it.

On the other hand, you have full control with your website. Plus, you can update your site with your latest work, so visitors can see how your skills have developed over time. Best of all, all your career info is in one place, so whenever an opportunity arises, you're primed to make a move.

Here’s what you can do now

An online portfolio is crucial for establishing a robust online presence. The benefits speak for themselves, and regardless of your budget, options abound. Check out my free portfolio course designed with developers and designers in mind. You’ll learn the mistakes to avoid and the essential components of a winning portfolio website.