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Make a Digital Portfolio Part of Your Job-Hunting Toolkit

Abraham Mendieta | February 20, 2024

Whether you’re trying to land your first serious job or changing careers, you need to make sure you have every advantage possible. A digital portfolio helps you demonstrate qualifications that a resume can’t capture.

Think of a digital portfolio as an online showcase of your work. It highlights your skills, experiences and, ultimately, who you are as a professional. Digital portfolios can include content like:

  • photos
  • videos
  • audio testimonials
  • spreadsheets
  • web pages
  • other interactive elements

You might think a digital portfolio only applies to artistic roles, like writers, designers, musicians or videographers. But remember, creativity is a trait that’s relevant to every job.

If you want to engage your prospective employer with your unique visual journey, look no further than the digital portfolio. Here’s how to assemble one.

Where should you start?

A digital portfolio ultimately has the same goal as a resume. This means it should include familiar elements like your:

  • education
  • work history
  • awards and notable achievements
  • professional associations or certifications
  • contact information

Your skills, on the other hand, shouldn’t be stuck to a static list. Instead, you should demonstrate them through your digital portfolio with work samples and peer, client or customer testimonials.

Showcase your best work

The most important piece of your digital portfolio will be your work samples. Include your favorite material but know that you won’t have room to include everything. After all, recruiters only have so much time. Providing them with too much content could detract from what best represents your work.

While you have some room to play with, don’t get carried away. Seven to 10 samples — ideally eight — is optimal according to research from Robert Half. And don’t forget to qualify your samples either. If possible, include reviews, metrics and analytics to help explain what makes a sample relevant.

Keep an eye on the big picture

Remember, your digital portfolio isn’t made for you — it’s about you. It should be focused and relevant to help you impress a hiring manager. At the same time, your digital portfolio should sincerely reflect who you are as a professional.

Make it consistent without too much redundancy. You should identify what matters throughout all your work samples, but also prepare to explain why each entry stands on its own.

User experience is key

Once you’ve built your digital portfolio, share it with those you trust to gather honest, constructive feedback. Doing so can also help you spot typos, glitches or other issues that detract from the experience.

The right reviewers should ensure your digital portfolio:

  • flows seamlessly
  • is easy to navigate
  • doesn’t unintentionally block recruiters from viewing it
  • communicates your qualifications through work samples

You need to remove any barriers between the portfolio and your audience. Even if your reviewers call out something you think is minor, like a font or color, take it into consideration.

Preserve what you believe in, but don’t get too attached to one aspect of your portfolio if meaningful feedback leads you in a different direction.

Regularly update and promote your portfolio

Like a resume, you should regularly update your digital portfolio to stay ahead of the curve. Even if you don’t think you have something of note, it doesn’t hurt to revisit it every few months. Who knows? You could have second thoughts about a work sample or get inspiration to include a new element.

Regardless, make sure your professional social media is also up to date. Your profile should always reflect and complement your digital portfolio.

Download our digital portfolio toolkit to learn even more about creating the ideal showcase for your work. And if you’re ready to show it off, apply to Paycom today!

About the author
Author picture, Abraham Mendieta
Abraham Mendieta
As an employer brand marketer, Abraham Mendieta helps the recruiting teams engage top talent and increase brand awareness. Mendieta is a proud graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where he earned degrees in both sociology and advertising. His efforts on Paycom’s employer brand team include company culture; careers; and diversity, equity and inclusion. Outside work, Abraham enjoys reading, going to the gym, spending time outdoors and hanging out with his family and friends.