Rip Up Your CV, It’s Time To Create Your Work Portfolio
As freelancing and the gig economy continue to change the job market, the barriers of entry change as well.
Where a resume on high quality paper was once a job-hunters must-have, a portfolio has become absolutely essential for non-traditional workers. The tips and strategies in this article will help you transform your traditional resume or curriculum vitae into an online portfolio.
The goal of your portfolio is threefold: to grab – and keep – the attention of your target market and ideal clients; to highlight the service you offer twenty-four hours a day; and to shine a spotlight on those services. Often, a sampling of your gig is all it takes to convince a potential client that you offer the best solution for their business needs.
The best way to start creating a winning online portfolio is to understand the difference between a portfolio and a resume. A resume or CV – curriculum vitae – is a summary of the scope, span, and reach of your career. A portfolio is a collection of work samples that give buyers an opportunity to see what you’ve done for previous clients and understand what you can do for them. It’s available online, consists of projects, verbiage, images, and evaluations, and showcases your skills in their best light.
Your online portfolio should offer potential clients the basic 5 Ws and 1 H – who, what, when, where, why, and how. Be sure your digital portfolio tells prospects who you are, what you do, the length of their project, the length of your delivery timeline, where they’ll receive their deliverable, and how to reach you before, during, and after the delivery of their finished product.
Additionally, choose an online portfolio platform that’s easy to understand, easy to navigate, and easy to order from. For instance, a freelance writer’s portfolio should include a sampling of writings from each of their writing genres. It should prominently feature ordering info, boast a logo and branding, focus on content, and feature a call to action on each of its pages and in the navigation bar.
Finally. It should fit your gigs, meaning the portfolio of a professional services freelancer and the portfolio of a creative services freelancer won’t look the same. The key comes is to develop a portfolio that features the following criteria:
- relevant skills
- your photo or avatar
- social proof of your expertise
- a diverse selection of services
- a brief, but engaging biography
- relevant awards and recognitions
- links to your social media and blog
- applicable degrees and certifications
- reviews and testimonials from happy clients
Your portfolio should also include a brief explanation of your workflow that includes
- initial contact
- a call to action
- instructions for placing an order
- instructions for making payment
- terms and conditions
- instructions for requesting a revision
- clearly articulated delivery timeline
- instructions for leaving a review
Now that you know what your portfolio should include, you’re probably struggling to determine what information goes directly from your resume or CV to your portfolio. Be sure to include your name, email, telephone number, and references and testimonials. Try to keep in mind that your portfolio is not about you – it’s about your clients. That means your primary goal is to impress potential clients. Showing off how good you are is its secondary purpose.
Determine what you want to show off and highlight that particular service offering. It’s also important to decide how to organize your portfolio. Your portfolio – essentially a small website – can be organized in a plethora of ways. Organize yours by category, according to pricing, by SEO optimization, by genre, or by industry. A digital portfolio is a smart way to advertise your freelance services around the clock and adds a professional polish to your freelance career.
Finally, remember to keep your portfolio clean, concise, and simple. A cluttered portfolio has the potential to confuse and distract clients and send them elsewhere. By keeping your portfolio easy to understand and easy to navigate, you increase the likelihood of making a favorable impression.
Make your portfolio visible by creating image and text-based hyperlinks. Once you’ve created them, place them everywhere you can. Share them with your strategic partners, include them in your email signature line, add them to your social media profiles, and use them on whatever freelance and gig platforms and job boards you use to find clients.
Increase your visibility, transform your resume into a marketing tool, and puts a face and voice to your freelance business. A Google search will yield page upon page of portfolio sites and platforms you can use. Many of them are available for little or no cost. You’ll need to update your portfolio regularly to ensure your current clients are satisfied, making recommendations and sending referrals, and pointing colleagues to your online portfolio. Existing clients will feel fully equipped and new clients will be impressed enough to click through to your sales page.
Working in the Gig Economy by Thomas Oppong is out 3rd October, published by Kogan Page, priced £14.99.