In today’s digital world, your job search has to be as much online as it is on paper. Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook can help you establish your personal employment brand and connect with potential employers — in fact, almost 90% of employers are using social media to recruit potential employees [PDF]. What better way to have all of your online and offline job search tools in one place than in a portfolio?
An online portfolio allows you to compile what makes you employable — it should include things like your resume, cover letter, references, certifications, transcripts and any examples of your work (including writing samples, press clips, artwork or lesson plans). Plus, you should include basic contact information, such as a phone number and email, and more modern information, like a Twitter handle, LinkedIn profile, or Facebook URL. Put all of this into one online package that’s easy to browse and voilà — you have an online portfolio!
Here are five great options that can host your online portfolio. There’s a breakdown of each one, so you can pick which one works best for you and your career goals.
Summary: WorkSimple is the first work portfolio that helps you manage your career and performance inside your organization. Users have endorsements, followers, goals and accomplishments, which can help you build your professional and social reputations. Set your professional focus, add your goals, and get recognition for your work.
Additionally, WorkSimple allows users to brand themselves by sharing goals and contributions with co-workers in real-time. Essentially, it’s a Facebook Timeline for professionals.
Best Feature: WorkSimple encourages you to set career focus and add “Social Goals” that support your direction, which help you keep track of your accomplishments, efforts and successes as you build your reputation. Plus, you can get great feedback from co-workers.
What Needs Work: Those looking for a traditional portfolio to display resume, work samples and more may not find these features in WorkSimple.
Ideal User: A corporate worker who is tech-savvy and wants to establish goals and stay synced with co-workers. Like the other portfolio platforms, you can add images, but this portfolio is not solely image-based.
Cost: Free for an individual plan but pricing plans exist for team or company plans.
Summary: Behance is a platform for creative professionals to gain exposure and manage their careers. Users can create multimedia portfolios that showcase their work to millions of visitors.
Best Feature: Behance turns your work into an online gallery; It claims to get 15 times the traffic of all other leading portfolio sites combined (including Carbonmade, the next site on our list). Recruiters can find and track talent and post jobs for the creative professionals on the site.
What Needs Work: In order to have your own personal portfolio website, rather than just a profile on Behance, you need to join ProSite. This costs $11 a month, but it allows you to create a full website without coding, and it syncs with your Behance portfolio.
Ideal User: Any creative professional wishing to showcase multimedia projects — images, text, audio or video. The layout of the site is better for viewing visual projects, so anyone from graphic designers to photographers to industrial designers can benefit.
Cost: Free for a Behance profile, $11 a month for the ProSite.
Summary: Carbonmade is an online portfolio platform that helps users show off their work — especially creative work like design, illustration and art.
Best Feature: Carbonmade makes portfolios easy. Users can create a profile in a snap, and the service offers tons of ways to personalize your portfolio. Plus, users can establish their own URL — for example, yourname.carbonmade.com.
What Needs Work: The site isn’t conducive to any text, audio or video work — a still image is best for this portfolio.
Ideal User: Again, this portfolio service is primarily for creative professionals. In comparison to Behance, Carbonmade seems even more geared toward visual art. Any professional who can share an image of their work — fashion designers, illustrators, architects and more — would find Carbonmade useful.
Summary: Pinterest is basically an online pin-board. It’s primarily a social photo-sharing website where users can create separate boards for various things. For example, you could have a board for recipes, pictures of places you’d like to travel or, in this case, your professional creative work.
Best Feature: Pinterest is far more social than Behance or Carbonmade, so you can have eyes from all parts of the globe on your work. Plus, you can “pin” any image, and when users click on a pinned image, they’re redirected to the original website. For example, if you “pinned” a piece of your artwork from, say, your personal blog, you can attract more traffic to your blog.
What Needs Work: The platform was not made to be a professional portfolio site. Therefore, the site may have a different audience of viewers than an actual portfolio platform. Plus, like Carbonmade, text or audio works cannot be “pinned.”
Ideal User: Pinterest only allows photos or videos (which will be “pinned” as a still picture), so creative professionals with image-based work will find this site most useful. Any professional with visual work that can be put into image form can display their portfolio on Pinterest.
Cost: Free, but you do need to request an invite.
Summary: Dribbble is a “show and tell” for designers, where users can share small screenshots of their work.
Best Feature: The platform shows off your work with screenshots of your progress or completed project. Plus, it’s easy to browse other people’s work by tags or color.
What Needs Work: Dribbble isn’t useful for anyone with non-visual works; it’s really only conducive to visuals.
Ideal User: Anyone who creates visual work that can be shared via an image, especially graphic or web designers, illustrators and logo designers.
All online portfolio platforms have their pros and cons, and different sites work better for varying types of professionals in myriad industries. There are many portfolio services to explore aside from the ones mentioned above, but what all of these sites have in common is that they allow professionals to display their work online and continue to build their personal brand.
Do you have an online portfolio? What service do you use? Let us know in the comments.