A long list of certificates and experiences may not matter for getting hired fast if the clients can’t see the visible evidence of your previous work.
Create a visual presentation of your qualifications by building a portfolio website. It showcases the best work without clutter, like physical portfolios, and helps reach a wider audience.
Here I present essential elements you must include in your portfolio to get the maximum benefits of portfolio websites.
1. An Eye-Catching Logo
This portfolio website element is the visual identity of your personal brand as it represents your personality and style.
To begin with, use one of these types of logos.
- Lettering. A logo doesn’t have to be a symbol. Transform your name into a unique written signature.
- Illustration. Create a custom avatar of yourself. Get creative with different facial expressions and deliver your style.
- Minimalist. A timeless logo design can include a monogram or simple symbol.
- Wordplay. It works if your name can be visualized. For example, the illustrator Michael Penda uses a panda to mimic her name.
Source: Penda Design
If you have no idea about your personal logo, you can take help of a logo designer or go to an online logo maker providing plenty of logo templates to help you find a perfect design.
2. A Captivating Tagline
A tagline describes yourself and the services you offer using short phrases. The key takeaway for creating this portfolio website element is to be straightforward and relevant.
Many people mention their profession and location, like “a Milan-based graphic designer,” and others go with an eye-catching quote explaining their services or interests. For instance, David Hellmann uses “Bikes. Code. Design. Drinks. Photography.”
3. A Killer “About” Page
An about page is an essential feature for portfolio websites as more than 50 percent of visitors click this page directly when arriving.
Here is what to include on the about page.
- Personal details. Consist of your name and what you do, mentioning your specialties and interests.
- Picture of you. Gives a personal touch but keeps the photo professional. Use filters wisely and wear formal outfits unless you build a fun vibe on your portfolio.
- Career and education history. Helps prospective clients think you’re experienced and qualified for their projects.
- Recognitions. Include awards and certificates, making you look promising and be considered the expert in the industry.
4. Beautiful Web Design
A well-designed layout is a vital feature for portfolio websites. It forms a good impression on your potential employers and can raise conversions up to 200 percent.
Start with planning the website’s navigation structure and make sure you have consistent design elements, like font, color, and images. Maintain a clean look by using whitespace carefully to highlight the focus on the page.
To make this easier, use a website builder that can provide a wide range of portfolio templates. If certain elements don’t match your style, simply customize it with the drag-and-drop builder, as you only need to choose an element and put it wherever you want on the page.
5. Brand-Aligned Color Scheme
Not only does color elicit emotions, but this portfolio website element also conveys a particular identity.
To pick a color scheme that resonates with your personality, understand the meaning of color, like red is associated with energy, while green gives natural vibes. Connect it with how you want customers to feel.
Use a color palette generator from Canva or Adobe to ensure the colors you choose work well together.
6. Suitable Fonts
Another design element to figure out is fonts. Get a perfect typography scheme by understanding its elements below.
- Typeface. Are categorized into three: serif, sans-serif, and decorative. Use a decorative font for headings or titles and combine it with either serif or sans.
- Hierarchy. Keeps the ideas organized. For example, the large-sized title of the page is put at the top, while the headers below the title use smaller fonts.
- Contrast. Lets the audience know which ideas to focus on. Vary the font using different typefaces, sizes, widths, and colors.
- Consistency. Avoids confusing looks on portfolio websites. For instance, you use Times New Roman with 20 px for the title of the work page, so apply it the same way to the about and contact pages.
- Alignment. Refers to the line your text is placed, such as left, center, and right. Left alignment can be the best option for a neat layout.
7. Your Best Work First
A portfolio isn’t just for archiving your work, it’s for showing the projects you’re most proud of in the best light possible. Prioritize projects you find the most satisfied and confident.
To demonstrate the complete picture of the projects, take the visitors through behind the scenes. Provide case studies consisting of:
- The goal of the project
- Project duration
- Your role
- How you accomplished the goal
- Final result overview in the form of pictures, videos, or links to the projects.
8. Visible “Contact” Page
Place this principal feature for portfolio websites in the navigation menu. Spread it across the pages’ footers or put a CTA button “Contact Us” leading to the page.
Email is a must, but you can add other contact details like a phone or Skype name. If you want to avoid spammers with a visible email address, get a contact form. Also, include your office address with the roadmap and opening hours if you have one.
To make the portfolio website memorable, be creative with the copy or imagery. Take a look at Molamil, which uses a unique photo, or Bio-Bak, that applies humor to his contact form.
9. Integrate Social Media Accounts
You have to include a LinkedIn profile because 95 percent of recruiters will see it to select candidates. Consider putting other kinds of relevant social platforms, like Behance or Dribble for designers and Pinterest or Instagram if you work in the social media and creative fields, like photography, and fashion industries.
Ensure the social platforms you put on the portfolio website are free from unrelated topics, like drama and complaints about work.
10. Incorporate Social Proof and Testimonials
Testimonials help build your credibility as it shows that real people are satisfied with your job.
The best work may display your amazing skill in the industry, but this important feature for portfolio websites lets people know you’re a pleasure to work with. Unhappy customers won’t bother to recommend the service if the workers have horrible personalities.
If you’re new in the industry and don’t have previous clients yet, ask for reviews from your friends in the school organization or family whose projects you have helped.
11. Link Your Services
List the services you offer to let visitors know your working areas. If you’re a designer, for example, chances are you have many kinds of services, like designing websites, packages, and logos.
The product designer Sean Halpin mentions his works across digital design, such as email design, and front-end development, on his about page. The main takeaway from Halpin’s portfolio is to avoid using “etc” because it doesn’t explain anything.
You can also put in additional information, such as your values and philosophy behind how you work. The photographer Robert Lawler writes what he provides and his philosophy on taking photos, which are unposed and natural.
Source: Robert Lawler
12. High-Quality Images
This portfolio website element builds trust for prospective clients because they can correctly see the work’s quality. It’s worthy of hiring a professional photographer who can tell a story and spark interest in your work.
13. Consistent and Relevant Content
Producing content within your niche can help build authority and get better SEO stats. If you like writing, add a blog page on your portfolio website. Make video content or podcasts if you prefer talking, then share it on your website.
Since you already package yourself as a brand, don’t be afraid to publish content consistently. Take advantage of a casual tone for more personalized content and include relevant opinions to be perceived as the thought leader in the industry.
14. Interactive Features
This additional feature for portfolio websites will keep your visitors engaged because it requires their active participation. Some of the interactive features include forms, quizzes, and free samples.
Visit these interactive portfolio examples to get inspired.
- Philippe Neveu. Allows you to draw on his homepage to add emotions to the illustrated face.
- Samuel Day. Lets you scroll through the pages to uncover his profile.
- Adrien Laurent. You can play around with the design items on the website.
Source: Samuel Day
15. FAQ Section
To lower the number of emails or phone calls asking the same questions, consider creating a section that addresses your clients’ most frequently asked questions (FAQs). Ensure to make this portfolio website element visible by putting it on the service or about page.
Some popular topics you may want to address are:
- Your working process
- How you handle the payments
- Communication preferences
The way you present your work on a digital portfolio can influence the potential clients’ decision-making to hire you. Make your portfolio site an opportunity to impress them by applying those elements above and maintain them with regular updates.
If you are planning to build your website and want to access the premium features of various tools for free, read our article on ‘How to save money on Premium tools through cold emailing‘ to enhance your portfolio quality.
Guest Post By Lydia Macy Steele
Lydia writes educational technology articles which proves her interest in content marketing. Her passion for helping small businesses boost their online presence flows through the writings she delivers.