Sunday, February 24, 2013

Digital Porfolios

It's a digital world. Magazines are folding, websites are exploding, and the written word is most likely found on a device rather than paper nowadays. I do still love a good book and I read the paper on Sundays. But let's face it: digital is here.

I was interviewed last week about this and basically I said that I think words are words. Whether they're on a screen on a sheet of paper, ideas are ideas and stories are stories. There is no doubt that the times they are a-changin'. It is sort of sad if you think about it too much, but if you should read The Shallows. It's a really interesting read about how our brains are changing with the rise of the digital age. It also talks about how the printing press was shunned because people believed that verbal communication (and storytelling) was an art that would be lost if people wrote them down.

Okay. And we're back.

Resumes have been top of mind for me. Of course, there are plenty of resources to figure out how to make your resume better, but there is also something to be said for having a really great digital portfolio. Most people in creative fields have a portfolio and likely a digital one, but I think it's actually something that everyone should have.



If you keep up with the portfolio, you will always have something in your back pocket (literally) to show people your talents. Your portfolio might include: clippings, writing samples, photographs, links to your social sites... really any kind of work you think is worth sharing and doesn't exactly fit on a traditional "resume."

There are a few platforms that I suggest and you can decide which works best for you. I'm also interested to hear if you have one yourself and how you use it!

Tumblr | This is one of the easiest platforms to use because of the simple upload process. You can also password protect the "blog" which is definitely a bonus. Another benefit is that you can upload different forms of media. Tumblr lets you easily upload links, photographs, videos, plain text, and even voice recordings. It might look more beautiful with photographs, but you can toggle your theme choice to suit your needs the best.

Pinterest | I go back and forth on whether this is actually a good idea or not. I think it's a good idea if your work is super visual and if it shows up in different places. (That is, why would you pin from the same source. Might as well send them the original link with everything.) You can have one board devoted to your "portfolio" or you can have different boards for different types of works. The good? Your work can spread somewhat virally! The bad? It's public.

Wix or Wordpress | Wix allows you to build your own website super easy. Actually, it's kind of scary how easy it really is. Completely WYSIWYG. I recommend purchasing your name as a domain and using it as a place to really brand yourself. (I know, I know.... personal branding is kind of overused right now!) Wordpress is also a great option. You can install a theme that turns the site into a portfolio. It's also really simple to update.

Dropbox | This is my favorite. With the mobile app and desktop functionality, you can literally store anything on your phone. I like to keep a document running on my computer and updating it as new things need to be added. I save as a PDF and then I have it ready whenever I need it. You never know when you'll need it. I actually store all kinds of documents (drafts of projects, old brainstorms, lists of my favorite quotations, etc.) and open the PDFs as needed. It's super easy to send links to the documents too since they're in the cloud. Aside from just a digital portfolio, you could have your regular (up-to-date) resume at the ready. Instantly send someone a link to the PDF before you even leave the conversation. (I've done it and I've seen it done before.) As for a portfolio, you can have a document with your best writing samples (or whatever...).

Do you have a digital portfolio? What platform do you use?

xoxo

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15 comments :

  1. Totally agree, mine has come in handy while applying for things -- did a post on this a while back too! http://www.rcsoatl.com/2012/12/personal-portfolios.html

    <3

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  2. I don't have a digital portfolio per se, but I do use/love linkedin and I purchased my name as a domain name a while back. I'm also a huge fan of Dropbox--so convenient!

    Erika
    The Cardinal Planner

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  3. I'm a huge fan of LinkedIn, but I haven't utilized any of these other outlets. Thanks for the suggestions, Carly!

    xo,
    Stephanie
    Diary of a Debutante
    www.stephanieziajka.blogspot.com

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  4. I use Wordpress! I have a lot of creative talents - copy writing, graphic design, photography, etc. Wordpress is the easiest for showing all of my different strengths. I built a super simple page, and added tabs for social media, my resume, newspaper/magazine clips, photography, etc. I would definitely recommend it! When people Google my full name, it's one of the first things that comes up.

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  5. We are required to have digital portfolios for my school and we use Google sites.

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  6. When I did modeling I used Flickr to create my online portfolio. It was easy to use and the layout it easy for viewers.

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    Replies
    1. Flickr is also a good site for photos! I used it for a class assignment and loved it.

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  7. I use Wix and Issuu. Wix is simple, but the website all together can be quite slow and a little irritating when I want something set up a certain way and there are only 1-2 ways the site will allow but other than that its customizable and very eye catching. I've found the easiest way for my route is to use Issuu. I create an PDF file using Adobe Reader(I had to ask for Christmas because I did not have it) with all of my latest writing samples, blog posts, graphic designs, photo shoot styling and anything else I find appropriate. Then you just upload it to Issuu and you can link each individual page to a website or blog. It's super simple, the only downfall was that I had to purchase Adobe Reader because I did not already have it, but it's been a great investment because many many employers were asking me to create portfolios as a PDF and I quickly realized I did not have the right programs to do this. If your a student, the program is a lot cheaper to purchase now than wait until after you graduate.

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  8. I have a digital portfolio after seeing one of my sorority sister's set one up. I use Weebly which is similar to Wix. I created my own website and linked it back to all my writing samples. It's super easy and you could make it look really pretty with all different themes. I love it :)

    -Briana
    royallypink.blogspot.com

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  9. I use Flickr as a digital portfolio, and so far I really like it! I think Tumblr is also a great idea though!
    xox

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  10. I go to Clemson University, and we are required to create and maintain an ePortfolio in order to graduate. At first, I hated it because it was such a pain to keep up, but now I love it. I love posting pictures and write-ups of the different projects and research that I am involved in. I even posted the link in my résumé. The cool thing I that our school creates the domain and will host it for us after we graduate.

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    Replies
    1. It's so cool that your school requires you to keep an ePortfolio, I agree that it would probably seem like such a pain but I bet you are going to be so happy to have it after graduation. Loving the digital portfolio idea!

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  11. Cargo Collective is such a clean portfolio-building site that is very helpful if you don't know Wordpress/web development. LinkedIn is a perfect place to spell out your work and direct employers to your digital portfolio, but once you get that interview, it's so important to have a customized, printed portfolio to leave behind in a creative field! Blurb is a great resource to make them. Every employer I've interviewed with has asked to keep the book I make... and ended up showing it to others in the office to help convince them I'm right for the job!
    -Jess
    www.jesshunt.com

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  12. I think Pinterest actually has the option to make boards private now, but I could be wrong.

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