For job-seekers who want to stand out from the crowd, an online portfolio can be a useful tool. An online portfolio provides the employer with much more information than a traditional resume -- giving proof that you are as good as you say you are. The employer can explore your achievements, past work and job history through your site, and a professional-looking, well-organized online portfolio can make your application more memorable. You don't have to spend a fortune to develop your site -- free platforms are available for job-seekers to use.
Gather relevant documents to be used in your portfolio. Examples of useful documents might include certificates of achievement, degrees and photographs of completed projects.
Choose the online platform you will use to create your site. If you are a student, check if your university has a free site available for you to use. Ask your local job center or check with the Department of Labor in your state to see if resources are available for residents. For example, New York provides residents with free online hosting and tools to develop a career portfolio. Online options such as these are typically easier because the sites are specifically designed for portfolios. But if your school or state doesn't offer an appropriate option, use a free blogging or social media platform to create your site.
Organize the layout of your site. Create separate sections for your education, experience, references and contact information. Upload relevant documents to each section of the site. Avoid bright colors and stick to traditional business formatting and fonts.
Draft the homepage for your site. This should give a general overview and introduction about you as well as a summary of what you are looking for in a career. Think of the homepage as an expanded version of the objective on a resume.
Publish the portfolio and open the website for public to view once you have included all your information. Ask a friend to review the website for ease of use and typographical and grammatical errors before you publish it.
Add the website address to your resume so that prospective employers can view the portfolio.
Update your portfolio regularly so that the information is always fresh and relevant.
Keep the number of documents to a minimum. Choose only the most impressive accomplishments to include. You don't want the employer to have to wade through pages of documents to find the ones of relevance.
Don't include items just to bolster your portfolio. Each document should be relevant and provide value.
Don't include personal information -- such as your Social Security number -- on your documents.
For more than a decade, Tia Benjamin has been writing organizational policies, procedures and management training programs. A C-level executive, she has more than 15 years experience in human resources and management. Benjamin obtained a Bachelor of Science in social psychology from the University of Kent, England, as well as a Master of Business Administration from San Diego State University.