Creating a portfolio is essential for any web developer, yet, it is also one of the most challenging things to do when applying for a position, not just for those new to the industry but also for seasoned professionals. The goal is to make the portfolio a veritable reflection of your best work, yet also make it palatable for hiring managers who are inevitably going to screen the candidates during the hiring process. Here’s how to stand out from the crowd and show off your skills in just the right way.
ABCs of a Portfolio
There are four essential components of any web developer’s portfolio and they are a homepage, a skills page, a projects page, and a resume. Consider the homepage as a title for the rest of your work, as its purpose is to clearly and concisely showcase your skills and immediately catch the attention of the viewers. If the website is about protecting yourself on the internet, you’ll want the viewer to know that as soon as they open the homepage.
On the skills page, you can advertise your expertise more directly and list all the coding and design tools you are proficient in. Just watch out not to omit useful soft skills either. The projects page should represent your web development projects up until this point, so make sure it’s your most outstanding work, which will also provide insight into all of your skills and abilities. Let your best products sell themselves. Finally, your resume is supposed to provide a quick overview of your qualifications and previous experiences which are relevant to the position you’re applying for.
Nothing Screams “Professional” like a Brand
Whether you’re a budding web developer or a seasoned veteran, it’s important to know that the type of impression you make on your future employer is largely within your control, and the way to achieve the best possible result is by working on your personal brand. Your brand is supposed to highlight not only your expertise but also your core values as a professional. On the other hand, for a brand to actually be a brand, you’re going to need to work on building its reputation.
This can be achieved by promoting your brand via different platforms, such as through social media, YouTube, or a unique personal domain name. But to market yourself successfully, it’s going to be necessary to understand the market first, which will require significant time and effort invested in market research and the practical application of the data gathered. Once the brand is built up, consistency in your work and the values your brand promotes are going to be crucial.
Study, study, study
There’s a reason why lifelong learning is in style, and that’s because it offers a multitude of benefits to anyone determined enough to work on themselves continuously. Therefore, if you’re looking to give your web developer portfolio an edge, it’s going to have to prove that you’re the latest and greatest the industry has to offer. That’s where online courses and certificates come in.
By taking part in educational courses specifically catered to the needs of the web development market, you can prove to your potential employers that you are constantly evolving, self-motivated, and willing to go the extra mile, all traits which are highly valued in any workplace.
Use User Experience
In the process of web development, user experience is always going to be your focus, and the same should apply to your portfolio. What is more, potential employers will intentionally and unavoidably check whether or not you’ve paid any attention to the user experience segment of your portfolio, which you can use to your advantage. The contents of your portfolio should cater to the viewer, so make sure it’s adapted to different devices and settings.
Keep in touch
Finally, making your contact information as visible and accessible as possible is key if you want anyone to reach out to you. The more obvious, the better. You can do this by adding a “contact” page to your portfolio. However, adding more ways people can contact you is also a plus. Feel free to include your phone number and email address and make yourself easily accessible.
While all of the aforementioned guidelines apply in a very broad range of situations, it’s also important to note that not every web developer portfolio is the same, and every client is going to have their own preferences. That’s why the secret ingredient to any portfolio is personality, so don’t be afraid to add lots of it.