This post was orginally written on Sabba Quidwai’s blog, AskMsQ
Creating a digital portfolio is one of the most important choices you can make for your career. Here are five pieces you should include to create a digital portfolio that will get you noticed.
Do you have a blog or website?
Do you have a piece of media or written work that you’ve published about a piece of work that you are proud of?
Do you have a professional learning network?
Can you share an example of how you communicate and collaborate with other people in a professional setting?
Can you show me a project that you have worked on that made an impact?
Do you have a video of yourself speaking or leading a group workshop?
If a college, employer or client asked you the following questions would you be ready to provide these examples? Fortunately today, there is no shortage of platforms available to us to share our story. Whether you are 14 or 40, it is never too early or too late to begin creating your portfolio. No matter which platform you decide to choose, here are five things you should include.
Create Your Mantra
“Begin with the end in mind.” – Stephen Covey
Before sharing your education or employment history, your visitor should see what you stand for.
In one sentence how would you summarize your passion, your purpose, and your goals for what you hope to achieve? This sentence is your hook and what will ultimately determine whether the reader will keep scrolling. Crafting your mantra will allow you reflect upon your values, your strengths, and your weaknesses.
Above all, it will help you determine the work you hope to do and the kind of people who hope to work alongside. Your mantra will grow along with you and your experiences, and having a digital portfolio allows you to easily make updates to it. If you have a professional learning network, everyone will be able to follow your story as it develops.
Share Your Story
“The linchpin is an individual who can walk into chaos and create order, someone who can invent, connect, create and make things happen.” – Seth Godin
The traditional “about me” section is a list of information that can be pulled up using a simple background check: school and work history. Instead, spend some time crafting your experiences into a story form.
I like to use a three-part format:
- Where I was
- Where I am
- Where I want to go.
There is not a shortage of research sharing how our brains connect immediately with stories, so use this as an opportunity to let the reader connect with you. Oh, and don’t forget to end with a short line on how they can contact you.
Show Your Evidence
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.” – Simon Sinek
You’ve shared your mantra, and you’ve shared a compelling story, so now it is time to bring your ideas to life with examples. Ideally, you will want multimedia or written samples where the reader can see what your thoughts look like as actions.
Did you publish a video, did you do an interview, did you write a blog or did you present at a conference? Look back and find evidence that you can show the reader what you can do. If you don’t have these pieces already made, it is never too late to begin creating them. With the tools available to use today on our phones and tablets, a few simple apps can help bring your story to life.
Start Your Professional Learning Network
Why talk about others when we can talk with others?
Engaging on social media can often be the difference between finding a place to work or a place to pursue your passion with other like-minded individuals. Today, people are just one post away. Never before have we had such powerful platforms that allow us to share our ideas and connect with individuals we could only have imagined crossing paths.
You’ll hear many people share how the people they met through social media transformed their lives and in this video I share f5 ways Twitter can boost your career. Understanding your audience and who you want to connect with will help you determine where best to begin sharing your work. By sharing your work and your voice on social media, you can connect with others around the world – something that was previously inconceivable.
Highlight Your References & Testimonials
Quotes from others about their experience working with you brings your reader full circle. Nothing speaks to your authenticity and credibility more than the testimonials of those you have worked with in the past.
Whereas before you were limited to your three letters of recommendation, most of which quickly become outdated, a digital space allows you to preserve and share the experiences others have of working with you. Create a space where you can add the company logo or individual’s headshot, creating a human connection.
Creating a digital portfolio is one of the best ways to excel your career. It showcases your skills and experience through visual storytelling, which helps engage your visitors while expanding your professional learning network.
How will you share your story?