You Need a Portfolio

It may be obvious to artists and less so to inventors: you need a portfolio. 90% of the time it doesn’t have to be fancy. It just needs to say, “I made these projects and cared enough about them to document them.” Why do you need one? Because you make things. Sure, other job applicants can get away with just resumes and cover letters. But if you want to stand out as someone who makes things and who is passionate about making things, then you need a portfolio.

If thoughts like, “I need to design a website from scratch” are keeping you from making progress, I’m here to say, move on. There are plenty of ready-made platforms that make it easy to document and share your work.

  • Google Drive. If you’ve documented your project in a pdf or in a slide deck, you can easily upload these things to google drive and click the option “Share on the Web.” This gives you a URL that you can point people to and say, “Here is some of my work!”
  • Flickr or Google Photos. These platforms allow you to create albums of images. Upload images of your work and use the captions feature to describe what we are looking at!
  • Behance. Behance is a wonderful portfolio platform by Adobe that is used by designers. It has a nice feature that allows you to flow your behance content into a simple one page portfolio template. That’s what I use.
  • WordPress. You can create a simple portfolio on wordpress by choosing a photo-centric template.
  • Media Coverage. If you’ve been lucky enough to have your work written up and photographed by the media, even a college newspaper, download copies of that coverage for safe keeping.

There are more ways to share your work that I haven’t mentioned here. Video on youtube or vimeo is a popular way to go, especially if your work is motion based or site-specific. And if tutorials are your thing, Instructables works well.

Don’t let the options overwhelm you. If you don’t know where to start, start with the simplest option–create a google slide deck and share it to the web. Remember to include your contact information!

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