By taking the time to visit other portfolio websites I was able to compile a list of do’s and don’ts for my own site. Below are list of the portfolios I visited and the lessons learned from each!
A media consultant and journalism intructor at San Francisco State Univsersity, Baird has a wide breadth of experience. However, of the three portfolio sites, I liked hers the least. Her site gave me more don’ts than do’s. For example:
- There’s no need for a full disclosure on a homepage. I want to pique the interest of the reader, not give them my entire life story!
- Cover the most recent and/or relevant experience first, just in case people stop reading.
- The portfolio page must include samples of my work. Hers was mostly a series of links to companies she’s worked for or seminars she’s participated in.
- Important information should be displayed prominently or given it’s own page. I almost overlooked her list of Awards and Recognition.
- Include dates of employment on the resume page, otherwise it may look like I’m trying to hide something.
Pham is a web developer and 2005 graduate of UC Davis. He doesn’t have a lot of experience, but he does manage to give good examples of the work he does on his portfolio page. Some things I took away from looking at his portfolio site:
- Your homepage is your chance to make a good first impression. Unfortunately for Pham, his homepage could easily turn off potential employers the instant they arrive at his site.
- Don’t be too casual. He calls himself a F.O.B., spells “hello” as “hellooooo,” and tells us that he plays Omaha poker. This shows a lack of professionalism.
What Pham does right:
- The portfolio is well done. His use use of bullet points improves readability, and the links to his work make it easy to navigate.
- On his resume page, he includes a downloadable copy of his resume.
- He only links to his LinkedIn site from his resume page. Employers don’t necessarily need links to my Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, etc.
The last portfolio site that I visited belonged to Amanda Stevenson, a communications and marketing specialist from South Carolina. This portfolio/resume site was my favorite. Here’s some reasons why:
- Her homepage is professional, free of grammatical errors, and contains only the most pertinent information.
- Her resume is clean and easy to read, but is still visually appealing because of font choices and the use of logos.
- She includes only those links that are really important, including samples of her work.
- Her portfolio page, titled Project Management, includes slideshows of work she’s done and examples of materials she’s designed.
Overall, this was a very valuable exercise. I’m already thinking about how I can make my site better than all three of these!