NYT’s “Career Couch” feature this week published advice from Behance CEO Scott Belsky on showcasing your work in an online portfolio – why it’s important, and how to get started. We pulled out a few key takeaways below, and check out the full version here.
Q. Some of your colleagues and friends have created Web sites listing their professional experience, credentials and samples of their work. Should you have some sort of online portfolio, too?
These days, one of the first things a recruiter or hiring manager does after receiving a promising lead is to search for the person on Google. Creating your own Web site or displaying your work on a larger platform gives you some control over what is found. Even if you aren’t looking for a job, keeping an online portfolio can be a way to keep track of your accomplishments and industry activities.
Q. What does an online portfolio typically include?
It usually includes samples of your best work, including articles, reports, PowerPoint presentations and links to blog entries. Portfolios are especially useful for work that can be presented visually, like photography, illustrations and ad campaigns.
An online portfolio can also illuminate your thought processes. Scott Belsky, chief executive of Behance, an online platform for creative work, says that when managers look to hire or promote someone, they want to see more than just experience. “They are also looking for that person’s process, how they do their work, who they collaborate with, how they test ideas,” Mr. Belsky says.
Some portfolios show an early version of a project, the final version and the iterations in between, he says, or reveal a process by telling the story of how the project was accomplished.
Q. Where on the Web should you place your portfolio?
Platforms are available for creative professionals to display their work visually, including Behance, Carbonmade and Dripbook; depending on the platform and package, the cost ranges from free to about $40 a month.
Platforms like these can be lead generators, too, as they are often searched by people looking to hire, Mr. Belsky says. You can also register a domain name — often for less than $10 a year — and create your own regular Web site. Designing your site can cost thousands of dollars if you use a Web site designer, or less than $50 a month if you use a site building tool.