Get ready to learn about the latest type of professional portfolio, the digital portfolio. Read on to learn how to beat the competition to get those gigs, get into your dream college, or otherwise just get your foot in the door.
In this article:
- What is a Digital Portfolio?
- Why Do You Need an Online Portfolio?
- Who Benefits from Digital Portfolios?
- Why Opt for a USB Portfolio?
- What Should You Include in Your Digital Portfolio?
- How Can You Get Started with a USB Drive Portfolio?
Highlight Your Best Work With a Digital Portfolio
What is a Digital Portfolio?
Everyone knows how important that first impression is. What many people don’t know is that a first impression can happen much sooner than you think. One might assume that a portfolio will “speak for itself” through the quality of the contents, but if the viewer can’t get past the presentation of the portfolio itself, all that great work is for nothing. That’s where a good digital portfolio comes in. A digital portfolio is simply an electronic portfolio that contains digital files to showcase your work and skills.
Before talking about what kind of digital portfolio is best (hint: it involves a simple, portable USB drive), it’s important to discuss the necessity of an online or digital portfolio. It’s also important to talk about who it’s right for, what merits inclusion and what role your online business card plays.
Why Do You Need an Online Portfolio?
The days of carrying around bundled samples in a paper folder are long gone – or at least, they should be. This old-fashioned approach has several drawbacks. For one thing, you can’t easily leave a physical portfolio with a prospective client or employer, because you need to take it with you to show the next person. Even if you photocopy everything (which is not a very good showing of your work in most cases), the recipient still has to figure out what to do with that art portfolio or design portfolio, which is typically an unwelcome chore.
Moreover, even if you have a very forgiving prospect willing to put up with paper, that kind of portfolio isn’t mobile. They can’t easily take it with them to show other decision-makers on the go. They can’t use it to refer you to new clients. They can’t reference it themselves, and therefore you have less chance of getting them to bite.
That’s why, in recent years, many people have turned to the portfolio website as the best medium for conveying their work. Portable, professional, and slick, it’s a simple way to ensure that people who matter always have access to your work.
Who Benefits from Digital Portfolios?
The options for creating a digital portfolio are almost limitless. The visual arts and creative fields definitely shine in this medium, though. Anyone whose portfolio involves photographs, blueprints, artwork or other graphic media is a good candidate. Here are some examples of industries where a digital portfolio can be used:
- Teaching portfolio
- Artist portfolio
- Web design portfolio
- Writing portfolio
- Model portfolio
- Architecture portfolio
- Photography portfolio
- Acting portfolio
- Interior design portfolio
Whether you’re putting together reels, lesson plans or charcoal sketches, a digital portfolio puts everything in one place for easy access – and for instant good impressions.
However, don’t assume that only people in visual fields can benefit from this. A legal assistant might, for instance, put in short descriptions of high-profile cases on which he has worked. A civil planning engineer could include photographs and summaries of global projects on which she’s lent a hand. An app designer could collect and upload screenshots showcasing the basic design and functionality of different apps that they have invented or played a hand in bringing to life.
Bottom line: No matter what the field or industry, this technology is a good one for anyone looking for a job. Yet an online portfolio may not be enough, which is where a USB portfolio comes in.
Why Opt for a USB Portfolio?
Good portfolio design can go a long way in ensuring your clients and prospects come to you for work. The problem with a website, however, is that you’re relying on them to remember your URL and access it when they need to. Unfortunately, this means they may forget at a critical moment, such as when they’re showing your work to a project manager or referral. No Bueno.
Instead, you want them to have access to it all the time, from anywhere. That’s where a USB portfolio comes in. The size of a business card, it’s shaped like a credit card and fits in your recipient’s wallet. With a simple fold, it turns into a USB stick and loads into a computer. With mobile capability as well, it will also pop up on a user’s smartphone when waved nearby. Best of all, your designer can design what will be printed on the business card information on the front, so your recipient always knows who it’s from and what’s inside.
That means no matter where they go, they have it on them – ready and waiting to pull it up for a refresher on your skills or to show others.
What Should You Include in Your Digital Portfolio?
When wondering how to make a portfolio, there are a few simple elements to keep in mind. You will need:
- A short bio or introduction of yourself
- A statement about your work, analogous to the purpose statement at the top of a resume or the introductory section on LinkedIn, sharing what your work stands for and why you do what you do
- Your resumé
- Between 8 and 10 samples of your work
Stick to the 10-sample limit, by the way. While it’s tempting to load up all your projects, quantity does not trump quality. This is a surefire way to water down your work and make it less likely you’ll stand out.
How Can You Get Started with a USB Drive Portfolio?
Luckily, although the portfolio itself is quite high-tech, getting started is a pretty standard process. All you have to do is gather your files together, choose the most salient contact information, and write up a quick bio for inclusion in your USB portfolio. Voilà: You have everything you need to appeal to a wide range of clients and set yourself up for interviews, job opportunities, gigs and more.
Here’s a short video by AuburnWrites explaining more about ePortfolio and its importance:
If you’re ready for a customized USB portfolio that you can take anywhere, that will help you impress others at the drop of a hat, it’s time to get in touch with Promotional Drives today. Feel free to call us at 800-245-1497 or request a quick quote online, and our friendly team will help you find what you’re looking for right away. Don’t wait any longer to make a splash; call today!
How are you planning to use your digital portfolio? Let us know in the comments section below!