Best ways to create a writing portfolio employers will love!
Are you an aspiring writer? If so, it is essential to create a writing portfolio that will attract potential employers to your work! By creating a portfolio, you can impress employers to hire your services by showcasing your written pieces. A portfolio can also build a readership for your work, and an online presence for your brand as a writer. A writing portfolio is a compilation of all of your best writing pieces. This will be the ‘go-to’ destination for your followers and readers to peruse your writing, and be familiar with your skills. You can include articles you’ve written for a website/blog, magazine/newspaper articles, press releases, or any other credible writing (not FB posts) to show off your skills!
Firstly, a portfolio is different to a blog. Blogs are platforms where you can write about things you are passionate about, that influence you, inspire you, or frustrate you. However, a portfolio is more about your professional self. So, it’s best to only include posts that are more professional in nature as part of your portfolio, as employers and other readers can be more critical when reading portfolios.
Furthermore, interacting with readers doesn’t occur on a portfolio, whereas it does occur on a blog. In the digital era, it is important to have an online presence and create a professional writer’s portfolio, rather than simply a hard-copy folder (although a hard-copy portfolio can be useful in interview situations, with published pieces displayed in an A4 display folder). Thus, you can easily create an online portfolio using various tools available on the Internet. Creating a writing portfolio is useful to market and promote yourself as writer, get readers’ attention, and show off your writing skills.
For an effective online portfolio, it’s important to create an amazing Bio/About Me page, and the posts you want to show on your portfolio, to attract readers’ attention. One of the best platforms for portfolios online is using WordPress. So, read on to find out how to create a great online portfolio!
1. Create a portfolio on WordPress – go to the WordPress website, and choose Start a Blog, and Get Started to begin the creation of your blog. Register your account, and then choose a name for your blog that is creative and has your name on it, and choose Create My Account. You will then have your very own portfolio URL that you can include on your resume and LinkedIn page! If your portfolio name is available, you can them select subscription plans, or just select the free plan. Then, you can choose a theme for your portfolio. Try and select a professional and sophisticated looking theme for an eye-catching effect.
2. Create an About Me page – this contains all information about you that should interest your reader. It should include a paragraph that captivates the potential employer, and can also feature columns with links to your articles online, your social media profiles, blog and contact details. You can then make this page static, so that the About Me page will be the first page that a potential employer accesses from your online portfolio. Then, they can explore other parts of your portfolio. To make the page static, go to the appearance area of the dashboard, and choose the Customize option. Then, click on the Static Front Page option and select the About page. Voila, you know have the About Me page as your portfolio homepage!
3. Create Additional Pages to categorise and display content – to create pages, choose the Pages tab on the dashboard, and select new pages. You can then create pages according to categories of your work. For example, you can include pages which display work such as magazine articles, reviews, newsletters, press releases, etc. Then, compile the content under each page, upload the work, and save as drafts. After editing your drafts, you can publish them when everything is polished!
4. Maintain your Portfolio – it’s important to make your portfolio professional, captivating and organised. It’s advisable not to include everything you have ever written, as it becomes overwhelming for the reader. It’s most important that your portfolio is focused and precise, with content that adds value to you as a writer, and not just ‘fillers’ on pages. You can add two or three articles/posts under each category to showcase your versatility in writing. If you currently don’t have enough pieces, write them especially for your portfolio. Publish the post that you think is the best example of your work in each category first before other pieces.
5. Make sure your About Me/Bio section is precise – this is your opportunity to pitch yourself as a writer, what your accomplishments are, and your capability as a writer. You can add your name, a ‘fun fact’ about yourself, a paragraph about yourself, links to your blogs, social media profile and other online platforms such as Linked In. If your blog is popular, you can include how many posts you have written, stats about your blog, and how many comments/feedback you have received. In this section, you can be a little more casual. However, it is essential to have excellent grammar and punctuation and delete all typos/errors, to make sure you create a professional impression. It is also not essential to include your age, or clichés about yourself, but include descriptions about yourself that authentically reflect your motivations.
6. Publish your portfolio – once you are certain that your About Me section and pages are polished and professional, you can click on the Publish button, and display your portfolio to the online world! You can also add a link to your portfolio on you social media profiles so that your readers can access it. Other platforms such as Pinterest are also good places to share your portfolio link for increase online visibility.
Creating an online portfolio is an amazing way to build your online presence and market your writing. It can serve as a channel if you want to become a freelance writer, search for a full-time writing career, or gain a job in writing/communications! An interesting, eye-catching portfolio that is easy to navigate will definitely impress potential employers in job interview situations, and help increase your employability in the communications field!