Showing is always better than telling. If you’re in a specialized industry based on creative production, you need a portfolio to show examples of your work. This allows recruiters and hiring managers to evaluate your style, attention to detail, and of course your overall creativity.
There are plenty of sites for developing digital portfolios. Many of them also have built-in social networks where you can interact with others in your industry. As with the other social media outlets, make sure you use keywords whenever possible and continue to comment on and share others’ work. Get in the community spirit!
Below are some examples of industry-specific portfolio-based sites that provide a place to share your work.
Now an Adobe site, Behance is a great place for graphic designers, photographers, and illustrators to share their work. The site has a search function that operates on keywords and pulls from user profiles and displays relevant works. Each profile has “Work” and “Drafts” categories to help commenters tailor their feedback. There is also a valuable area called “Insights” where a user can see how many people have viewed their work, appreciations (equivalent to a Facebook “Like”) received, and comments made on their work.
Medium is a place for writers to “share your thinking about something that matters to you.” Specifics such as length or topic are completely up to each writer, which leads to varied perspectives on a wide breadth of topics. Contributors appreciate how easy it is to publish their work on Medium. Besides a profile with all works listed, there is a section for “Claps” (again, equivalent to “Likes”), and Responses.
For techies, GitHub is a way to show what developers can do. This feature-laden platform provides many ways to stay social, including code review, team management, and even social coding applications. There’s a “Connect with Others” feature as well as GitHub Education, which provides training for developers and students of all levels. Most of the features are free, but for $7 per month you get the added benefit of insights into your traffic and other tech-related metrics.
Professional chefs can find each other on Chefify, which facilitates social networking and provides a “platform for the latest industry news worldwide.” Users have a profile for networking and can share their creations with one another – a tantalizing display of beautiful food! A search function also allows you to find others who have similar passions to whatever your specialty may be.
If you’re not sure about a network for your industry, ask a mentor or colleague if they know of any relevant websites. (There’s also the old reliable – Google.)
Think Outside the Traditional Portfolio
While unusual, it’s not impossible to carve out a professional space for yourself on Instagram or even Pinterest. Anything that can be visually represented works for Instagram, no matter the industry. Using hashtags is the most important part of getting yourself found on Instagram.
Pinterest is known for visual representation too, but links to articles or other contributions can be posted there as well. The main benefit of Pinterest is the ability to segment items into “Boards” that signify separate categories.
Whatever platform you choose, make sure you share it! Make sure your portfolio or profile link from these specialty sources is prominently displayed on your resume. And don’t forget to add the link(s) in the profile descriptions of your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social media accounts. The main goal is to make sure you can easily show a prospective employer your best work.