A portfolio is a representation of yourself and your work. In the New Zealand tech and IT recruitment process, it often speaks more for your abilities than your CV – therefore it's vital you take the time to make your portfolio sing.
Let's talk about what makes a great portfolio.
1. Put your best work first
You should choose which work to emphasise in your portfolio following the same general rules as you would your CV.
- Is it directly related to the kind of work you're looking for?
- Does it demonstrate the full extent of your abilities?
- Do you have the rights to this work?
If you have time, it's a great idea to work on your own side projects that showcase your abilities. Not only does this create a great addition to your portfolio, it also indicates you have the passion and drive to work on projects in your spare time.
2. Keep it up-to-date
Tech is a rapidly evolving field.
Just as you should be making a conscious effort to develop your professional skills, you need to reflect this in your portfolio. Ensuring the work on display is recent and relevant to the current requirements of the industry tells employers that you can meet their needs.
High quality, older work may be considered by potential employers, but it could also send a red flag if it's severely out of date.
3. Invest in design
It's important to make a real effort with the way your portfolio looks. A well-presented portfolio speaks for your attention to detail.
This should be a particular area of focus if you're a front-end web developer. Applying any coding skills you have to the portfolio itself really exemplifies what you're capable of. If you aren't visually-minded, looking for free and attractive templates online is one option – or you might like to approach a designer to develop a personal brand and website theme.
4. Think about content
This applies to anyone – but should go doubly for freelancers. Potential clients are likely to be more impressed if you demonstrate ongoing involvement with the industry.
Maintaining a blog on your digital portfolio can enhance a client's impression of you. You might use this blog to write about:
- Your perspective on industry updates.
- Valuable tips for fellow developers, freelancers or IT professionals.
- Reviews of relevant product releases.
You can also share this blog content across your social channels, such as LinkedIn, to increase exposure and position yourself as a thought leader within the industry.
5. Make it all about you
Your portfolio should sell you both as a developer and as someone to work with.
Bring personality into it. If you work with a designer, it's a great idea to bring your own quirks and career story into the presentation of your portfolio. Make it fun but professional – if an employer enjoys looking at your work, that's a real win and leave a lasting impression.
6. Take part in #PortfolioDay
Okay! Quarterly it is! I've looked at the calendar and think the second Tuesday in the month every three months starting this October will do it! #portfolioday will be held on these days:
Oct. 9, 2018
Jan. 8, 2019
Apr. 9, 2019
July 9, 2019
Oct. 8, 2019
Good luck everyone!
— Audrey Gonzalez (@AudreyGonzalez) August 23, 2018
PortfolioDay is a creative community event on Twitter. Everyone is invited to share their portfolio in the hash tag to promote themselves to potential employers.
It can be quite a saturated channel, so you might not find employment through it, but participating in #PortfolioDay is a great way to network within your industry. If you see a portfolio you like, think about how you can adopt similar concepts in your own. You might even like to strike up a conversation and ask the other person for their own unique tips.
A great portfolio is the key to landing your dream tech or IT job in New Zealand, reach out to 920 Career Agents today for hands-on advice.