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12 Things To Remember If You Want To Create A Stunning Online Portfolio

12 Things To Remember If You Want To Create A Stunning Online Portfolio

Online portfolios are becoming more and more necessary for professionals, even ones in non-artistic fields. There are a lot of them out there, so it’s important that yours stands out from all the rest. Here are a few things to remember if you want to have a truly stunning online portfolio.

1. Keep it simple.

An attractive portfolio is almost always a simple one. One of the most important things I can tell you is to not fill your online portfolio with unnecessary clutter. Google beats Yahoo by avoiding ads and clickbait on their home page. Employ the same strategy to have an effective online portfolio.

2. Have an appropriate portfolio layout.

One of the earliest decisions you have to make with your online portfolio is what layout you’re going to use. Consider the various templates that the service you’re using offers and decide carefully which one will best display the product or service that you’re selling to potential clients. It might also help to ask for feedback from friends and colleagues so you can decide on the best layout possible.

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3. Focus on the work.

Remember why people are browsing your online portfolio in the first place. If you’re a photographer, focus on your photos. If you’re an artist, focus on your works of art. You want to promote yourself, yes, but before boring guests with your experience and life history, give them what they initially came to your online portfolio for.

4. Don’t treat your portfolio like a dump.

The point of a portfolio is to showcase you at your best. If you upload everything you’ve ever done to your online portfolio, you’re letting yourself be judged by your worst work. Viewers will appreciate ten high-quality samples more than a hundred average ones every time.

5. Write a killer bio.

The second most visited part of most websites is the ‘About’ page, so make sure the copy on yours sings. Write a relatively short bio that introduces you and explains clearly what you can do for your clients. Don’t treat the bio like a brief history of you so much as a succinct compilation of reasons why you would be a great hire.

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6. Include testimonials.

Even if it feels like bragging, make sure you have a spot for testimonials on your online portfolio. You demonstrate your skills with the samples, but you need quotes from clients and employers on your online portfolio to prove your professionalism.

7. Have a ‘Hire Me’ tab.

The ultimate goal of your online portfolio is presumably to get hired, so make it extremely easy for people to hire you! Any time someone’s looking at a great sample of yours, it should only take one click to convert them from a fan into a client.

8. Look good on mobile.

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mobile

    The internet is being browsed on phones and tablets more and more frequently, so make sure your online portfolio looks as appealing on mobile as it does on desktop. SquareSpace is one service that automatically formats the content of your website so that it looks great on any device, so I would encourage you to start there.

    9. Connect with social media.

    Social media is paramount when it comes to marketing yourself, so make sure you intertwine it with your online portfolio. Have links to your portfolio from every one of your social networks, and links to all your social networks on your portfolio.

    10. Keep updating.

    Most portfolios tend to stay stagnant, so you’ll separate yourself from the rest of the pack by keeping yours fresh and up-to-date. Show guests of your website that you continue to produce stellar work instead of expecting them to trust your abilities based on what you produced years ago. Regular updates will also aid search engine optimization (SEO), getting your online portfolio higher in the Google rankings.

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    11. Consider keeping a blog.

    Regularly writing about your career demonstrates to your clients that you really care about your work. Even if you only do it once a week or even twice a month, posting on a portfolio blog will help you gain credibility and also improves SEO.

    12. Distinguish yourself.

    The truth is that a lot of people, especially in artistic fields, already have online portfolios. What you need to do is find a way to make yours unique enough that it will be both noticed and remembered. Study other professionals’ portfolio and think about what could be done to take them to the next level. Look at all the features offered by online portfolio services and figure out which ones aren’t being taken advantage of. Most importantly, find a way to express yourself as only you can. Those are some of the keys to creating a stunning online portfolio.

    Featured photo credit: Young man working on street. A young black college student is sitting outside, working on a laptop computer, looking down, thinking. Wall Street sign in the background. via shutterstock.com

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    Matt OKeefe

    Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on May 20, 2020

    What Are Analytical Skills (And How to Strengthen Them For Success)

    What Are Analytical Skills (And How to Strengthen Them For Success)

    Everybody makes bad decisions. Some people, however, are more capable of making better decisions that inch them closer to success.

    These individuals are not ruled by emotions, desires, or hunches. Rather, they depend on their analytical skills to overcome challenges regardless of urgency or complexity.

    What Are Analytical Skills?

    According to Richards J. Heuer Jr., a former veteran of the CIA,[1]

    “Thinking analytically is a skill like carpentry or driving a car. It can be taught, it can be learned, and it can improve with practice. But unlike other skills, it is not learned by sitting in a classroom and being told how to do it. Analysts learn by doing.”

    Analytical skills can be considered as one of the critical life skills that are not taught in schools. It comprises of visualization, critical thinking, and abilities for gathering and processing information.

    Here’s a closer look at some of these abilities:

    Visualization

    Also tied to a person’s creativity, visualization is the ability to predict the possible outcomes of strategies and actions. In a professional setting, visualization involves the analysis of data – often through illustrations like charts, graphs, and detailed lists.

    Critical Thinking

    Simply put, a person’s ability to think critically can be measured by his or her consistency in creating reasonable decisions. It pertains to the ability to evaluate information, siphon what’s useful, and draw conclusions without being swayed by emotions.

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    As a critical thinker, you’ll find yourself challenging assertions and finding loopholes in proposed solutions.

    Computing

    Whether you like it or not, you need to be comfortable with numbers if you want to sharpen your analytical skills. Bear in mind that computing encompasses other skills like cost analysis, budgeting, and performing general calculations.

    In business, you need to use computations when weighing the risks and benefits of any given strategy.

    Problem-Solving

    Remember that analytical skills are used not just to understand problems, but also to develop the most suitable course or courses of action. This relates to your goal-setting skills, which involve breaking down and prioritizing between objectives.

    Resource Management

    Lastly, analytical skills involve some degree of resource management depending on the task at hand.

    For example, professionals with a tight schedule must know how to effectively manage their own time – also known as one of the most important resources in the world.

    Business leaders, on the other hand, must know how to manage company resources, including cash and manpower. Take note that the definition of analytical skills may change to match the requirements of a specific situation.

    For example, upon hiring a web developer, analytical skills may refer to the ability to determine the needs of online users, understand web analytics for optimization, and identify visual elements that can match a company’s brand.

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    The skillset above, however, should be applicable in most if not all scenarios.

    Develop Your Analytical Skills for More Growth Opportunities

    There’s no question that the right decisions lead to positive results. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a business or simply trying to climb the corporate ladder. By training your analytical skills, you position yourself for more growth opportunities while staying away from negligible actions you will regret.

    For example, you plan to launch a new startup in your local community – but struggle to decide the niche you want to enter. Since you’ve been a technophile your whole life, part of you desires to invest in a gadget store. If you’re passionate about your business, success will come – right?

    If you have sharp analytical skills, you begin to see your plans in whole new dimensions.

    What are the possible outcomes of this venture? Does the local market have a need for a new gadget store? How much do I need to get started – and how much should I sell to make a profit?

    Depending on your findings, you can determine the feasibility of your business idea without letting your emotions get in the way.

    6 Ways to Strengthen Your Analytical Skills

    There are several approaches when it comes to developing an individual’s analytical skills. For instance, psychologists agree that reading fantasy stories as a child can help sharpen critical thinking.[2]

    Research also suggests that undergoing traditional education has a positive effect on a person’s IQ and analytical skills.[3]

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    But as an adult, such opportunities to hone your analytical skills no longer apply. That’s why you need to devise a more deliberate, active approach yourself.

    Below are a few strategies to get you started:

    1. Ideate Business Ideas

    Developing a profitable business idea, whether you pursue them or not, involves numerous challenges. You need a ton of research, computations, and problem-solving to create a tangible business plan.

    You can organize your ideas with a note-taking tool like Microsoft OneNote or Evernote. Doing so will allow you to delve deeper into your analysis, organize your findings, and stay focused on roadblocks as well as how to solve them.

    2. Leverage Analytical Tools

    Aside from note-taking tools, you can also leverage other software that can help with analytical tasks. A money management app like Mint, for example, makes it easy to track your spending habits as well as manage your budget with visual tools. When it comes to prioritizing goals, you can use simple task management apps like Trello or Wunderlist.

    3. Have a Personal Learning Library

    Thanks to the internet, there’s a colossal amount of resources you can utilize to learn new skills, expand your vocabulary, and train your visualization muscles.

    Social media networks like SlideShare and YouTube, for example, offer mountains of tutorials you can access to your heart’s content.

    For a personalized learning library, you can download Instagram videos or GIFs from educational accounts like NASA Goddard and the American Mathematical Society. But if you prefer specific, technical skills, then a good place to start would be online learning platforms like Coursera, edX, and Alison.

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    4. Participate in Online Communities

    The internet is a great place to share experiences, opinions, and sometimes intellectual discussions with like-minded individuals. Reddit, for example, has a place or “subreddit” dedicated for every topic imaginable – from technology to entrepreneurship.

    For structured debates, you can head to websites like Debate.org and let other users choose the winner via votes.

    5. Seek Mental Stimulation

    To keep your mind sharp, make it a habit to engage in mentally stimulating activities, such as chess, puzzles, and brain training apps. A great resource would be Lumosity, which contains dozens of cognitive games designed by teams of scientists and game designers.

    6. Keep a Personal Journal

    Finally, keeping a personal journal allows you to take a second look at everything that happened in your day.

    Remember that writing about learning experiences lets you focus on the lesson rather than the emotion. It will help you analyze how you made your decisions, why you came to certain conclusions, and what you can do to improve in the future.

    Here’s How to Create a Habit of Writing in a Journal.

    Bottom Line

    As an adult, you are required to face a myriad of challenges on a daily basis. Work, school, business, relationships – the list goes on when it comes to the sources of life’s problems. With analytical skills, you can confront and overcome any obstacle standing between you and your goals.

    More Success Skillset

    Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] M. S. Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences: Analytical Thinking?
    [2] KD Novelties: Why You Should Read Classic Tales to Your Children
    [3] Economic Inquiry: The Effect of Education on Cognitive Ability

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