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6 Mistakes To Avoid When Building An Online Portfolio

6 Mistakes To Avoid When Building An Online Portfolio

Online portfolios are great. They allow you to be found faster in Google searches. They provide a one-stop-shop for employers to find out more about what you have to offer. They also show off your creative side. But when done incorrectly, online portfolios can really ruin your chances of landing a job interview!

The thing with online portfolios is that you have great reign over what you choose to include, upload, and write in your online portfolio. That being said, not all of it is going to be the right choice for your job search goals. So take a hint and reevaluate your online portfolio by avoiding these mistakes:

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1. Thinking an online portfolio is only for creative industries. Wrong! While online portfolios are suited for visuals, such as the work of designers, artists, and writers, these portfolios are just as useful for other industries. Whether you’re showcasing your presentations and research, client testimonials, or case studies, listing relevant accomplishments of any type is a great way to showcase your abilities.

2. Confusing navigation. One of the most important rules of web design is to make sure your navigation is simple and user friendly. While most web hosts will make this easy for you, don’t try to overcomplicate the organization of your site in any way. A few tabs vertically (or horizontally) on your page is enough.

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3. Treating all of your work samples equally. There’s no way every single work sample you have is the best of the best. Be selective about the work samples you include in your online portfolio. If you’re applying to jobs in a very specific industry, cater your work samples to reflect your knowledge and experience in this sector. However, if you’re applying to jobs in a variety of industries, select the best of a few work samples. You can always share more appropriate samples once you land the interview.

Don’t overload hiring managers with too much to look at — it’s likely they won’t look at it at all when given too many options.

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4. Choosing an inappropriate or confusing domain name. While it is better to own your domain, if that’s not possible, it’s okay. Either way, make sure you’re choosing an appropriate name that reflects you and your brand. The obvious choice would be “yourname.com.”

5. Typos, grammatical errors, and missing cohesiveness. We’ve been hit over the head with this one many times before, but typos and errors still seem to creep into our job materials. As we all know, proofreading is key! We don’t want to see any errors in your online portfolio, so edit it often and have a friend edit it too. Likewise, make sure your online portfolio is cohesive. Each page should have the same, or a similar, layout. The font, colors, and general theme should be consistent. If you have links to other web pages, or even links to other parts of your online portfolio, check each link every time you make changes to your portfolio. If you feel you have a “final” version for public viewing, ask a friend to check each link.

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6. Not having an online presence at all. You want to make it easy for hiring managers and recruiters to find your information. By not having a resume, contact information, work samples, or a variety of this mix accessible online, you’re making it harder for someone to hire you. In fact, you want to make sure your online footprint is accessible in industry-specific spaces too, such as professional organization forums and webinars, or even just by participating in LinkedIn. Don’t make hiring you difficult for employers!

Having an online portfolio can be a huge help during your job search. But if it’s not done right, it can cause you the job interview.

What are the worst mistakes you see in online portfolios? What’s your best advice for someone looking to create their first professional portfolio online?

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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