Should I Get a Portfolio?
Posted by Regina Woodard
Sorry for the lateness, again, but there’s good news abound! I have, for the moment, a job! And it’s actually putting to use my obsession with social media. So hooray for that. But that’s not what I’m here to talk to you about.
In my most recent job search, as well as my trying to decide what I wanted to do this time around, I came across a very important question – should I, as a freelance writer, have a portfolio?
You’ve probably heard that word thrown around before – a portfolio is basically a set of pieces that display someone’s creative work. Think of it as the creative’s resume, but with all of the things they’ve done. This has, of course, been a staple for photographers and web designers, but what about writers? Do we really need a portfolio?
For a really long time, I debated and ultimately decided, meh, I don’t need one. However, after being laid off from my last job, I turned that thinking around. Let’s face it – as a freelancer, you’ve probably done a brick load of stuff, which is probably littered all over the Internet; this is especially true if you’ve ever done copywriting or ghostwriting, like I have. Not to mention that for a good two years, Bright Hub was my go to place of work, which at last count was over five hundred articles in at least ten different categories.
That’s a lot of writing. And that was just for Bright Hub.
Needless to say, even without my creative writing skill set, I had a ton of different writing vehicles. So, I decided a portfolio was the thing to do.
What’s so great about it?
What’s so great about having a portfolio? Simple – you can display all of the work you’ve done, in different categories. There’s also the added benefit that it’s online; if you’re submitting resumes to positions – especially those that involve online job sites or virtual positions – being able to link to a portfolio can be essential.
All of my current resumes now have links to both my portfolio and that of my professional profile. This comes in handy when I was applying for freelance writing positions, as well as social media, and web design work. I even added them to my administrative assistant resume.
Where do I find portfolio sites?
There are actually a number of different portfolio sites that you can try. I’m using both Carbonmade and Flavors.me; both are free with an additional paid service which will give you more features, but if you’re just starting with a portfolio, the free stuff is good. An additional advantage of using Flavors is that they were recently bought by Moo, the custom business card site.
What do I put in these things?
Unlike a photographer’s portfolio, writing can be very distinctive. Check the one I made for Carbonmade – it has a category for the blog postings I’ve done, as well as the article writing I’ve done, plus social media and web design work. As a writer, you should certainly showcase the types of articles and publications you’ve done; if you’ve written a book, link it to Amazon (if it’s there) or where ever you had it published. If you wrote for an online publication site, link to the article.
I probably still have a lot to include – I haven’t posted any of the creative stuff I’ve done, like my website, nor have I done the copy and ghostwriting aspects, and I’m still adding things. But that’s the beauty of a portfolio – you add things and delete things, like you would any resume.
Oh and do let me know how the portfolio and profile looks. Should I add something? Remove something? Go with someone else? Tell me in the comments!
- 10 Confidence-Building Exercises for New Freelancers (freelanceswitch.com)
- How to Find Great Content Writers for Your Website (iacquire.com)
- The Mighty Online Portfolio (buprssa.com)
- The Online Portfolio: A Freelancer’s Virtual Handshake (coherecommunity.com)