Looking for a job in a tough economy can be a daunting task, especially if it’s been a while since you’ve updated your portfolio. Luckily, with a little computer know-how, a USB full of jpgs, and a few hours to kill, you can create a nifty online portfolio without the costs of printing (and reprinting, and reprinting…).
Think of it as if you were creating a portfolio for your own start-up company. What do you look for when sifting through a prospective employer’s website? Bright, colorful images and a clear description of the projects they’ve handled can be an extremely useful and persuasive tool when you’re marketing your business, much is the same on the flip side when marketing your design skills to employers.
There are some great sites out there that can really give you a bang for your buck, or in most cases give you a bang for free:
· Mac’s iWeb (www.apple.com/ilife/iweb) is a there for all the Mac lovers, allowing users to create web-based portfolios and webpages to suit their individual personalities.
· Online portfolio provider Carbonmade (www.carbonmade.com) has a two-tiered system. For those that want the free version, there’s the ‘Meh.’ which includes up to 5 projects and 35 images, or for a small monthly fee there is the aptly-named ‘Whoo!’ that allows users the freedom to display over 50 of their favorite projects, 500 high-res images, and 10 high quality videos.
· Using free weblog sites like WordPress (www.wordpress.com) and Blogger (www.blogger.com) may be a little trickier to get the format you want but as long as you’re up for some creative thinking, this could be just the right fit.
See image above for an example of my work in progress at Carbonmade. After having used WordPress as well, I found the Carbonmade site quite a bit easier to create. Although I appreciated the availability of bar tabs and hyperlinks on WordPress, the image quality and clean look is what I’ve enjoyed about Carbonmade.
One of the great benefits to utilizing a web-based portfolio is the opportunity of knowing who your viewers are. Free programs like StatCounter and Google Analytics keep a record of viewer activity so you won’t be left wondering if hiring managers are taking the time to check out your masterpiece. And believe me, they will. If you provide them with a simple web link, as opposed to a document that’ll most likely be a huge file, this creates an ease of use that hiring managers appreciate.
What has been your experience with online portfolios? Now it’s your turn to tell me your success (or not so successful) stories. What other portfolio websites would you recommend to other landscape architects ready to share their work?Published in