The top reason you should create an online portfolio is that, even if every other applicant has one (which they don’t), personal websites are a highly effective way to stand out.
It’s hard to become a sheep with so many website templates, candidate skill sets, and creative personalities showcased in personal websites and portfolios. Your voice and passion will inevitably shine through.
Writers and designers aren’t the only job candidates creating unique personal websites. Engineers in tech hubs deal with competitive interview processes; business majors write finance blogs to impress hiring managers; sales applicants need to prove they’re great culture fits.
Below, we put together our favorite examples of personal websites. Ready, set, brand yourself!
Why it works: It’s personal. Some of the most effective online portfolios feature a self portrait of the job candidate. This makes you appear real, honest, and gives readers the impression they’ve met you–which makes them actually want to.
Why it works: Samuel doesn’t tell us what he does for a living, he shows us by creating an interactive website to tell us he creates interactive websites. His tactic is undeniably clever. Listing skills in a resume doesn’t always pack a punch among hundreds of applicants. Adding a personal touch, especially if you’re an engineer or designer, leaves a stunning first impression.
Why it works: You definitely don’t need to include animation, state-of-the-art design skills, or a self portrait that puts the Mona Lisa to shame. Minimalism works because it’s as straightforward as a handshake. Wade tells us who he is without messing around. He gets to the point. And we get to his job objective before the page is done loading.
Why it works: His landing page mixes minimalism with a simple, yet eye-catching icon. When you click through to his website, his “about me” section and work examples aren’t overdone. They let readers know he has a lot of projects show for himself, without going over-the-top. The best websites don’t need to be created by flashy designers. They need to be easy to view, and demonstrate who you are.
Why it works: Clean categories deliver a personality without the mess. He also maintains a very human “about” section. It sounds like every profile on the web, but unfortunately it isn’t–which is why this tactic works. Clicking on Quincy’s projects and photos after reading his “about” section is so much more effective than him sending links to his work in an application email.
Why it works: This portfolio is more stylized than most. But, that works since the candidate is all about brand and design. The layout makes it extremely easy to contact the candidate or click through to his more inclusive portfolio with click-ready icons on his landing page. He highlights these projects in a user-friendly scroll down template, too. He skips the introductions and gets straight down to his work, which is effective if you’ve built a strong portfolio.
Why it works: This website is extremely accessible. You can effortlessly contact Ashley through her friendly “let’s work together” button, the focus of the page. This involves no scrolling, emailing, or searching–a crucial component for easy communication. Her work is set up with the same ease. All readers need to do is scroll down to see her work, which shares the same layout as famous portfolio websites like .
Wondering where to start your own portfolio or personal website? There are so many platforms out there that worry about polished website templates so you don’t have to. Whether you’re technically-minded or not, personal websites are easy to make. Here’s a quick list of the top contenders, and what they can do for your personal brand:
Basic, intuitive, and elegant. You’ll have less options, but many personal websites don’t require the extra tricks and clicks to do the job.
Creative options, but not as dummy-proof. You must pay attention to details and templates to avoid website mistakes.
User-friendly, but very basic layouts. Worth checking out if you’re a beginner and want the freedom to alter your web pages on a whim.
The best option for job candidates who want to combine all of their social profiles into one clean website.
This personal website tool is all about making your website about you. Unique and personalized is their mantra.
A great approach if you’re looking for a clean, minimalistic, and basic (which isn’t bad!) approach to your personal website.
The most famous web host, and for good reason. WordPress has so many theme options, and for more in-depth users, plugins and tools to customize your site.
Don’t let procrastination prevent you from creating a personal brand. Online portfolios will take some time and effort, but they are a huge value-add for most job seekers. And, remember, follow your instincts. You don’t need to copy the personal websites above–or any websites for that matter. An all-black layout with dark project features may not suit you. Maybe a unique photo of yourself on the landing page makes you uncomfortable. However you decide to do it, just put yourself and your brand out there.