How to create an online portfolio that will get you noticed by employers

June 01, 2016
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It seems as though our generation is finding it increasingly difficult to find jobs in journalism, copywriting and other creative writing roles. Tutors and lecturers tell you that it’s a competitive field that yields more failure than success, so once you get that degree, how will you stand out from the pack?

Employers are likely to quickly scan through a resume looking for something different. You may have written articles for a range of websites or managed to feature on an online publisher, but so has everyone else. What really sets you apart is your personal blog, which is really your online resume. This is your advertising billboard, the flashing neon sign that the employers are looking for. This is where they can see your originality and find more about you.

Many are daunted by the process; you’re probably asking, ‘How do I start a website if I have no skill in web design?’ Well my friend, the World Wide Web is a wonderful thing.

Buy a website domain

Do you have a name for your online blog? I started out with Social Revolt. I have since moved on from that website to bigger and better ideas, but I still own the domain name. To register your own snappy URL, head to Go Daddy and type in your choice to see if it’s taken.

Remember to use something that isn’t offensive and shows your originality. Domains can be purchased for as little as under $10, so start-up costs aren’t an issue even for the cash-strapped uni student.

Add Managed WordPress

Chances are you’ve used this program before when publishing on other websites. It will be the system you post all your articles from. Employers in the writing sector expect you to be experienced in WordPress, so this is the perfect way to hone your skills and demonstrate your talent.

Managed WordPress can be purchased for about $10 per month, and deals are often available on GoDaddy to help writers in their quest for an online presence. So far that’s a $20 start-up. Now we need to catch their eye.

Outsource

Unless you have some amazing skills in the digital design world, you’ll need someone to help design your website for you. It sounds expensive, but it’s not. Jump on a website such as Freelancer or Upwork and you’ll find thousands of designers willing to create your domain heaven for under $20.

Simply shoot them a list of details, tell them how you want your website to function and you’ll have your space to be as creative and imaginative as you want. Being able to outsource shows employers your business acumen and ability to organise. Double win!

Find your niche

Your website is up, it’s looking amazing, so now it’s time to fill it with content… but not just any old content. While it’s great to show flexibility with a range of sections dedicated to sport, travel, politics and current affairs, you’re not a one-person-newsroom. You are a writer seeking a specific job.

If you’re a budding journalist, get out there and report on local stories. If you’re a copywriter, create some marketing campaign examples as an advertisement of your talents. If you’re an author, feature some short stories or works of fiction. Niche it down, and hit the gas.

Once you have a rich platform of content and have found your niche, be sure to include the link at the top of your resume. Employers want to see how you advertise yourself, and nothing says that more than putting your most creative foot forward.

Chris Sutton

Chris Sutton is studying a Master of Communication having completed a Bachelor of Communication last year, majoring in journalism and creative writing. He enjoys writing freelance and travelling abroad.

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