Build an online presence that demonstrates your creativity and professionalism
Part 1: Benefits of a portfolio website
The Benefits of a Well Crafted Website
No matter where you are in your education and career, in a digitized world, it’s important to have an online presence that showcases both your skills and accomplishments – and a personal website is the perfect tool to do this.
A website (or digital portfolio) is key to establishing, strengthening, and conveying your identity as both a designer and professional. Whether you want to use it to apply to an architecture school program, find an employment position, or even attract new clients – choosing you as a candidate is a significant decision, and visitors to your work will not make it based solely on impulsive information.
Instead, they will seek out more clarity by actively looking for your online presence, and the opportunity to delve deeper into your portfolio of work.
…and so here we want to break down and discuss the benefits of having your own portfolio website and why it is essential for architects and young designers to dedicate time into creating one.
What is an Online Portfolio?
But firstly, what exactly are we talking about here?
Let’s start with a simple portfolio definition: a (digital) portfolio is a personal website, usually dedicated to showcasing some form of work – be it architecture, photography, interior design, architectural visualization, illustration, fashion, or anything in between.
With an online portfolio, you can display your best projects, provide personal information, offer your services, and even include an online store.
The main benefit? Everything is in one place and not scattered across various social media platforms. Creating a digital portfolio is like combining your Instagram, LinkedIn, Issuu page and resume, and choosing the most important, impressive information.
People interested in your work – from supporters to future employers, and even potential clients – will be able to carry out a quick background check and get everything they need in one place.
…And that’s only the beginning.
It’s safe to say that anyone can benefit from having a personal website, but some career paths call for it.
…And architecture is one of those – where having an online portfolio and presence is beyond necessary.
So with that being said, let’s dive into the numerous benefits that a personal online portfolio can offer you as both a creative and professional.
Your online portfolio or website is often the first point of contact for potential prospects and new relationships, and it’s therefore important to make a strong first impression with a well designed method of presenting it.
Providing a 24/7 representation of your profile, it’s important to invest in a professional and high-quality aesthetic that aligns with your values and aspirations.
Remember, there is no second chance to make a first impression, so make sure your method of communication effectively showcases who you are and what you can offer.
Google knows everything!
In today’s job market, many employers will conduct an online search of potential employees prior to scheduling an interview, with online portfolios ranking among the top things they search for.
While this may seem daunting, it’s comforting to know that you can have complete control over what appears on the first page of your search results.
Rather than potentially unprofessional images from your social media or personal life, it’s important to ensure that your online presence presents a professional image that showcases your story and skills. This can include social media posts, articles you’ve written, and most importantly, an online portfolio that highlights your best work.
By curating your online presence and featuring your professional portfolio front and center, you can create a positive first impression for potential employers and demonstrate your expertise in your field. This can increase your chances of securing an interview and ultimately landing the job.
It builds trust
Establishing trust is crucial in any professional relationship, and a personal website is a highly effective way to do this prior to meeting. By showcasing an established and cohesive collection of work and processes, a website can paint a comprehensive picture of your experience and skill set.
When sharing a link to your work with potential schools, employers, or clients before meeting them, you create a sense of trust and familiarity that sets the foundation for a much more successful and productive interview.
Your website is your virtual storefront. It’s open to millions of people every day, and everything you present on it shapes how people perceive you and your work.
It’s content has a direct impact on the awareness and perception of you as a designer, and therefore, your website is the primary tool for establishing and maintaining your brand image.
Invest in high-quality content and make your website as engaging and informative as possible to attract a global audience.
Build a brand
Online portfolios serve not only to showcase past experience but also to establish personal branding. Your portfolio presents an opportunity to define the public image you want to project and how you achieve that through your work.
Personal branding is an important way to establish yourself as a leader and industry expert and to distinguish yourself from the competition. While your skills are valuable, schools and employers also want to see who you are as a person, your passions, work process, collaborative skills, and how you approach creativity.
Your website allows you to showcase what sets you apart from the millions of other students and professionals that your prospects can choose from. By emphasizing your unique strengths and creative approach, you can establish a strong personal brand that resonates with potential employers and clients.
Sharing your ideas and work online through a website can be a powerful tool for building your reputation and gaining recognition in the profession. While the benefits may not be immediately obvious, sharing your content can increase awareness of yourself and your brand – which can lead to a significant boost in reputation.
Throughout your architecture career, you will invest a significant amount of time and energy into creating projects, concepts, graphics, drawings, and writings.
Instead of allowing these projects to gather dust in a drawer, consider sharing them online, and use them as leverage to stand out.
A website not only allows you to intentionally share your work with potential prospects, but also makes you more discoverable in general. In today’s digital age, it’s likely that anyone you come into contact with on a professional level will search for you online.
An online presence extends the reach of traditional methods such as printed portfolios and resumes, allowing anyone to discover your work at any time, from any device, and from anywhere.
Show your personality
Your portfolio is what sets you apart from the competition. It allows you to showcase the unique qualities and values that make your work special. By sharing your mission, design approach, and aspirations, you can create an engaging and personal experience for visitors.
Use imagery to provide a glimpse into your working methods, and differentiate yourself with compelling and authentic content.
An online portfolio is a business card
Say you want to apply to an internship program or plan to send in your resume for that dream position at a firm. A digital portfolio is an excellent addition to your CV and current internet presence.
Considering that most employers do a background check on potential employees before calling them in for an interview or hiring them, having your website will elevate your pitch tremendously.
Likewise, potential prospects are also more likely to be impressed and consider your application if they see that you have taken the time to build an online portfolio. It allows you to present your work the way you want and reflects your aesthetic in the context you wish to.
Lastly, an online portfolio is an excellent timesaving tool. Considering how busy the current climate is, looking closely through resumes and social media profiles is not at the top of most people’s priority lists.
A website is like a one-stop-shop for everything: your background, achievements, and best works. Plus, it shows a degree of awareness from your side and the desire to make people’s lives a little easier.
To sum up…
If you stuck with us until the end, thank you! … but hopefully you can now see the benefit of owning your own platform, and feel confident that building and maintaining your own website is a good investment of your time.
In two days time we’ll start putting all this into action and discuss how to create a simple and successful portfolio website. …With the aim of eliminating the need to use third party hosting platforms, and ultimately increasing your chances of obtaining an interview!
In the meantime please feel free to ask any questions by directly replying to this email or by leaving a comment below.
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