If you are marketing yourself, you need an online presence. Even if you don't have the time or skills to develop a sophisticated website, you can still create an effective online presence for yourself. This page will discuss several methods of creating web-based portfolios. It will also provide some thoughts about creating a PDF portfolio that you can email if necessary. Finally, at the bottom of the page, you will find some examples from Pitt students and alumni as well as guides that can help you create an effective online portfolio.
Before you start, take out your resume and your hard copy portfolio and do some planning. What do you want readers to see? Your resume sections may suggest the webpages that you can create. What examples will be compelling? If you are putting material online, you can include more examples (though you still want to choose the strongest and best examples that you have available). If you plan to instead create a PDF that you can email, you'll need to think about how large the file can be before it is cumbersome to email or download.
You have a lot of options for creating web-based portfolios.
LinkedIn. An easy step toward creating an online presence and making your resume and portfolio accessible to potential employers or customers is LinkedIn. If you are a PPW student, you are welcome to join the PPW Alumni group on LinkedIn during your final year before graduation (or any time afterward). LinkedIn offers both free and "pro" versions (the versions you pay for allow you to do more networking among people with whom you are not already connected). You can add applications that will allow you to share files (i.e., work samples), PowerPoint slides, and more on your profile page. LinkedIn offers a lot of networking possibilities, and your page will be searchable both within LinkedIn and via search engines like Google.
Free or low-cost user-friendly options. You can use existing website publishing platforms that are designed to allow you to quickly compose and publish webpages without the expense of purchasing design software.
Many of these sites will allow you to use your own domain name rather than the free one they provide, if you wish to have a URL that is easier for people to remember. A domain name costs less than $20 a year.
Sample Portfolios by Pitt Students and Alumni
- Briggs Brady’s site displays his variety of writing in professional and academic fields, demonstrating his organization and proficiency in Adobe and Microsoft products.
- James Evan Bowen-Gaddy’s site showcases his work from The Pitt News and Pitt Med Magazine, including stories following the Women’s March, crime stories within Oakland, and the 2017 inauguration.
- Erin McPherson’s site presents her writing regarding controversial topics such as abortion and environmental toxins, her research in cancer surgery, and her skills and social media presence.
- Kim Rooney’s site showcases her academic, professional, and creative writing as well as her experience in multiple magazines.
- Celia Millard’s site displays her work in photography and experience interning as an event coordinator for Hello Productions and marketing and communications for Phipps Conservatory.
- Nathan Deron's site showcases his governmental and nonprofit writing, along with many samples from his internship at Sampsonia Way.
- Brady Langmann's site showcases his journalistic pursuits with magazines, blogs, and papers.
- Shawn Cooke's site showcases various articles he has written about pop culture.
- Kelly Fomalont's site showcases her writing for volunteer and non-profit organizations.
- Michelle Reagle has created a site that showcases her writing, design, and art.
- Raechelle Landers designed a site that presents her resume and several examples of her writing for class, for an internship, and for The Pitt News.
- Alissa Persichetti's site shows off her professional and sport writing as well as her media work.
- Amelia Ohm's site presents her multimedia work as well as her writing, design, and photography.
- Amy Friedenberger’s site allows her to show off her writing and her work in multimedia.
- Vaughn Wallace has created a site that showcases his skill in photojournalism and his writing.
- Sarah Kotzman designed a sophisticated website that shows off her work in design, video, and photography.
Advice and Tips from Other Universities
- Some guidelines for developing online portfolios from Penn State University
- Michigan State University Guide to Digital Portfolios
- A list of platforms for developing your online presence from Columbia Journalism School