How to make a flawless tech portfolio for your job applications
Having an amazing portfolio is a job-hunting essential, especially in tech. Whether you’re a budding developer, salesperson or analyst, you need to show off your work to all your potential employers.
Having a tech portfolio will instantly make you a more competitive applicant – but how do you make one? And what should you include?
This blog is a tech portfolio master post – use it as a checklist to create something really spectacular.
What Site Should I Use?
This one is down to personal preference. There are so many ways to create a tech portfolio, but the most effective way is to build a website.
What better way to prove that you can code, or analyse data, or sell yourself?
Make sure that you have enough customisation options – and preferably – access to the code. This is your chance to showcase your projects, yes, but this is also a project in itself. Make it well.
What Does a Portfolio Need?
Tell Your Story
Let’s start with the basics. Make sure to include a handy ‘About Me’ section for employers to read.
If you’re not a writer, this bit can be hard, but it’s so worth it. By telling a story about your life and what led you to this career path, you’re really adding some personality to your portfolio. The person looking at it will probably be able to relate, and they’ll feel closer to you.
It doesn’t have to be an essay – or even a page of writing. Just a few lines about why you’re driven and passionate about your work is all it takes to make something compelling and personal.
If you’re feeling brave, add a picture of yourself.
This is the ultimate way to make your application stand out – you’re not just a CV to them anymore, you have a face. A face that will hopefully stand out.
It doesn’t have to be a professional headshot, but make sure you’re looking clean, professional and happy in your picture. It will make all the difference.
While we’re talking about your story, make sure you include all your qualifications.
I’m talking courses outside of school and university – show people that you’re qualified and driven to learn. If you’re struggling to find what courses to take, we have a blog post on software developer training courses, and loads of free courses on the DigitalGrads Academy.
Let’s talk about the most important part of your portfolio – your work.
There’s so much different advice on what you should and shouldn’t include in your work sample, but we really believe in making something special.
There’s no point in uploading every random project you’ve created – so be selective. Include the projects that you’re really proud of. Remember that employers might be looking at 50 portfolios a day – make yours memorable.
Showcase your unique, creative work. Include projects you completed on your own and as part of a team – employers love seeing evidence of good teamwork.
If you’re struggling to find enough projects to fill up a portfolio, our coding experience blog post is sure to help any budding developers out.
Employers also love seeing different things, so show us some variety!
If you want to get a job in coding, include some examples of other things too. Employers want to hire people with lots of skills in lots of different areas, so don’t be afraid to branch out and try something new.
This is another persuasive page you just have to add.
Testimonials are a great way to show employers just how great you are, without bragging. Ask your classmates, teachers, previous employers and teammates to write a little bit about how it was to work with you.
Odds are, they will only say good things.
Make sure you give their names and job titles, too, to really add some weight to the nice things they’re saying about you.
Links and Info
Finally, we’re onto finishing touches.
One thing that people always forget that’s just unforgiveable, is contact info. How are people going to tell you that your portfolio got your hired without it?
Your website needs your email address to be successful. Even if this is already on your CV, it has to be here, too.
Make sure you also add any of your more professional socials on here. If you’ve got a Twitter or LinkedIn account where you talk about industry news, add it.
This is also a great time to talk about starting a blog.
I know, I know, it’s scary. I’m a writer and it took me ages to start one, but it’s such a valuable tool. Consider making one and adding a link to it in your portfolio.
You never know, it might even be fun.
Before you send your portfolio off, please check that everything looks good.
Simply having a website that has no broken links is an achievement, so make sure everything works!
Once you’ve created your killer tech portfolio you can use it to apply for amazing roles in the tech industry with DigitalGrads. We have a unique selection of roles and a special section on your profile for your new portfolio.