1) Tone of text

I have seen a large trend towards making your online portfolio more "people friendly" ie, conversational tone in the various descriptions of self and work

Any experience with potential employers seeing this as 'unprofessional?'

2) Content

What sort of content have you put up in the past? Have you limited it to your professional / hobbyist career? Do you include school projects?

3) Blog

Everybody and their brother seems to have a blog these days. But, if you are not an active contributor to the tech field (as would be the case for me), is there any point to putting such a thing up if I were to rarely update it with a few technical posts here and there?

4) Social presence

I can see the benefit of putting a link to my LinkedIn profile up, but I've also noticed many people also link to their Facebook / Tumblr / etc profiles. I would imagine that such would be simply for personal usage only, and possibly not relevant for a portfolio site.

I guess what I'm really interested in is to see what you guys think is relevant for your online presence. I have looked through many different types of online portfolios to see what's out there, and obviously each and every person has their own style.

So what do you think?

2 answers

Emily G 620
This was chosen as the best answer

You need to decide who your audience is. Are you applying for jobs at a web design firm or are you targeting Joe at the sandwich shop?

I prefer to freelance for web design firms so my portfolio is more of a technical bent. I talk about coding best practices, web standards and my experience in different languages and frameworks.

If you are marketing yourself to non-technical businesses, they want to know how you can improve their bottom line and help them make money. They don't care what language you use or if your web pages validate.

I include my personal projects as they tend to be more cutting edge than the ubiquitous 'sliced this PSD and coded it using HTML/CSS/jQuery' projects.

My portfolio's tone is conversational but I would make it more professional if I was marketing to Joe at the sandwich shop directly.

I don't have a blog. I think it is worse to have one languishing with a few old posts than not having one at all. I also don't have links to social networking as I don't see how my linkedin profile, facebook page or twitter account show what kind of web developer I am.

Answered about 9 years ago by Emily G

If's funny that you ask this because I'm in the middle of putting my own portfolio website together and have had the same thoughts as you. You decide the impression you want to make on people, so my advice is to be your own filter and just put what you want people to see. Think of it as a way to sample who you are, what you do, and what you have done. I personally believe pretty strongly in having a more "conversational" tone in your content. I think its a very appropriate tone on a portfolio website like what you're doing. You just don't want to sound like an idiot - some people overdo the "friendliness" and just end up sounding arrogant or something like that. Just type it how you speak it and then go back and touch it up and read it out loud to yourself to see what it sounds like to you. Also have your friends and family read it and have them tell you what they think.

I can see how some people would include links to their Facebook/Twitter pages and things like that, but I'm leaving mine out simply because I only use those for personal use. If I were interviewing for a job, I'm definitely giving them the link to my website but I really don't need them finding their way to my Facebook page and seeing my ridiculous photos and status updates (I have a strict policy against an employer hanging out on my facebook page just so they can get all over my ass about it). However, some people really take advantage of using Facebook and Twitter to promote their self and they probably have more "respectable" content on those pages, hahaha.

Basically, I'm putting a page that tells about who I am, what I do, and gives a quick and direct idea as to what I have to offer. I'm also putting a page that displays a sampling of notable projects that I have worked on in the past (and I'm showing off anything that could impress a potential employer). Next, I have a projects page that just shows off some personal projects that I've been working on (video games, javascript frameworks, other open source stuff, etc.). I'm probably going include a blog... but just because EVERYONE does it, doesn't mean you need to do it. Only start a blog if you feel like people really might care to read what you have to say. Lastly, I'm throwing in a simple contact form.

SO! Overall, do what you want and seek out the opinions of your friends and family. You get to control the impression you make on people and only you know what kind of presence you want to achieve and who you're trying to impress (be it a potential employer, colleagues, the ladies, etc.). Also, sorry if I typed way too much, haha. Good luck with it all.

Answered about 9 years ago by Matt Milburn