Imagine: you’re a marketing professional. You’re starting out your job search and have a lot of nice things (probably too many) to say about yourself. You’ve filled your cover letter with keyword-packed copy, synonyms for “high-achieving,” and have emphasized your ability to organize, achieve results, and communicate properly. You hit the end of the page and feel like your message is still incomplete.

Enter: your website. 

The Key to Job Search Success

Busting through the spacial constraints of a cover letter, a URL is a one-line, information-packed resource that exemplifies what you do best: marketing. But, in this case, the subject is *yourself*.  

Look beyond the outdated concept of a portfolio as a vehicle limited to the traditional, cookie-cutter profession of “artist,” and open your eyes to the value an online portfolio can bring to a marketing position. We have some tips for getting started.

Skip the PDF.

Besides the fact that (we’ll say it) “You can do better!”, many of our employers aren’t accepting PDF attachments or links to more community-based sites like Behance, Dribbble, or Google Sites. Do your work a favor and present the full package. Consider the importance of digital presence in all areas of marketing these days, and stake your claim on a little corner of the world wide web to pitch yourself. Sites like Squarespace, Cargo, or Wix make it easy to set up a site within minutes. 

Be intentional about the work you show.

When considering if you should include a project in your portfolio, think about what it is saying about you. Is this an example of your ability to collaborate? Your excellence in digital marketing? Your flawless copywriting skills? Include samples of all types of work (social media experience, blog posts, etc.) and if you're well-versed in different industries, make sure that's represented. A well-rounded portfolio should convey all facets of your expertise, but don't feel compelled to include everything you've ever done. Displaying three solid examples that speak to your professional qualities will go much farther than an abundance of smaller, less focused examples. 

Develop a personal brand.

It doesn’t have to be eye-roll-y or complicated. If you’re in the business of marketing, you understand the weight placed on a first impression (sometimes the only impression, right?!), and your own site is no the place to skimp on branding. What kind of company are you looking to join? Borrow pieces of their branding. A familiar aesthetic will easily translate to a perfect fit when you have the opportunity to meet with them. Be intentional about your desired industry and align with that style (e.g. skip a hokey cartoon avatar if you're looking to land a position in the finance/insurance industry). Cohesive and intentional use of colors, fonts, and layouts across your portfolio will communicate an attitude of confidence towards your career, a valuable way to make a lasting impression. 

Include context with all of your work.

When planning your portfolio, invest in writing explanations for each project, touching on your role, input, and analysis. Potential employers seek evidence of an informed and well-developed thought process, so describe the evolution of the project as well as your method for measuring success. As for team-based projects, don’t limit yourself to displaying only solo work. Rarely does a marketing professional work alone - there are always colleagues and teams supporting your work.

Keep your work updated, and your images clear.

These feel more like housekeeping suggestions, but they need to be said. There is nothing – we repeat, nothing – more indicative of someone's lack of attention to detail than pixelated images. If your portfolio hosting website has updated its template, do a quick audit to ensure your images still appear properly on desktop and mobile. Make sure your images are crystal clear, easy to understand, and explained in captions or text. Maintaining an updated portfolio is critical for quick movement when an opportunity arises, and puts your best foot forward. 

An online portfolio for a marketing professional is an incredibly valuable tool for self-promoting, establishing credibility and building confidence for a potential hire. It’s still novel enough to help you stand out from a crowd, and in many cases can be a foundation for negotiating higher pay. 

Posted: 2/16/2023 12:15:38 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments