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How To Create An Online Career Portfolio If You’re Not A Designer

A graphic design with a lot of words.

We’ve talked before about the importance of keeping track of your accomplishments, but knowing your successes is only half the battle. You also have to be able to share your work and achievements with potential employers and sometimes, carrying a binder of your grant reports just won’t cut it.

Designers and writers often have professional-looking portfolios, both online and offline, that showcase their work and successes. But what if you are not inherently a creative professional? How can you show off your work and visually demonstrate what you do?

Ideally, an online portfolio allows you to send a link to a prospective employer or interested individual that gives a glimpse into the work that you do. It can be as robust as a full-on website, as hip as a Tumblr with your own photos and videos, or as simple as a Storify page with links to blog posts you wrote.

Here are some ideas for what you can put in an online portfolio and where you can display them online.

What to include

Obviously, if you are a content creator at your organization—blogger, video producer, photographer, designer—you can easily figure out what to include in your portfolio: e-newsletters, blog posts, videos, photo displays. But what if your job isn’t as visually appealing?

If you’re on the events team, document your activities and events with photos and collect news articles or blogs about the functions. If you handle social media activities, save exciting and engaging Twitter conversations that you moderated, or posts that did really well on Facebook. Monitor your fan and follower growth and keep track of any busy weeks where engagement spiked.

On the fundraising team? Create a round-up of each big project you helped support. Were you an integral part of raising money for the organization’s expansion campaign? Keep news articles or press releases about major donor contributions, pull together information about the donations you solicited personally, and show how the funds you raised were helpful to the organization.

In any profession, you should ask yourself a few key questions:

How to display it

If you want to display news articles and photos that are available online, try using a site like Storify or to bring them all together. You can send one link to interested parties, and they can see all the content related to whatever event, project, or activity you planned or hosted or supported.

Use free data visualization tools to create a chart showing Facebook fan page growth or information about donations you solicited. Computerworld has a robust list of options. Try a site like, to make a visual representation of a Twitter conversation or news coverage about the event you produced. The image above came from a Wordle of’s blog. A site like TweetReach will not only let you see how far a certain hashtag or link was spread, but it also showcases the data in a visual format. Here’s an example with the hashtag #IdealistCareers:

Where to keep it

Online portfolio sites such as BehancePortfoliobox, and CarbonMade work well for showcasing visual images. You can always turn to Tumblr to create a site with a combination of links, photos, videos, and text, or work to create your own website, using free or paid tools. And if you have tweets, Instagram photos, Facebook posts, and other online content, you can also create a Storify storyshowing them off in one place. Sites like are great for creating simple personal websites that link to other key profiles.

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