How to Build a Contemporary and Engaging Digital Portfolio

February 7, 2020
Job Seeking

Whether your skills are in UX or UI design, copywriting, account management, or graphic design, having a portfolio that accentuates your skills, perspective, and achievements will only improve your chances of hearing from an interested recruiter or employer. Let these insights supercharge your portfolio's potential!


Before getting into the nuts and bolts of building your website, start by thinking about what you want to convey.

Many recruiters, though not all, are often in a rush, and look for those who can communicate efficiently; highlighting your area of expertise will help them quickly understand why you applied to a role and the value you bring.

  1. As a UX designer, guide visitors through your process and your contributions to projects that would require excess space on your résumé or CV.
  2. If you’re a UI designer, discuss why you chose your palette and the font for your product. What were the results of these choices?
  3. Copywriters are like audience whisperers—each word is weighed between a brand’s tone and the audience you’re targeting to create action. Let those words do the talking.
  4. How you hit your key performance indicators as an account manager proves your capability to retain or draw new clients.
  5. What was it about your client's brand that inspired your graphic design? What does the finished product look like?

Once you’ve decided on your objectives, you’re ready to begin creating!


Less text is best, excluding your examples.

Visuals complement minimal written content.

Write short sentences after a long one.

A simple, clean navigation bar should sit horizontally up top.

Include a large, unmissable call-to-action button for emails or downloading your résumé at the top.

Keep pages to a minimum.

Add bullets where appropriate.

Add a link at the end of each case study that takes viewers to your next example.

We form our first impressions of a website in 0.05 seconds. In that time, a color palette and layout that represent you is your chance to capture those eyes.

There is no standard look to go for. Building your website is like shopping for your digital living room without too many budget constraints. Paint it and furnish it as you desire while aiming for cleanliness and presenting your authentic voice.

These free website builders can do a lot of the heavy lifting:


Include eight to 12 examples of your work (jump to the last paragraph if you have fewer!), a brief ‘About Me’ with your contact information, and a copy of your résumé or CV.

If you want to add a contemporary twist, a chatbot is a unique tool that invites recruiters to drop you a line.


Many job applications will give you the option of including a link to your portfolio. If you don’t see one or if you’re sending your application via email, add the URL to your résumé. Depending on how much space your URL takes up, use Bitly or Hootsuite to shorten it.

Attach the link to your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Soundcloud, TikTok, or VSCO account. Wherever you’re active online, make sure people can find your work.

Portfolios present your skills in a way that CVs can't. They’re also easy to update.

When you don't have much experience, adding projects or course work from free online classes or volunteer roles to your site is a simple solution. No matter the breadth of your experience, be sure to show your work. It's vital for you and for the person who wants to hire you.

Happy building!