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More than a resume: The Growing Demand for Digital Portfolios

Develop and promote your professional presence on paper and online. You have the advantage of being more than a 1 dimensional resume when applying to jobs or internships. Inspired by a story of a UX/UI designer whose digital resume went viral, consider how online tools can bring your skills, experience and education to life.

Creativity can play a big role in professional applications for jobs or internships. This refers to resume design, portfolio organization, logo creation, and more. Creating a custom and creative resume design or digital portfolio still needs to be easy to read, provide solid details and incorporates your own unique vision.

Is a creative resume appropriate for your industry?

If you are applying to an industry or company that does not have a creative emphasis in the work they do, you might want to avoid a detour from a more traditionally formatted resume.

Pro tip: Limited creative pieces can help you stand out without the entire document being focused on the creative elements. A touch of color, creative header layout or other ways are simply ways to incorporate creative design without overwhelming the document.

Don’t limit your creative expression to just a resume, expand to a digital portfolio

Pro tip: Customize your template and design with your own vision

My biggest critique of “creative” resumes or portfolios is when you really didn’t design them. If you are presenting a creative resume or digital portfolio, it should be your own ideas brought to life using your own skills. Shortcuts here lack the ability to sell the very thing you are trying to promote and commonly used formats are easily recognizable to professionals who view applications regularly.

You should go get inspired by others. I have seen some awesome examples on The Muse, Pinterest, LinkedIn and other sites that both impressed me and gave me ideas I could build from. Websites like Wix, Squarespace and WordPress give you lots of templates or themes to choose from. It’s fine to start there, but customize, personalize and unite all your application materials with common colors, design elements and messaging. Make it your own, and make it fit your style.

Is your resume/website still easy to read and captures important details?

Any easy mistake to make when incorporating design into your resume or digital portfolio is to sacrifice details for the sake of design, but the details are often critical information to share with an employer. Never lose the information that would be valuable in sharing your details, skills, or specifics that make your experiences unique and comprehensive. If you post an image of your work, include a description that included the technology and tools you used, project constraints or instructions, and other details. In the future when working with clients, budgets and deadlines, it's important to show how you can work within the scope of a project. Don’t give too much of the resume page to a graphic or logo that you lack space for descriptions of your work and list of your skills.

Pro tip: Infographic resumes look cool but rarely work to clearly share detailed information.

Use a variety of media in multiple locations

Use videos, images, logos, and other mediums to showcase your talent and skills, try to diversify your media or choose media inline with your industry.

Pro tip: LinkedIn profiles can also include uploaded media, unique pictures or background images as way to bring creativity to your page.

Be cohesive and consistent

Colors, theme, and flow are important. If an employer view your resume, website and LinkedIn page will they feel the pieces unite and flow together? Are you branding yourself in a way that pulls all the documents and website work together? This can be as simple as a consistent font, design theme and color pallet.

Pro tip: If you expect to work with clients it also may be important that you demonstrate the variety of ways you can bring someone else’s vision to life.

Check out some additional resources

Digital Portfolio Resources on Handshake

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