Do I Really Need A Portfolio Website?
Last week I finally got around to creating my portfolio website.
When researching software developer portfolios, there are many examples online and a lot of information on how to make one and what you should and shouldn't include. But why should I make one? Do I really need one? Truthfully, I had been putting it off. I didn’t see real value in making it. Would I just be putting more useless content out into the internet? There is already so much clutter out there. How is it going to be different than my resume? It will end up having most of the same content anyway. Lastly, I am not a UX designer, and I prefer back-end to front-end software development anyway. Why spend so much time on making a pretty website?
To answer these questions, I started to do some research on how a portfolio can be beneficial to you if you are looking for a new job position.
5 Reasons Why You Need A Software Developer Portfolio as A Junior Developer
1. Showcase Your Skills
Your portfolio is a great opportunity to show off your abilities as a web developer. For this reason, I recommend not using a pre-existing website-building service and focus on coding your website on your own. If you are looking for a job as a developer, why not show potential employers what you can design, code, and build! This is even more important if you are pursuing a role that is primarily front end or design-oriented. It will show future employers your eye for UI/UX and the portfolio site itself will serve as a portfolio piece.
2. Great for Presentations
A portfolio site is a great tool when presenting. I made my site because I had a job interview coming up and they wanted to discuss my portfolio. I figured it would be best to do the presentation with a website. This would allow me to present more easily to multiple people. People are visual, and looking at a site that has been designed to highlight your achievements is much more pleasant than looking at a resume of just text. Pictures tell a thousand words and showing videos or pictures of your projects will speak volumes.
3. Show Your Personality
Your portfolio is one of the few places where you get an opportunity to show personality. Have you tried showing personality on a resume? Not only is that not easy, but it's also not the place. This is a chance to show employers a side of you that doesn’t come through on a resume or Linkedin. Show them your humor, show them your aesthetic, invite them into your mind, and sell them on the fact that you are a great person to work with.
4. Helps Build Your Online Presence/Brand & Good For Sharing
Having a website portfolio is a great way to build your online presence. You want employers to be able to look you up and see you have established yourself as a developer. It’s important to be visible.
A clean portfolio site can make networking and introductions more effective since it is something concrete that's shareable. Recruiters especially appreciate having something that's easy to pass along. It's one place that summarizes your achievements, roles you are seeking, and has a few personal details. Your portfolio site can be to a cover letter the way LinkedIn is to a resume. Make sure to include it in all your emails to your network.
5. It Can’t Hurt
The most compelling case to make a portfolio website while looking for work is, “Why not?”. It doesn't take much time to put together a clean design with good content. I finished my portfolio in a week. If there's a chance that having this portfolio might help, then why wouldn't you do it!? Looking for work is tough, and even tougher during a pandemic. And in this endeavor, laziness will not do. You have to be scrappy, put in the full effort, and try everything!
I built my portfolio in the span of one week. I used React to make the static website and used GitHub pages for hosting. I found it was a good exercise in design and CSS since I made sure the experience was pleasant on mobile and desktop. It also had me collect my achievements and consolidate them in one place. I highly recommend junior developers looking for a job to create their own portfolio online!