Showcase your work while building a personal brand.

The skills you’re learning today on your school’s yearbook or student media staff can have enormous real-world application. A photo editor might one day own a photography business. Graphic skills can transform into careers in advertising or digital marketing. Social media content created to help sell yearbooks is extremely valuable as more and more companies understand their need for a social presence. With digital portfolios on the rise, there’s no better time than now to start building your own brand with a personal website.

So where should you start? There are many free web development platforms available today including Wix.com and Squarespace. Dunked even caters specifically to portfolios for creative types. If becoming proficient in WordPress is on your bucket list, you may look into building a site using the tools they provide.

 

What do I put in my portfolio?

A great portfolio inspires and informs your audience.  Show off your best yearbook spreads or infographic designs. Capture attention with stunning photography. Entertain with a video project. Leave readers inspired with a well-written feature story. Adding a personal blog gives your audience insight into who you are as a person. Tailor your portfolio to your strengths, and don’t forget to keep it up to date with new and fresh content.

 

Proceed with Caution.

Be mindful of the personal information you make public on the internet. Most websites allow for generic “Contact Me” buttons to keep your email and phone number out of the hands of potential spammers. Consider linking to your social media pages as an alternative contact method. (And it’s a great way to show off your skills and connect with other socially savvy audience.)

 

Get a jumpstart on your future.

Regardless of your future career ambitions,  a personal brand instills confidence, helps you hone your craft, and allows you to make mistakes that may go unnoticed before you’re applying for your dream job five years from now. Plus, having a digital portfolio gives you an impressive advantage over someone with twice your experience vying for the same job or internship.

 

Be Inspired!

Not sure what your site should look like? Here are 16 beautiful examples from The Muse’s  “Best Personal Websites of 2016″ contest.