How To Create a Career Portfolio Without Work Experience

By Chisimdi's blog - September 13, 2020

A portfolio is like the face of your career. It’s a collection of your best work experiences that convinces prospective clients or employers that you are the best guy for their project.

Instead of telling them you can get the job done, your portfolio is an evidence that SHOWS them you have the capacity to get the job done.

As a creative, sending your portfolio even when it hasn’t been requested for can help you can the confidence of prospective customers or clients, especially if your portfolio is excellently complied.

Why you should have a portfolio 

It makes you look more professional and credible

Having a portfolio helps the prospective client or employer have confidence in you as someone who understands their profession. It persuades them and makes them believe that you can be trusted with their project.

Not only are you telling them you can get the job done, but your portfolio is also showing them you have done similar jobs in the past and how you did it.

It promotes your talents and skills

Your portfolio is a collection of your most flattering work samples. It promotes your skills and talents. For instance, if you are a writer, your portfolio will contain samples that show your writing skills.

No matter what your career is, your portfolio will contain samples of work you have done and thereby promotes your talents and skills.

Easier way to demonstrate your skills

A portfolio is a straightforward way to show your skills. You know your capacity and how good you are. However, prospective employers and clients do not. How then do you show them?

By sending your portfolio! It clearly shows your skills and how you have been able to use them to execute their project. In cases when you want to get a client or employer, showing them what you can do is always better than just telling them what you can do.

Increases your chances of getting hired

There’s a high chance that your prospective employer or client is interviewing other people who have the same skill you do. They obviously want to work with the best guy.

Your portfolio gives you an edge over others. It shows your best work and thereby increases your chances of getting shortlisted and hired.

Helps filter the right clients 

Every prospective client or employer is not right for you. Some have projects that do not align with your skills and abilities. If you end up working with people like this, more often than not, it doesn’t end well.

For instance, if you are a designer who focuses on creating graphics for social media branding, you may not be the right guy for a client looking for designers for a book cover. If you do not realize this and work with the client, it will not end well as there is a conflict of interest.

When prospective clients or employers go through your portfolio, it helps them decide if you are the right fit. They see the kind of work you do, and if that’s not what they are looking for, it saves you both the disaster waiting to happen.

Your portfolio helps filter clients that align with your vision and abilities, from those who don’t. 

But what if you don’t have the experiences to include in a portfolio. THEN WHAT?

If you just learnt a new skill or haven’t had a client yet? How do you create a portfolio?

Here’s how:

Assign yourself projects and complete them. If you are a freelance article writer, for instance, and you are looking for clients or employers, give yourself various articles topics and write them.

If you are a graphic designer, give yourself graphic design projects. Create logos, social media graphics, and other projects that align with your niche.

If you are a social media manager, implement your social media management strategies on your personal page or create new social media pages and grow them with your skills.

If you are a web designer, video editor, photographer/videographer, artist, give yourself projects that align with your career and the kind of clients you want to work with, and complete the project.

Not only will this help you build your portfolio. It will also help you build your skill. It’s a win-win!

Now that you’ve created some projects, what next?

Create your portfolio!

Now that you’ve ‘created work experiences,’ go ahead and create your portfolio. 

Ideally, a portfolio should contain but not only,

• Who you are

Your biographical information needs to be represented. Your prospective client or employer definitely wants to know what your name is, and basic information about yourself.

However, be mindful of not putting out unnecessary information.

• What you do

This is where you introduce your career or business story. It’s here you give a detailed explanation of what you are about, and what you are focused on. Clearly say what your niche is and how you successfully execute projects assigned to you.

Sell yourself.

• Your skills

State the skills you have. Again, in a way that sells you.

• Resume

• Education & Certification

Include your education, awards, accomplishments and certifications that further shows that you are good.

• Samples of your work

This is the main point of the portfolio. Include a collection of your best works. You can attach them directly to your portfolio or include links that lead to them.

Do what works more for the kind of work you do. If you are unsure about this, search Google for portfolio samples of people in your niche.

• Contact information

Include your email address, phone number, or however you want to be contacted.

Platforms to create your portfolio on for free (creatives)

Behance (Designers)

Adobe Portfolio (Designers)

Dribble (Designers)

Blogger (Writers)

WordPress ( Writers & web developers/developers)

Wix (Web designers)

Carbonmade (illustrators & graphic designers)

The freelancer by Contently (Freelance creatives)

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