5 Things To Avoid In Your Digital Career Portfolio
Don’t be mistaken—portfolios aren’t just for artists, architects, and developers. Career portfolios are versatile enough to easily adapt to any industry or niche. Think of it as a journal documenting the most significant accomplishments and the challenges you’ve faced in your line of work. While, yes, portfolios are mostly geared toward those who work with visuals, in this case, we will examine them as collections of professional accomplishments that any expert can use to boost their career. These portfolios can be hosted on different platforms based on their intended usage, but let’s look at them as social media profiles for this article. Overall, we will highlight everything you need to avoid when crafting a digital career portfolio on social media while simultaneously exploring some of the best practices for your new endeavor.
A List Of Digital Career Portfolio Don’ts
Portfolios are a great companion piece to supplement a strong resume. While you don’t necessarily need to showcase visual work, it’s important to leverage material that caters to most senses. As such, digital career portfolios can accommodate any profession; however, you need to avoid some common mistakes if you want to get it right. It doesn’t matter if your portfolio is a product of pride or a chronology of your career path targeted to getting you that next challenge or opportunity.
1. Excessively Catering To A Broader Audience
The idea behind a digital career portfolio is that you establish yourself as an expert by using samples of your work and facts. Curating online content that is overly general misses the point of that intention. Do you know your target audience? To answer that question, you need to look inward and define your career objectives and how a portfolio is meant to aid in reaching them. Keep your entries original, niche-specific, and up-to-date with the current industry climate and market trends.
The business landscape is ever-changing, so updating your profile with specialized insights on current matters is essential to cultivate a solid following. Lastly, it’s crucial to point out past and upcoming targets of your career by using language that leverages your specific expertise; popularizing your entries will be beneficial to attract a broader audience, but it won’t get you the attention of fellow experts.
Publishing oversaturated content won’t help you establish yourself as an expert in your field, either. Original content is always best. By fully leveraging your background and expertise, you can provide valuable insights that illustrate your professional prowess and your passion for the field. Oversaturation, on the other hand, will make you get lost in the crowd. If you wish to stand out with your digital career portfolio, keep your entries interesting, specialized, and relevant. Curating content that has already been excessively investigated won’t demonstrate the value you bring to your field.
A digital career portfolio requires hours of work for personal branding, cultivating a following, and curating targeted content. Don’t let that work go to waste by reposting or creating content that can be interpreted as controversial. Keep your platform a safe space where integrity can thrive and kindness can flourish. Use neutral language for your more generic content and focus on your specialization throughout your platform; by fully concentrating on your professional goals, you can nurture an environment where knowledge can be freely dispersed and accessed, and peer-to-peer feedback can remain healthy and respectful.
Sharing too much personal information on your digital career portfolio kind of defeats the purpose. To avoid that, you need to define what content you consider essential for your growth and your platform and what content is best kept to your inner circle or personal accounts. Oversharing on social media is certainly a plague of the times, but it can easily be avoided by asking yourself the following questions:
- How is sharing this personal matter directly aligned with your professional goals?
- Can you illustrate the connection between this personal detail and your work?
- Is there a lesson learned from this experience that can help someone on a similar path?
Essentially, oversharing is a practice that can take the focus off the work for which you want to be recognized. Sometimes, however, sharing some aspects of a struggle or a challenge from your personal life can benefit your audience if it serves a specific purpose or if it’s intended to highlight a lesson.
5. Using Unverified Sources Or Copyrighted Works
It’s essential to make sure that every source you quote is reputable and possesses credibility. Using sources that cannot be verified by a simple online search contributes to creating low-quality content that may reinforce biased thinking or misinformation. Ensuring that you verify that your sources originate from credible, reputable websites and information hubs makes you credible and reputable in turn. Establishing your expertise in your field requires building said credibility carefully.
Another essential thing to avoid in your digital career portfolio is reproducing copyrighted content. Yes, that image would be perfect to accompany your newest entry, but do you have the right to use it? Research carefully what third-party elements you incorporate in your platform in order to avoid unnecessary risks that would damage your credibility or your reputation as a Subject Matter Expert. It only takes a few minutes to thoroughly research whether a work is copyrighted, fair use, or public domain.
As you embark on your professional growth journey, beware of falling prey to the abovementioned! Curating a cohesive and well-planned digital career portfolio requires investing a lot of time and a lot of research. You need to constantly be in touch with your career objectives and never lose sight of them. To compile a portfolio that fits your aspirations, it’s vital to gather experiences that can back up your expertise. There are dozens of course marketplaces out there to help you build niche-specific skills and grow professionally. Remember, a digital career portfolio can help you open many doors and substantiate your subject matter expertise, so make sure to use it wisely.