Creating an Online Portfolio


Today’s job market is considerably more competitive than ever. Jobs listed on sites like Indeed or Linkedin receive as many as 250 resumes during the first few hours they're posted. Maybe 5% of the applicants will get screened and invited for some form of interview.

Applying for Grants or Graduate School is equally competitive.

Most of the screening is conducted online; increasingly, hiring managers and graduate programs expect candidates to have an online portfolio as part of their application. Not only does a portfolio provide more insight to your personality, accomplishments and potential, it also intuits your having in-demand technical communications savvy and digital literacy skills.

Your life is dimensional, your resume or CV should be too.


This portfolio is about you. Now is not the time to be modest. It is the time to be honest about your skills, interests and potential.

Check out these two examples of portfolios below. Written using different platforms, they look similar and cover much of the same ground but are effectively personalized, insightful and direct in their messages.


Your portfolio should be a more in-depth, dimensional version of your resume. Highlight your life-experiences; demonstrate your intellect by combing classroom and professional experience. Consider that the content you include will prove your talent and skills.


  • a professional-ish headshot (show your personality)
  • a headline or personal pitch statement (what you can do; what you're looking for)
  • a brief bio (include hobbies, interests or interesting fact)
  • academic & professional highlights (awards, grants, jobs held)
  • samples of your work (papers, posters, websites, graphics, articles)
  • link to promo-reel; podcast or relevant publications
  • volunteer work
  • letters of recommendation
  • links to your professional social network
  • contact info

A moment on design.

Surely, the aesthetics of your portfolio are another opportunity to reflect your personality and skills. But don't let it eclipse your content. It should be in balance and legible. And, it should really only compliment, illustrate, and underscore your content. Use a simple palette (stick to one or two colors) and no more than two corresponding fonts. Leverage white space. Think less is more.

here are a couple other examples to review.

examine Roxine's portfolio. what do you see?

  • picture showing her personality
  • tagline
  • brief, witty bio
  • select samples of her work
  • blog & podcast
  • consistency of style, established aesthetic
  • contact info prominant

ORESTIS' ACADEMIC PORTFOLIO how is it different from Roxine's?

  • still shows his personality
  • is clear in its intent; showcases his experience
  • provides examples of his work
  • contact info and social network

more like an academic vitae


There are a ton of sites with templates and easy to make portfolios like Wix, Weebly, AboutMe, Squarespace. UNC has a license with Wordpress, we're going to show you how to get started with that.

Using WORDPRESS via tarheels.live

  • Go to https://tarheels.live
  • Click the blue Create Your Site button - login with your onyen UN & PW
  • Answer a few questions about what the site will be used form. Enter the site address (this should be your name if possible; i.e. VondaSmith - letters and numbers only)
  • Enter the name of your site (i.e. Vonda Smith's Portfolio)
  • Click Create Site button

Logging in to your site:

  • navigate to tarheels.live/yoursiteaddress/wp-login.php
  • log in with your onyen UN & PW
  • if you're new to WordPress, check out the Getting Started documents on the tarheels.live website
  • for more information - try Wordpress Codex, google or help.unc.edu.

WordPress Instruction and Support:

View full course WordPress instruction and tutorials on specific tools on the UNC Media & Design Center website:

Using Adobe Spark Pages via spark.adobe.com

  • Go to https://spark.adobe.com
  • Click the "Sign in" button in the top right corner of the page
  • Choose "Log in with school account"
  • Enter your UNC email address to sign in

Adobe Spark Pages Instruction and Support:

View instruction tutorials and guides on Adobe Spark on the UNC Media & Design Center website:


Get started as early as possible, you never know when the right opportunity will present itself and a rich, dimensional portfolio could land you that internship, first job, grant or spot in a master's program.



Created with images by Patrick Fore - "Macbook Pro on Blue showing Unsplash website" • Felicia Buitenwerf - "untitled image" • Eye for Ebony - "untitled image" • Stephen Phillips - Hostreviews.co.uk - "untitled image" • Mimi Thian - "untitled image" • Jon Tyson - "untitled image"