Portfolio Tools and Advice - Part II

By Chelsea Bailey '16

Summer is a great time to work on your portfolio - and if
you're interested in design, having a platform to showcase your work is a necessity.   A
resume summarizes your work experience, but it doesn't provide unique examples
of your work.

At Olin, we understand that design and engineering work hand
in hand. Your portfolio is your opportunity to illustrate that you have strong
experience in both of these fields.

If you read Portfolios - Part I, then you have a good grasp on how to pick
content and what to include. The next step is deciding on a format. The list of
tools for developing an e-portfolio can seem overwhelming, so here are a few
PGP-recommended options:




WordPress is one of the best free blog-hosting sites. It can also be a
great way to make a portfolio! With a wide range of template options and  tools to customize them, WordPress is a great
option for someone who desires a professional look and feel, but does not have
the coding knowledge to assemble one from scratch.


Quick tip:

Check out the available WordPress
!  Plugins can be a quick and
easy way to make your site more visually interesting or interactive. It could
be that extra touch that makes your site more manageable/maneuverable.


For a great example of a portfolio made using only the free aspects of
WordPress, check out  Ben Chapman's ('14) portoflio.


Wordpress has a wide selection of preset themes, such as these 4 all designed with a portfolio use in mind. 


PDF / Dropbox

A popular option is to make a PowerPoint or Word document of your
portfolio and save it as a PDF.


PRO: You're using software
you've been familiar with for years. This process for assembling your portfolio
will be one of the easiest and most convenient.


CON: Your portfolio will be
missing some of the interactivity that websites allow for.


If you want an easy way to make this portfolio into an E-portfolio, just
add it to your public folder on Dropbox. You can then send this link to


Here is a great example of a PPT slide formatted to be a page in a portfolio

Credit: Portfolio of Pamela Darvirris '10




Interested in making your own website, but not ready for all of the work
and time it takes to put one together? Bootstrap is a website
framework developed by Twitter. You will still need to understand how html
works, but it will make the process both faster and easier.




Many Oliners will choose to write
code for their own websites. With a basic knowledge of html & CSS, JS, or
certain other languages, you can try making your own website from scratch. This
is a preferred option (if you know how to code) because it allows 100% customization. 



If you're not quite sure that the
first 4 options are for you, there are a large number of alternatives
available. The four mentioned here are merely the tip of the iceberg, free
portfolio sites that come highly recommended due to their ease of use and customizability.


These portfolio sites aren't just for artists! As engineers with design skills its just as important to showcase your past works.


Final tips:


For examples of some great portfolios, Olin
students and alumni can sign  in to their
 Olin JobFinder accounts,
where you will see portfolios made by Oliners in the document library under the
resources tab.


Add your portfolio's URL to your resume and
include it in your cover letters.


Make a hard copy, shorter version and bring it
with you to your interviews.


And a few thoughts on portfolios from '10 alum Greg Marra:


Thanks, Greg!

are good - use them!

existing tools vs custom

your portfolio to LinkedIn/GitHub/etc 

Posted in: From Our Staff, Job Hunt, Learning about Design