How To Use Free Social Media To Create A Compelling Online Portfolio
If you want to work in the creative industries it is pretty much required that you have a strong and arresting online presence. Competition is so fierce that even the most impressive resume is no longer enough to get your foot in the door.
However, although sites like WordPress and Square Space allow you to build attractive web presences, even if you have minimal web design or programming experience, they also charge a bundle for server space. Although the cost per month might not feel like it will break the bank, if you’re searching for employment, every penny counts. Fortunately there are many social media outlets that don’t cost anything at all, and their effects can be just as impressive.
So, how do you use sites like Tumblr and Pinterest to build a strong and unusual online presence? Here are some top tips.
- Consider Tumblr Carefully
Tumblr isn’t just a content curation site, it also offers up a number of esoteric ways to present yourself that forego the more traditional website layout. Even if you have no programming skills at all, Tumblr’s well-designed templates allow you to customise your site to an intricate degree. Tumblr is especially useful for designers, illustrators and graphic artists as it acts as a ever-changing mood board and permanent access to your work. Tumblr gives you access to 6 static pages and you can use these for information and images that you want to remain constant, like a CV or selections from your portfolio. Be warned however, the one thing Tumblr is not so good at is handling large swathes of text, especially if you start getting fancy with the formatting. Internet Explorer is especially good messing up your intricate CSS work. So, unless you’re a whizz with front end web design, keep your text brief and let the visuals speak for themselves.
An additional option is to make your CV a downloadable PDF or to design something fancy and heavily textual in a different free blogging platform like Blogspot. Be sure to take care however, that your Tumblr and Blogspot ‘chime’ with each other both visually and thematically. It would also behove you to move as far away as possible from the Blogspot ‘look’ as possible – hide the branding and recognisable menus. The idea is to show your ingenuity on a shoe-string, not to call attention to the blogging platform.
- Utilise different media
It’s worth taking a few chances and being experimental with a number of different approaches. Take a look at this guy:
This fellow, by name of Grahame Anthony, sent this video direct to PR companies, including Now, in terms of his experience and charisma, what he’s offering is impressive but not especially unique. Instead, what’s incredibly compelling about his resume is the manner and chutzpah with which he delivered his credentials. Even if you don’t usually work with video or illustration, it’s worth considering whether or not you can draft in friends to help your online presence stand out from all the rest. The best strategy is to use a service where content is easily shareable: youtube, tumblr, Vimeo etc. so that the potential reach for your work is as far as you can possibly make it.
- Edit edit edit
Even if you’re relatively new to the world of work – perhaps you’re looking for the first of many marketing graduate jobs, it’s important that what you decide to display on your website/blog/whatever is absolutely the best work that you can do. So many new job-seekers mistake quantity for quality and although you might have the breadth of experience a more seasoned applicant might have, you can absolutely prove your taste-level, skill and editorial nous by showing only the best stuff. To fill in the gaps, you can take recruiters ‘behind the scenes’ and talk about any creative or business decisions that you made when executing your work.
- Target specific employers on all fronts
So many businesses are extremely web-savvy. It’s often the case that they have multiple online identities.. Be sure to research your chosen company and connect with every media outlet they provide. Don’t just be a follower: retweet, reblog, recontextualise their content with an assiduous repin on Pinterest…prove that you’re aware of all aspects of the company’s web presence and that you’ve the invention to take their work to the next level.
Darlene McIntock specialises in job-seeking advice and social media. She writes for Brand Republic