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Ready to Take Your Digital Marketing Portfolio to the Next Level?

Posted by Sarah Davis on November 29, 2016

So you've created a digital marketing portfolio - but how do you curate it further? By accepting that it's a work in progress and ever-changing.

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A knock-’em-dead digital portfolio - one that truly shows off everything you have to offer as a marketing professional - is a work in progress. In other words, while having a portfolio is important, it’s only the first step. So what comes next? Filling that portfolio with amazing elements which add up to tangible and irresistible evidence of your potential contributions to a marketing team.

**Don't already have a portfolio? Here's how to create one in 20 minutes or less**

Why You Need a Digital Portfolio

Think your resume is enough to convey your strengths as a marketing job candidate? Think again. The difference between a resume and a digital portfolio is a classic example of “show don’t tell.” While a resume details your background and experience, a digital portfolio transforms otherwise lifeless bullet points into tangible proof of what you have to offer.

A well-executed digital portfolio does everything from selling you as a candidate to proving that you can do everything you say you can. For example, you're a Social Media Coordinator and you've run several paid campaigns. Create a portfolio piece summarizing those campaigns and your accomplishments to demonstrate your experience. 

The takeaway? While it’s possible to land a job without a digital portfolio, failure to have one means missing out on an opportunity to distinguish yourself from the pack. Employers want to see results, not just words on a resume.

Curation is Key

Not all digital portfolios are created equal. In fact, what you choose to include in your digital portfolio is likely to change depending on the nature of each job to which you apply. We’ve already established that a good portfolio isn’t static, but that’s not all. In addition to evolving as you expand your skill set, a brilliant digital portfolio also adapts to each job description while simultaneously maintaining your brand identity.

Many entry-level marketers make the mistake of including sample after sample in their digital portfolios. Unfortunately, this attempt to “wow” often has the opposite result as most people don’t have the time to swift through massive amounts of materials. The only way to make sure employers see what you want them to see? Present them with exactly that and nothing more.

So how much is just right? According to a survey from the The Creative Group (TCG), eight is the magic number, although anywhere between seven and 10 samples is acceptable. As a simple rule of thumb, your digital portfolio should only include your very best work as it applies to the job at hand. These can include everything from writing, photography and video editing to integrated marketing campaigns and activities with measurable results.

Speaking of “measurable results,” how do you convey them in a digital portfolio? A multitude of digital tools and software programs exist aimed at helping you transform mere text into powerful infographics. For example, rather than simply relating how your innovative idea increased conversions by 25 percent, use graphics and other visual tools to showcase this achievement in the most compelling way.

Filling in the Blanks

Don’t have all of the materials you need at the ready? Create them. If this sounds easier said than done, we’ve got one word for you: internships. While most employers aren’t eager for employees to learn on their dime, internships offer access to new roles and responsibilities which would otherwise be closed to you. Simply put, there’s no better way to amass a body of work for your digital portfolio than an internship and real work experience.

Whether you’re starting cold from a resume or picking up where our 20-minute tutorial left off, choosing the right materials to include in your digital portfolio can be a career game-changer. So get cultivating and creating today! 

Stay tuned for our post in a few weeks on real examples of portfolios from entry-level marketers.

Want to build a portfolio with 3-5 years worth of work experience in only 12 months? Learn more about our intensive digital marketing apprenticeship program!

DCI Apprenticeship Program

Topics: For Recent Grads