Throughout your collegiate career, you've likely amassed quite the collection of work: research papers, projects, slides, presentation handouts, summaries and critiques, graphics, video edits, and countless other items you completed for your classes, internships, or your own practice and gratification.

The lingering question, then, is, what do I DO with all of this stuff?

The answer, my friends, is simple—put it online! By storing your work (written, graphic, recorded, whatever!) in an online portfolio, you can give the outside world access to your skills, knowledge, expertise, and personal brand. Here are some basics to get you started, and as you work, you'll learn more about improving your layout, design, user experience, and content.

First, gather all of your work samples and consolidate them into one space; use Google Drive, upload to the iCloud, something to house it online, so you don't have to worry about an external hard drive failing. Save items as PDFs to maintain integrity, and use a scanner rather than trying to "Save As" or cut-and-paste for static items.

Second, choose a platform. Wix and WordPress are great options for beginners to develop their website. Both offer an excellent free service, with options for paid enhancements. Look at both and decide which feels more like your personal aesthetic.

Third, make some choices about your personal branding. What are the colors you're going to use (and stick with)? What's your signature font? What keywords are you going to incorporate consistently? What photos will appear, and how do they tie together? What's your "About Me" narrative going to say, and how does that promote you?

Fourth, create your individual portfolio pages on your website. Some good ones to have are "About Me," "My Work," (with subpages) "Contact Information," "Resume and Personal Statement" (the Career Center can help with these!), and "Inspiration," which showcases people, organizations, and places that help influence you. If you have a lot of artwork or photography to showcase, see if your platform has a gallery feature you can use. To showcase your video samples, consider uploading them to Youtube and embedding them into your webpage.

Once you've got all that ready, you're all set to begin building your online portfolio!

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