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Simple yet extremely effective portfolio pieces

We work with a lot of people who have just finished a boot camp.

It seems like they get to the end.... and then - they think "Now it's time to build a portfolio."

This usually ends up mirroring what they think a 'portfolio' is, but it's becoming a bad pattern.

Your portfolio is your work!

Your "portfolio" is the work. It's the actual work you have. and YES you can make a nice brochure site that can house the index/links to those projects. But - most recruiters we know - aren't going to dig around in your 4 CRUD Github repos and try to figure out if you know what you are doing.

The technical people probably wont either. They might pick out a little area and look at it. For example, maybe they'd look around for some HTML to be sure you can write it. Then - look at your CSS approach. Then look at your library and framework choices - and what people really want to know - is your problem-solving style.

So - just give them what they want!

Explain why you're the person they want to hire

Show them your problem solving. And you don't need 4 CRUD apps.

Check out Cassie's site:

She loves fun animation. She has an insane attention to detail. She knows how to write about her work. She knows how to talk about her work. But - look at the work! It's mostly just her logo - and a few well-documented experiments. It's awesome. It really does the job. If I was going to hire a super rad person to make super fun animations - and I needed to trust them to use best practices and / basically - just be the best person for the job ---- well? There you go. She's selling herself with ease.

You can do the same type of thing with a handful of CodePens and some writing about your process.

We made this quick example to make our point:

and seriously it has to have a mobile-first / small-screen-first 'responsive' layout... or it shows you aren't aware of the state of the web. Probably 80% of the traffic is going to be phones... so, don't think of "responsive" as something you just do later. It's deeply connected to the entire process of UX and content strategy - and design.

It's worth 10 minutes ^ to switch your mindset.

Pick the job you want - then just prove you're the person for the job

Show off the things that are unique about you - instead of trying to fit the "general developer" suit. Write about your work. Explain your thinking process. That'll be a lot easier to understand than a repo. (of course it all depends on the role you are going for)

Pick the job you want. Make the things that show your passion for that job. Meet some people who work there. Ask them what they are looking for. Add a few more pieces to prove your value. Then - tell them you're ready to come to work.

And hey... consider using plain ol HTML instead of some over-the-top React situation where we can't see any of your markup or decision making, and there's no metadata, and it isn't crawl-able...

Show them that you write great code. Keep the frameworks for specific framework specific things.

If you want a guide -- we've got a few spots left in our March 1st Session of "Design for The Web"

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