Whether you’ve just graduated from a coding bootcamp or are looking for a full stack developer job, you already know how important your portfolio is. Without one, your prospective employers won’t have any way to gauge your skillset. A robust full stack portfolio can set you apart from the other applicants that simply rely on their certifications or experience to get them through the door. If you want to stand out, there are a few essential items you’ll want to include in your portfolio. In this article, we’ll cover some of the most important things to include when building a full stack developer portfolio and explain why it’s so important to nail this step of the job-finding process.
A portfolio is a showcase of your experience and skills. In your resume, you’ve undoubtedly included lots of information about yourself, your knowledge, and your skills. Your portfolio is your most significant chance to demonstrate that what you say is true and to prove that you’re worth hiring. Managers and hiring officials carefully examine applicant portfolios to distinguish whether or not a candidate has what it takes to fill the job. You can use it more than a resume to demonstrate your strengths, and it’s a fantastic way to showcase your best achievements in your field.
A solid full stack developer portfolio can turn heads within a company, and your exciting and impressive projects can tip the scales and win you the job. Applicants are sometimes hired for positions they weren’t initially qualified for simply because their portfolio was eye-catching. All-in-all, a great showcase of your experience can work wonders for you in the hiring department.
A full stack developer portfolio isn’t a place to compile every project you’ve ever completed. While it may seem tempting, tossing in meaningless or unnecessary information inside a portfolio is likely to do more harm than good. Instead, pick a handful of related projects and narrow it down from there. You should only include projects and achievements that are relevant to the position you’re applying for, and each must be chosen carefully.
Once you narrow it down, select a few that showcase your impressive skills. If you’re a great problem solver, include a project where you solved an unusually complicated problem. If you work fast, showcase large projects with tight deadlines. Recent coding bootcamp graduates may struggle to find enough projects, but you’re not completely out of luck. Talk to your peers and figure out a creative way to show an example of your progress in the program. Whatever you’ve achieved before applying will do—just pick the work that makes you proud!
Tips to Build an Eye-Catching Full Stack Developer Portfolio
Demonstrate Your Knowledge
Hiring managers love it when candidates prove their ability to learn. If you’ve recently learned a new programming language or coding strategy, include an example in your portfolio and share your experience. Showcase how you helped others pick up new skills and how you’ll contribute to your coworkers with new experiences. Don’t be shy about it; you’re using this to show why you’re a good fit for the job. Just approach your portfolio like you’re painting yourself as the best candidate you can be.
Make it Look Professional
Don’t grab the first theme on WordPress and spam your content on the home page. If you decide to make a portfolio site, make it look modern and professional. Check your writing and grammar, and make sure your site is logically laid out. If you decide to code your own website, do your best and make sure to credit yourself with the work. If you don’t have time to code it well, use an online template until you’re ready. Remember, you’re demonstrating your professional image. Include relevant links and sources, as well as any other information you think will help build a positive image.
Make Sure Your UI and Overall Design Impress
As a full stack developer, you’re surfing the crest of the most modern waves and working with the most up-to-date equipment, languages, and development concepts. Everything about you should scream “modernity, y’all!” So, why would you design your full stack developer portfolio site to look like the flower of 2004 technology? You want your full stack developer skills to impress, but the employer has to appreciate the packaging, too.
Highly-qualified developers too often miss out on fantastic job opportunities because their portfolio sites look like something from the G.W. Bush administration. You need to take the time to get your design and UI looking current and clean. Don’t base your designs on cookie-cutter plans that have been around for a decade or more—make your site design your own, and make it look sharp and impressive.
Find a Reputable Host and Domain Name
You likely learned about how important first impressions are for job-hunting when you were at coding bootcamp. When you refer potential employers to your site, they look for a certain level of professionalism in your site’s host and domain name. If a hiring manager has to visit some fly-by-night host you used because it was dirt cheap, you can bank on not getting a callback anytime soon.
There are tons of reputable and low-cost hosts you can use. Make sure to pick one that has an excellent rep, and splurge for a custom domain name. It’ll cost you all of 15 bucks or so. You want to impress visitors with your security concerns as well, so make sure to properly install an SSL certificate on the site. An impressed hiring manager is one more likely to offer you an interview or position at the company.
The Last Word on Crafting a Perfect Full Stack Developer Portfolio
It’s not difficult to build a spectacular full stack developer portfolio; it just takes some time and care. It’s essential to choose wisely and avoid overdoing it, taking care to not leave out any vital details that could set you apart from the crowd. Be honest about your skills and experience and take your time. With a little effort, you’ll assemble an eye-catching portfolio that accurately demonstrates your value to prospective employers and be on your way to landing your dream job!
Paul Larkin contributed content to this post.