Are you aspiring to become a recognised freelance writer? Are you looking to quit the monotonous 9-5 job and land profitable freelance writing contracts, but don’t know how to go about it?
Worry no more!
This article will guide you on how to prepare a compelling writing portfolio that will help you become a sought-after freelance writer.
Now, before we nail our focal topic, let’s quickly examine what a career portfolio is.
What is a Career Portfolio?
A career portfolio is the collection of your work history. It includes your education, skills, work samples, achievements, awards, acknowledgments, and so on.
A career portfolio is a tool that allows you to showcase your expertise, in your career field, to the prospective hirers of your talent. It could be a three-ring binder or an online one.
This brings us to what an Online Portfolio is.
An online portfolio is a personalised space on the world wide web where you keep a detailed record of your career history and achievements. This could be either a blog or website that makes your skills visible and accessible to potential clients.
So, as an aspiring freelance writer, another thought that comes to your mind is: “How do I build my career portfolio?”
So let’s hit the nail on the head!!!
Building a Writing Career Portfolio
It is believed that as a talented or professional writer you must have chosen a specific niche that matches your skills and abilities and must have written numerous articles and blogs that are related to your field of interest.
If this is true and you are looking to monetise your skills, the first thing to do is to create an attractive writing career portfolio.
In order to achieve this, you must take the following steps into consideration.
1. Compile Relevant Materials
Below is a list of important career-related information that should be included in your portfolio.
Basically, a resume is a compendium of a person’s academic qualifications and work experience(s). It also includes one’s professional summary, contact information such as phone number and email address.
If well-written, your resume is a marketing tool that sells your abilities to prospective customers.
Below is a sample resume.
b. Include a list of your skills
Your skills refer to your what you are able to do either as a result of training or consistent practice. Whichever way you have acquired your skills, the best way to market them is to include each in your portfolio. A person’s skills bifurcate into hard and soft.
Hard skills refer the exact or specific knowledge that you have acquired through formal education.
To put in a layman’s language, a hard skill is what makes you get your dream job. Such skills include:
The list of hard skills is inexhaustible.
Soft skills, on the other hand, refer to the totality of your personality traits and attributes that enhance your effectiveness and productivity in your workplace.
Also, they are interpersonal and behavioural traits that help you work well with other people.
This, I say, is what keeps you on the job.
Examples of soft skills are:
c. Insert Your Biographical Information
In this section you allow your hirers relate with you on a personal level when you write briefly about yourself. You can talk about how you developed a flair for written content; your challenges as a writer and how you were able to overcome them.
You might want to adopt the storytelling approach while doing this. Trust me, it leaves your hirers with no doubts about your skills.
d. Attach Copies of Your Certificate
Even after highlighting your academic qualifications, trainings and certifications, in your curriculum vitae, there is need for you to affix hard copies of your certificates—examination transcripts, degree certificates, professional licenses, training certificates, and so on.
Doing this helps to validate your educational claims , thus making you hirable.
e. Collect Letters of Recommendations
Include letters of recommendation from your previous employers, preferably those with whom you have a cordial relationship, supervisors, and community leaders who are familiar with your work ethics.
f. Attach Samples of Your Written Work and Project
As a prolific writer who is seeking to get juicy writing contracts from high-paying clients, it is advised that you collate samples of your best-written works as these will serve as proof of your expertise as a writer. Also if you have an online portfolio, you can insert links that redirect your hirers to your masterpieces.
g. Add Your Awards, Achievements, and Accomplishments
Adding the documented form of your awards of excellence, honorary awards, career accomplishments, workplace awards, scholarships, community leadership, athletic honor’s make you shine before your hirers.
2. Organise Your Materials
After you must have gathered your documents, begin with a title page and a table of contents to reflect all the sections that have been included in your portfolio.
Let your resume appear immediately after your table of contents, then your biographical information follows suit, your skills, after which you continue arranging your documents in preferential sequence.
A sequential arrangement of your writing portfolio makes it easier for prospective hirers to access vital work information about you.
3. Make Your Documents Visually Appealing
It is a popular belief that people’s interests are captured by what they see than what they hear. Hence in order to sustain the attention of your prospects, your portfolio must have an impressive appearance.
For example, you can use bullets to highlight different points; attractive as well as formal font style for the characters; appropriate headings to classify each section (embolden the headings for easy recognition).
Also, do not jumble your words; space your words to enhance clarity and intelligibility.
4. Edit Your Documents
After assembling and organising your documents, you will do well to check for grammatical errors and misspellings before arranging them into your three-ring binder or your digital space.
Blunders in your official documents could make a first bad impression about your proficiency on the minds of your hirers.
After your writing career portfolio has been perfected, your next line of action will be to register on a freelancing website where you become visible to service users.
In case you don’t know the appropriate website to search, just click on 13 best websites to hire freelancers to join the community of freelance writers whose impeccable services are up for hire.