Tips for Building an Online Portfolio that Will Make You Stand Out as a Developer

Despite the pandemic, the job market in certain specialisms is still candidate-led (i.e. there are more vacancies than qualified candidates to fill them). In the US, there is a significant shortage of web developers and full-stack developers.

Despite this shortage, it is still important that you are able to outshine other candidates. But how can you make sure that your application and overall profile is unique and makes you stand out from the crowd?

When it comes to developer roles, the evidence as to how good you are is fairly easy to show. These types of roles nearly always result in a tangible output that can be used as an example of what you can do. Therefore, you could potentially create a portfolio to showcase your previous work to use when applying for new roles. This process would usually involve creating a unique website that acts as a digital representation both of you as a professional/expert and as a person.

Here’s our top tips for building your online portfolio:

Keep it simple: This may seem counterintuitive but you want your work to be at the center, rather than cramming the site with swathes of customized and niche features. Simple can still look great and work seamlessly.

Be selective: It is natural to want to display all your work, but you will only have the viewer’s attention for a short amount of time. Therefore, make sure you select your most successful and unique projects.

Focus on your homepage: First impressions count, so make sure that your homepage is relatively clear and not cluttered. Essentially, you want to be able to convey who you are and what you do as quickly and succinctly as possible. Including a photo is a great idea as it immediately gives that human element.

Don’t forget the user experience: This is always a priority when building websites, so your own portfolio site should be no different. Make the site easy to read, simple to navigate, and ensure accessibility levels are high. Also, make sure it works effectively on various devices.

Make it easy for people to contact you: The primary objective of the portfolio website is to encourage people to hire you. So, you need to make it clear how they can contact you. This should be a telephone number and email address as a minimum. You may opt for a separate contact page, but you should ideally have contact details on your homepage instead/as well.

Be different: Trying something new or different to all the other similar sites will make people take notice. It is perfectly possible to have an intuitive, good looking, and easy-to-use site that doesn’t look as though you have simply followed a template. This can also be used to express your personality.

Other ways to stand out

Building a portfolio website is just one of the many ways in which you can make your application stand out from the rest. Other methods include ensuring that your LinkedIn page is full of positive endorsements, obtaining unique references (ideally from high-profile professionals in the sector), and using a unique and individually-tailored CV and cover letter for each role that you apply for.

You might consider working with an expert recruiter. If you are currently looking for work as a developer, Coltech are experienced specialists in the recruitment of IT professionals. We currently have a considerable number of job vacancies for a wide range of clients who are looking for outstanding candidates. Give our friendly experts a call or send them an email and improve your chances of landing that ideal next role? We can be contacted by phone on 020 3946 2721 or by email at