Boost your tech industry knowledge with our FREE RESOURCES - Explore our collection
Back to all articles

February 21, 2024 - 5 minutes

Building a Strong Portfolio: Showcasing Your Skills Post-Tech Bootcamp

Knowing what you include in your tech portfolio doesn’t have to be a total mystery.

Ironhack - Changing The Future of Tech Education


You’ve heard why bootcamps are such valuable ways to get into tech; from learning what you need to know to enter the workforce in just a few months to being able to keep your job or responsibilities while you study part-time, bootcamps are known for creating new techies in just a matter of months. 

Bootcamps, however, don’t work that much magic–your success in ultimately landing a job post-graduation will depend heavily on the work and effort you put into the course and the preparations you take to make the job hunt go as smoothly as possible; one of the most important elements of your job applications will be your portfolio. 
Portfolios serve as proof of what you’ve done and are a way of providing a bit more proof to your potential employer that you’re ready to take on the tasks that they have for you and have already worked a bit in these areas in the past. That’s why we’ve created this article: to help you understand what a portfolio is, how to create one, and what to include to showcase all you’ve learned in your tech bootcamp. 

Let’s dive right in! 

What is a Portfolio? 

First things first: a portfolio is a collection of the work you’ve done, providing more evidence and actual proof of your accomplishments, instead of just mentioning it on your CV. And why is this important? Well, anyone can explain what they’ve done in words, but companies want to see actual evidence of what you’ve accomplished and in a portfolio, they’ll have a quick example of your work, which helps to transmit confidence in your abilities. 

In addition, portfolios provide the following value: 

  • They explain your why: it can be hard for your true skills and value to be properly communicated with a quick sentence on your CV and in tech, lots of projects are better seen visually; showing your work can help the potential employer better understand what you can bring to the table.

  • They help separate you from the competition: if all candidates have JavaScript and Python on their resume, how can hiring managers get a better idea of who’s the best fit? Through portfolios, of course, they can see the projects you’ve completed and your exact style, helping them select the right candidate for the job. 

  • Portfolios help keep your work collected: as your career expands and you add more and more experience under your belt, you’ll need to keep your work organized and clear so that you can show potential employers what you’ve done; portfolios help you display a wide range of projects, helping you give hiring managers a well-rounded picture of what you’ve accomplished. 

How to Build a Strong Tech Portfolio 

With a clear understanding of what a tech portfolio is and how it can help propel your career post-bootcamp, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of actually building the portfolio and what you need to do to make yourself stand out. 

Carefully select the right portfolio-making tool 

Depending on how savvy you are, you might choose to make your portfolio from scratch yourself, but if that’s not in the cards for you, you’ll need to find the right tool for your exact projects. When exploring different options such as interactive portfolios, PDFs, websites, or more, make sure you have clear answers to the following questions: 

  • Do you anticipate frequently updating your portfolio and is the tool you chose conducive to constant updates and new additions? 

  • Does the tool have any costs associated with its use? 

  • Does the tool provide built-in feedback or analytics to help you see what’s working and what can be changed? 

  • Is the tool easily shared across different formats (email, LinkedIn, social media)? 

Answering these questions will be the key in finding the right format and tool for your specific work. Be patient and explore different options until you find the one that’s best for you. 

Display the right projects for each specific application 

As your career progresses, you’ll have more and more options of projects to include in your portfolio and this is precisely why having an easily editable portfolio is key–you’ll want to customize your portfolio for each job application, displaying the relevant projects and the range of skills that the employer is searching for. 

Along with including relevant projects, make sure you include tangible outcomes such as data, user feedback, or awards that show the effect the project had, in addition to what you did. Here, less is more and it’s essential to carefully choose the projects that best represent your abilities, skills, and experience. 

Use storytelling to help draw your audience in

While providing a screen capture of code you’ve written or interfaces you’ve designed may show employers what you’ve done, it’s definitely better to use storytelling techniques to create the full picture of everything you’ve accomplished: 

  • Explain the why: to further explain why you wrote certain code or created a specific design, you can include the reasoning behind the project in your portfolio, providing an explanation of why you were tasked with this project. 

  • Explain your process: instead of simply showing the final result, walk the viewer through your decision-making process, explaining why you made certain choices and how your final project came to be.

  • Explain your results: you want your potential employer to know the great outcomes from your project and including results in the form of data or feedback can help communicate your success.

Ensure your portfolio is up to date 

As your career advances, your skills will as well and you’ll have more and more projects to include in your portfolio and although it may tempting to showcase absolutely everything that you’ve accomplished, make sure you’re updating it to add recent projects, remove ones that don’t quite display all of your potential, and stick to the principle that less is more. 

Skills to Include on Your Tech Portfolio 

With our helpful tips and tricks under your belt, it’s important to know what to actually include in your portfolio to ensure you’re providing an attractive and accurate snapshot of what you bring to the table: 

  • A concise introduction to you: all portfolios should open with a short and concise introduction about what you bring to the table, your education and background, and your skills. Don’t get caught up in explaining absolutely everything here; you’ll also submit a resume with your application and you can use the projects included in your portfolio for even more details.

  • Your hard skills: immediately after your concise introduction, you should list your hard skills so that the employer has a clear idea of what you know and can immediately see if you fit their needs. Here include programming language knowledge, design tools, data analysis tools, and any other hard skills you have that are relevant to the role. 

  • Your soft skills: your technical abilities aren’t the only thing that matters in tech and employers want to know that you’ll be a good fit for the role based on how you are as a person; here’s a good time to include any leadership experience you may have, valuable skills such as problem solving, and any other soft skills that make you a more attractive candidate.

  • Any certifications you’ve earned: there are tons of tech skills out there that require certifications and you should definitely include them in your portfolio! In addition to providing a reminder of what you can do, including professional certifications helps convince employers that you’re serious about your career. 

  • Your projects: this one is a given! The real meat of your portfolio should be your projects and as we mentioned above, carefully select those that best fit the needs of the role for which you’re currently applying and accurately portray your experience. 

  • References/testimonials: the need for references or testimonials from clients, coworkers, or former bosses will depend on your exact role, but if you have some really captivating reviews, it may be worth including them in your portfolio so that your potential employer can see that those who have worked with you previously were happy with your services and skills.

  • Personal interests: not everything you include in the portfolio has to be professional; including your personal passion projects (as long as they relate to the role at hand) is an effective way to show that you’re truly interested in the field and are taking time to hone your skills on your own time. 

Knowing how to enter the tech job hunt after your bootcamp can seem like a giant mystery, but at Ironhack, we work with our students from day one to prepare them for the professional tech world, preparing their CVs, portfolios, interview skills, and much more to ensure that it’s a smooth process and they land their first tech job as soon as possible post-graduation. 

If you’re eager to gain the skills needed to create an effective tech portfolio, consider one of Ironhack’s bootcamps in web development, UX/UI design, data analytics, cybersecurity, or data science and machine learning, gaining knowledge to not only land a tech job but also valuable experience to display in your first tech portfolio.

Ready? We’ll see you in class. 

Related Articles

Recommended for you

Ready to join?

More than 10,000 career changers and entrepreneurs launched their careers in the tech industry with Ironhack's bootcamps. Start your new career journey, and join the tech revolution!