Portfolio Basics for Web Design Students: About Me Pages

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About pages on your portfolio need to have a specific purpose. It’s not just there to look pretty, it’s there to help you accomplish a goal.

Chances are, the first time someone visits your website, your about me page will be the first page they go to to learn about who you are and what you do. This means that new visitors want to know straight away what you and your site have to offer. A problem that many people have once they have an about page, is that they don’t know what to put there. Building a good about page can help you engage readers, encourage sales and build trust with potential clients and employers.

What You Are Trying to Accomplish?

Writing copy for your about page can be hard, and many students don’t know where to start. A good place to start is to identify who you want to target as your main audience. You won’t be able to tailor your about page to everyone, but having a target market in mind when creating your about page will make it a lot easier for you. Describing a bit of your design process can go a long way in making a potential client feel more at ease. 

The introduction to your about page, or the summary of who you are and what you do, is important to enticing visitors to continue reading and ultimately, contact you (which is our goal). There are a few groups of people you want to direct your attention towards:

Employers

As a web design student, this will probably be the most popular target market if you’re fresh to the industry. Describing personality traits that will be effective in convincing job-seekers that you’re the right candidate is a great way to begin. Attention to detail, good work ethic, CSS ninja, are all keywords that will grab the attention of your reader. If you have job-related experience, list it. Your personality will go a long way when it comes to getting hired, but having work experience to back it up will give you a better chance of sealing the deal. 

Clients

If you want to use your about page to attract more clients, you want to use this space to reinforce the benefits of your services. Think from a clients perspective. What can this person do to help my business grow? This would also be a great place on your portfolio to include what it’s like to work with you and what separates you from the competition. 

Example:

Practical: My name is Jane Smith and I design websites.

Benefit: My name is Jane Smith and I help small to large businesses grow their presence and profits online. 

The second blurb sounds a lot more enticing and interesting to potential clients. This will make them wonder how you can assist them and their business, persuading them to contact you. Including quotes from pervious clients or case studies about projects you have worked on that were successful is also a good idea. 

Who?

This is the main question you need to answer in your about page. Who are you? Talking about your background and education is good to an extent, but people want to know who the real you is. Discussing your expertise and credentials will help better brand yourself. These are the types of experiences that your visitors want to read about. If you don’t have any professional experience, talk about your passion for making the web a better place.  

What?

What does your site have to offer? What are the benefits of working with you? This will essentially give clients/employers a reason why they should hire you. They want to know the benefits of hiring you, whether it be a stellar turn around time or an impeccable attention to detail, make sure they know why they should be hiring you, rather than the next guy. 

What are the benefits of working with you?

How?

How’d you get started in web design? If you’re struggling with coming up with enough content to fill your about page, begin with how you got started in the industry. People are interested in how you became involved with web design. Telling a story is a good way to hook your readers, but be concise and to the point – no one will enjoy a long, drawn out story about someone they just met. 

Your Photo

People want to know who they will be working with. Having a photo that your potential clients or employers can relate back to will give them a way to connect with you on a more personal level, even if you aren’t able to meet in person. Make sure you look presentable!

Content Hierarchy

All the information on your about page doesn’t have to be about your career. You want to be able to structure your content so that your target audience gets the information they need to make a decision as soon as they land on your page, but if they want to learn more about you as an individual, they can find it lower down. Make sure you always start with real-world work experience and relevant personality traits first. From there, you can mention more personal information such as location, personal interests, formal education, etc. If you were to make an ordered list of what should appear first on your about page, it should look something like this: 

    1. 1. Name and your main profession or area of specialty
    2. 2. Experience
    3. 3. Education
    4. 4. Recognition (Has your blog been featured in a CSS gallery? Won any awards at school?)
    5. 5. Personal interests
    6. 6. Other personal details you may want to share, such as location, age or family.  

We live in a generation that appreciates transparency and honesty. Lying about yourself won’t get yourself very far. Be honest – if you’re a student and just starting out, be proud of that (you picked an awesome career). Everyone needs to start out somewhere, so use it your advantage. Describe what you’re passionate about and what you’re currently learning to stay up-to-date with the industry. Employers and clients will see this as potential and if your personality can shine through on your about page, you’ll be all set. This will also give you some credentials and backup to prove that you’re a trustworthy candidate, even if you don’t have the experience just yet to show for it. 

Having a personal introduction is a great way to start off. Your “About Me” should come across as if you were talking face to face with your visitor – Web Design Ledger

Ultimately, your about page is a way for you to better connect with your possible clients or employers, building trust and value within your work and who you are as a designer. A well-written about page could be the difference between getting hired or not - it’s important! If you take the time to craft an effective about you page, it can definitely pay off in turning first-time visitors into loyal followers. 

 

A Student’s Guide to Web Design Portfolios eBook

Your portfolio is your largest asset as a student designer. Learn how to make your portfolio do the hard work and turn it into a lead generation tool that can land you more job opportunities and cliente, even with no experience.

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Written by Janna Hagan

Janna Hagan is a web designer from Canada that likes to blog, tweet and Dribbble. She's the founder and editor of Student's Guide to Web Design.

11 Comments

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  1. Grace Oris on June 8, 2012

    Great article, Janna. Another thing you could add is a client testimonial, if any, or a link to the testimonial page. This will give an idea of what it's like to work with you.

  2. Jann Howell on June 8, 2012

    Thanks Janna, this was very insightful. I always have so much trouble with the "About Me" page. I usually just end up babbling too much about myself.

  3. Jorge on June 12, 2012

    Thank you. Excellent as always.

  4. Amit Kamble on June 18, 2012

    thanks for the article, really needed one, as i am upgrading my site, i was so confused with this section ! "Abot Us" it makes me freak out... ! this is gnna be really helpful.

    • Janna Hagan on June 26, 2012

      Don't worry! Writing about yourself is hard to do :) Good luck!

  5. Masoud on June 18, 2012

    Thank you Janna

  6. Ronnie on June 22, 2012

    Very insightful. I'm working on an About page now and this has made me start again from scratch.

  7. Hazel on June 23, 2012

    You bring up some great points! I really need to update my About page. I'll keep this post in mind as I revamp my portfolio. Thanks!

  8. Rajanand on July 27, 2012

    Thanks Janna. Its very interesting to read. Looking forward your ebook.

  9. Keisha on September 12, 2012

    These are some great points. I am a copywriter that works with website designers and am currently working on my site. The about me page is one of the most important to me. I am planning on applying to certain places and they are all outside of Tucson, where I currently live. Should I say where I live or leave that out since I want to move? Thanks for all the great advice.

  10. Anna on September 29, 2013

    Many thanks Janna. I'm currently rewriting my about page and your article has definitely helped. Written communication, especially when the subject of said communication is me, is something I continually struggle with.

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