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By: Sylvie Fortin

Working from home is more than resumes and cover letters. You need to have a professional portfolio if you want to be successful. A portfolio shows prospective clients that you've got the “right stuff.”

Without it, you're just another faceless name on a piece of paper. When you learn how to create your first portfolio, you are taking the first step toward growing your career toward success. Let's get you on your way, shall we?

The most important thing you can do to create a professional image for yourself is to create a portfolio online. Without it, you'll just be sending resumes and employers don't respond as well to resumes as they do to a great portfolio.

It really doesn't matter what kind of job you are looking for: If you don't have a portfolio as proof of what you can do, it will be much more difficult to rise above your peers and land a great contract! Portfolios are not just for artists and web designers. Anyone who really wants to work from home should consider putting up their portfolio online.

Let's face it… resumes are boring. Endlessly droning on about past employment and skills is enough to make employers hate reading resumes. But, if you have a nice website with high-quality graphics that portray you as a real professional, employers are more likely to sit up and pay attention to who you are and what you do.

Don't worry! Even if you don't have any previous client projects to display, you can create a wonderful portfolio online.

So, now that we've established that you need a portfolio, what can you do if you don't have any previous client projects to show off? Having a portfolio if you have no experience is the most important thing you can do! Think about it! If your resume is skimpy on experience and you have no projects completed for pay, then how on earth are you going to compete with all those others with tons of experience and a thick portfolio? The answer is simple: dummy it up!

That's right — get very creative and think up all kinds of dummy samples. Do your best work and show off the skills you've got! Show your entire range of skills in the form of “Examples Only” samples. You aren't lying to your future customers: you are showing them examples of what you are capable of.

Employers are typically more interested in what you are able to do for them, as opposed to what you've done for others, so it is important to show them what you can do in the form of dummy brochures, logos, transcription samples, research spreadsheets and other types of samples relevant to the job you're looking for.

When an employer can see what you're capable of, as well as your commitment to doing whatever it takes to get the job, you'll find that you'll be able to quickly replace that dummy data with all the work that you're getting!

Once you have samples to show off, it's time to create your own online portfolio. There are a few ways you can do this, depending on how you want to put it all together. You can create your own website or post your portfolio on a career builder website.

But, perhaps the easiest way to publish your portfolio is to use a professional online service that allows you to host your portfolio online with no need to learn html. This is the most recommended way to do it, especially if the cost for doing it is very low.

No matter how you do it, getting your portfolio online is a must for the would-be telecommuter. By showing the world what you have to offer, you are taking your destiny into your own hands and making the first step toward turning your work-at-home dreams into a reality.