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Stack Overflow careers for example, has a form for the cover letter and a place to upload my resume. Lots of other job aggregators are the same.

I've spent a lot of time developing my portfolio and I feel it's the best and quickest representation of me and my work, as my work history is fairly short but I think what's in my portfolio demonstrates my abilities much better. I'd really like employers to focus on that.

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Reference it in your cover letter and put in a short discussion of what they will see there. You cannot however control what employers are going to focus on. All you can do is provide the link to the portfolio; you can't make anyone click on it.

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I would recommend to have a "Project" or even a "Portfolio" section in your CV just as Linked-in does in your profile. You may have links to demonstrate your accomplishment as well or a link to your personal website presenting your portfolio.

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Make your CV outstanding. Try not using a standard (dare I say boring) formats. Chances are all applicants will be using the same.

Start with something personal. I tend to include in my CV something like:

"As a software developer I am always interested in learning and implementing new technologies both in my personal and professional projects. Exploring as more as possible lets me get a clear view on their benefits when comparing them and allows me to always choose the most effective one. Even though my main expertise are ABC, I have growing interest in XYZ and am looking to apply my skills in creating great applications for a leading company, that demands such."

A creative thing to do would be to list all major projects that your developed (yourself or as part of a team) and briefly describe the technologies used, how you dealt with difficulties and so on. In this portfolio section include any additional achievements or activities you're proud of, even if they go outside your professional area (charity events, language courses, online courses via a MOOC platform, etc.)

Add a section for you major skills. This is the place to brag a little. Or more :) Depending on the company you are applying for, prioritize them and even emphasize (while still keep an honest view of yourself).

When you cover your experience and education, do not include ALL of it. Just the most important events and/or jobs you've worked on or courses you've taken. People don't care about all of them, just the ones that are in any way related to their company and can bring value to the job.

So the structure I usually use is:

Personal Statement

Portfolio and achievements
include links wherever possible

Key Skills
relevant to the job you're applying for; avoid piles here

Personal Projects
shows you're committed to learn new things and put them in practice in your free time

IT Experience
brief jobs description

Education

A CV can really be structured and presented in such a way that would make you stand out. And really, try not to fit the standards - the more creative (yet informative and meaningful) the more HRs will appreciate the time and efforts you've taken to create it.

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