How Job Seekers Can Build an Online Professional Portfolio Using LinkedIn

» Posted by on Jul 11, 2013 in coaching, job search | 3 comments

How Job Seekers Can Build an Online Professional Portfolio Using LinkedIn

“I believe everyone has a professional portfolio and it should be online. Whether it’s photos, documents, videos, or a business presentation you’ve done, everyone should have some professional samples of their work that anyone can access.”

A photographer said this to me yesterday when we were talking about how he gets new clients. Many of my job seeking clients ask me “What should I bring to my interview?” and we discuss various ways of presenting their portfolio. But that’s only effective if you get the interview. How do you showcase your work to the people doing the hiring?

With LinkedIn’s new online professional portfolio, you can upload or link to samples of your work. And it’s much easier than creating a video or graphic resume.

What is the Professional Portfolio?

To get started, check out LinkedIn’s help file on the topic Don’t Just Say It, Display It: Visually Enhance Your Professional Story on Your LinkedIn Profile.

Note: This feature has been rolling out gradually to LinkedIn members in English speaking countries since May. It replaces the LinkedIn Applications feature that I always found buggy and awkward. The Add Media icon looks like a box with a cross on it and appears next to the Edit link.

So, what can you do with this new feature? Use your online professional profile to display samples of your work on your LinkedIn profile. Public speaker? Include a video clip from a recent talk. Expert in a certain field? Upload a presentation on your topic of expertise. Fundraiser? Link to that video about your cause that grabs people’s attention and engages their emotions. College student with no real work experience? Include a link to some course projects you are particularly proud of. You can upload or link to documents, videos, presentations, and images (check out the complete list of Approved Providers and Content Types).

Or maybe you just want to include your resume online. You can do that, too. It’s always been a limitation of LinkedIn that you can’t (and shouldn’t) customize your profile for every job you apply to. However, you can (and should) customize your resume, especially if you have the ability to target two very different industries or specialties. The Add Media feature gives you the ability to store both of your customized resumes on LinkedIn. I found a couple of people using their professional gallery to link to Box.com where they had uploaded their resume(s). This may be a good option for people with ‘slasher’ careers, for example, the Attorney/Film Director.

Where to Find the Professional Portfolio

The Add Media feature is available in three sections of your profile – Summary, Education, and Experience. Look for the Add Media icon any time you are editing your profile (it looks like a box with a plus sign on it).

Understanding how the feature works is one thing; finding good examples of it being used is another. I searched for quite a while on LinkedIn to find people using this new feature. Here’s a few profiles I ran across from people using media effectively in their LinkedIn profiles.

Professional Portfolio Examples

Ben Mangan – This CEO of non-profit EARN.org uses a YouTube link to a powerful video in his Experience section. In another position, he includes a YouTube link to his TEDxPresidio talk on Unleashing American Possibility.

Kevin O’Keefe, CEO and Publisher of Lexblog.com, is empowering lawyers to work through the Internet. If you think attorneys can’t use media in their profiles, think again. Kevin has included uploads to multiple conference presentations via SlideShare and included these in his Summary section of his LinkedIn profile.

Sara Psachos is a Sr. Graphic Designer at Jones Lang LaSalle and as you can imagine, her work is perfectly suited to the visual nature of this feature. Sara has 42 samples of her work in her Summary, ranging from videos to business card samples to photos. Her industry and job is a perfect one to use these new visual elements of LinkedIn.

Go ahead, try it! What are you showcasing in your professional portfolio on LinkedIn?

 

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Andrea Ballard, Career Coach

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. Cool! Thanks so much for alerting me to this feature and providing practical instructions and tips for using it. That saves me so much hassle from trying to figure it out myself (or even notice that it’s available). You’re such a helpful mentor, online and off.

  2. I am glad you enjoyed it. Perhaps a few Creativity Prompt samples would be a good fit for your Profile?

  3. Here’s another great example. Daniel Parillo, A Sr. Technical Recruiter at LinkedIn, has a link in his Summary to his Box.com account which contains his resume, whitepapers…even a video clip of a TV show he was on!

    Check him out: http://www.linkedin.com/in/strategi