Your LinkedIn profile is more than just a boring online resume (or one big blob of text). Isn’t time you start treating it like an on-line portfolio?
Company websites and commercials contain customer testimonials, product demonstrations, and visual proof of their products. Companies are doing much more than stagnant print advertising and with the power of the internet, so can you! It just takes a little creativity- ok maybe more than just a little, but you can do it! Your challenge is to think like a big name brand- Coke, Ford, NY Times, etc. and use video, presentations and images to convey your message.
What Media Can You Add?
LinkedIn says it officially supports images, video, audio, presentations and documents by certain providers listed here but others work too.
Update: A URL (link) or uploaded file from your computer both work!
Where can you embed these nifty media clips profile?
They can be part of your summary, incorporated into each position listed in your experience section, and in your education section. Just go to edit your profile and look for the little blue box.
What to Showcase
Think about the problems you’ve solved at work, not your daily job duties. What differentiates you from the hundreds and thousands of other people who have the same job title as you?
- Is there a picture of you receiving an award?
- Have you given a presentation or spoken at a conference?
- Have you written articles?
What would you want someone to find if they were searching for you on the web? These are the images, articles and content you can create and publish yourself online. Think of your LinkedIn profile as a brag book and please, begin collecting screen shots and links today.
I’ve Got Nothing
If you don’t have anything, create it! You can create a PowerPoint highlighting your accomplishments and publish it to SlideShare. This is fairly simple to do. The most difficult part is figuring out what you will put into your PowerPoint presentation. Search around SlideShare and get ideas from other people who have created online resumes or personal profiles. If you are interested in creating something a bit jazzier than PowerPoint, you may want to test Prezi.com.
Grab These Ideas
Letters of recommendation: You have probably received letters of recommendation or testimonials from past customers. Why not create a presentation featuring these quotes? Just be sure to ask permission to use the quotes or testimonials from the people who have written them. And by the way, this is a great opportunity to re-establish your connection with these people.
Work samples: You may have created reports, work instructions, work flow diagrams and other content as an output of projects you worked on. While you may not be able to use the actual documents, you could create a mock up to share. You can upload and publish documents under the job in your work experience section.
Video: Everyone may not be comfortable in front of a camera, but the video doesn’t have to be your face. It could be a “how to” video. For example: You could create a video on how to create pivot tables, or how to create project plans, or how to organize your email. Use screen casting tools to record your demonstration and upload it to YouTube. Just remember to keep it short. Most ads run under three minutes. Other video ideas might include showcasing photos or images. Animoto.com can turn these into a 30-second video and publish it to the Web for free.
Think like a marketer. The resume is not the only way to demonstrate what you’ve done. Today, there are many more options to publish content and create a robust, interactive representation of who you are. LinkedIn has become the go-to source for employers seeking new talent. Make sure they find more than just a boring profile.
And what have I missed? Any other great ideas you’ve seen?