These days, the job market is becoming more competitive. While employers still post a lot of jobs, an increasing number of them are for low-wage jobs. Additionally, certain opportunities like work-from-home jobs are more difficult to get. Even for people with secure jobs, there’s more competition for clients and other opportunities.
How can people set themselves apart from other candidates or professionals? One way is by learning how to add your portfolio to LinkedIn. Portfolios help present your professional persona and your accomplishments. Plus, they give recruiters and people searching for your services an idea of what you have to offer. Luckily as you’ll see in this article, creating your portfolio isn’t difficult.
Importance of having a professional portfolio on LinkedIn
With that said, there are many reasons you should add your portfolio to LinkedIn besides job hunting. Many professionals use the opportunity to demonstrate what makes them special. Plus, you never know when a recruiter or someone else with an opportunity comes along.
Here are the benefits of professional portfolios on LinkedIn:
- Establishing credibility and expertise: A well-curated professional portfolio on LinkedIn demonstrates your skills and accomplishments in your field, helping to establish your credibility and expertise to potential employers, clients, and colleagues. This can help not only with job opportunities but also other areas of your career.
- Increasing visibility and discoverability: By showcasing your work through a portfolio, you increase your chances of being discovered by potential clients or employers searching for professionals with your specific skills and experience on LinkedIn. And for those who don’t want to work with recruiters, there’s still the satisfaction of people getting the chance to meet you electronically.
- Networking opportunities: A professional portfolio can serve as a conversation starter, allowing you to connect and engage with industry professionals who may be interested in your work, leading to potential collaborations or job opportunities. As the saying goes, sometimes it isn’t what you know but who you know. Especially when you need it most.
- Personal branding: A comprehensive portfolio allows you to create a cohesive personal brand on LinkedIn, providing a clear representation of who you are as a professional and what value you can bring to potential clients and employers. Beyond clients and employers, sometimes colleagues or counterparts in other companies can reach out for help and collaboration. They need to be sure what you do.
Why Add a Portfolio to Your LinkedIn Profile
Most people think of LinkedIn as primarily a resume and company news site. However, as you’ll see in the leadup about how to add your portfolio to LinkedIn, there’s so much more to this social network. Besides, sometimes it’s hard to know what people are looking for when they search for you, or for a keyword they’re targeting.
Here’s what adding your portfolio is great for:
- Showcasing visual content and types of content. If you’re in any type of design or creative field, then this is one of the best reasons to add your portfolio to LinkedIn. It shows people what you’re capable of, and helps to attract more business. Plus, you can add items that show both your capabilities and your personality. This way, you’ll stand out from the crowd even more.
- Attracting potential clients and employers. The term “try before you buy” comes into play here. People like to see what someone’s capable of before offering opportunities.
- Enhancing social proof and credibility. Seeing is believing, even on social media.
- Standing out in the competitive job market. Again, if people see the quality of your work, it’ll help edge out the competition. The more difficult the economy or job market in a niche, the harder it is to stand out – and the more important.
Preparing Your Portfolio Items
Naturally, there’s a lot more effort required to add your portfolio to LinkedIn than simply clicking a few buttons. Instead, you’ll want to add content to several different sections of your LinkedIn profile. This gives you the best chance to make a great impression.
Every professional should have their resume on LinkedIn. Unfortunately, many people leave theirs somewhat incomplete.
What should go in a resume?
Your first item should highlight relevant experience and skills. Depending on your career stage, relevance can take more than one meaning. For instance, younger workers will typically list everything. Later, you might decide to place an emphasis on experience that’s relevant to the kind of work you have or what you want.
Next, include a statement of originality. Everyone is an individual, and a rote recitation of someone’s experiences and education doesn’t always represent them fairly. If nothing else, the minimalist approach misses opportunities.
Once you’ve crafted (and added) your resume, keep it updated and in PDF format. This way, you can easily send it off to a recruiter when needed. Especially if you’re actively looking for work, having your resume ready is almost mandatory.
When you add your portfolio to LinkedIn, you should at least consider adding work samples. This tip is mostly geared towards creatives, such as graphic designers and writers. However, if you have appropriate work samples you can share, it might be beneficial.
To add work samples properly, you should first choose diverse kinds of content if possible. For some professionals, this might mean a mix of photo and video files, or it could be a mixture of topics. Other professionals like writers and editors would use different kinds of manuscripts that you’ve written, such as a movie script and a blog post.
Because it can be hard to see things on LinkedIn if you have a lot of work samples, use gallery preview or direct links for easy access. Not only does this approach help simplify your LinkedIn profile, but it also drives traffic to your website. You never know what added material there will help you seal the deal.
Finally, keep a backup on Google Drive or other platforms. This way, you don’t have to worry if something happens to your LinkedIn account or your data gets lost in other ways. Of course, you can also share the information directly with people who want it when it’s stored elsewhere.
Presentations and speeches
Employees that aren’t primarily in the content creation space can show their talents with different portfolio items. In particular, presentations and speeches are a great way to add your portfolio to LinkedIn. To do this, first upload to Slideshare or other hosting platforms. This keeps you from using too much bandwidth for your profile. Then, provide a clear title and description so that everyone knows what your presentation is about.
Finally, choose visually appealing and interactive presentations. Remember, you’re trying to put your best foot forward on LinkedIn. Sometimes, this means picking the best-composed presentation and not necessarily your favorite (though it might be that too).
Awards, conferences, and other achievements
At its core, LinkedIn is a place where people brag about their professional successes. Professional awards, conference presentations, and other accolades are an important part of what make someone successful. In fact, they show readers of your profile how prominent you are in your field.
To that end, as you add your portfolio to LinkedIn, you should:
- Include relevant accolades and industry events. These can be anything from an alumni award from your college, to huge academic conferences or trade shows.
- Add images or media coverage when possible. Artifacts like these help validate your achievements so people can see they’re genuine.
- Showcase your professional network and connections. Indicating whom you’re connected with can go a long way toward earning people’s trust – and that valuable opportunity.
Adding Your Portfolio to LinkedIn
Once you’ve decided what to include in your portfolio, it’s time to add your portfolio to LinkedIn. Typically, this is an easy process though it can involve quite a few moving parts. So, before you start the process, try to be organized.
Before we proceed any further, and in case you were wondering, there is no “Portfolio” section per se.
What we are doing is hacking the “Featured” section and utilize it as if you were displaying a work portfolio on LinkedIn.
You might have already been using that section, but when you think of it in a new light as per the suggestions here, hopefully you’ll see that it can become a powerful way to display your work portfolio!
This is an example of how powerful it can be when utilized properly for your own career and professional objectives:
Accessing the “Featured” menu
Your first step in adding your portfolio is to access the “featured menu. This is where you will add everything and get it properly organized.
1. Locate the “Add profile section button” on your profile.
Currently, you can find it below your profile picture. Which, by the way, should be appropriately professional for your job type.
Once you select it you will see the below screen, where you will want to select “Add featured.”
2. Navigate to the “Featured” menu.
Ultimately, your LinkedIn portfolio includes “featured” items of the different types mentioned in the last section. You may need a greater or smaller number of items depending on what you’ve chosen for a portfolio. If you already have posts there you will see them below like you see mine. Either way, to add new items to your portfolio, you’ll want to select the “+” button and then follow the instructions based on the type of media you want to show.
3. Understand the options for posts, articles, links, and media.
Briefly, posts are everyday content and won’t be truly relevant to your portfolio. Articles can be a great opportunity to demonstrate your know-how, especially if you’re a writer by trade or have written material in your field. Media is where you’d put something like photographs of your latest conference appearance, video introductions, and more. Links are offsite, and should include your personal website if you have one.
Uploading and organizing your portfolio items
Now that you’re oriented to the options to add your portfolio on LinkedIn, it’s time to start uploading and organizing items. In most cases, you’ll start with the resume or CV so that people can instantly identify those credentials. However, much of that information will be displayed under the experience and education sections.
After that, do the following:
1. Add work samples, presentations, awards, and other content.
You’ll upload each piece individually, as there’s no bulk upload for LinkedIn. At least you can start and save your progress.
2. Choose the best preview image and description fields.
Often, a piece of video or a slideshow will have more than one thumbnail option. While some are great, others leave a lot to be desired. Since your object is to put your best foot forward, choose accordingly. In some cases, you might even create your own thumbnail using a tool like Canva.
3. Arrange items strategically to highlight your strengths.
Ask yourself what puts you in the best light, and try to showcase it as much as possible. While there are limitations due to the LinkedIn platform formatting, you can still make intelligent choices.
Customizing your work environment and colleagues section
While accolades and educational background are important for many industries, your philosophy and reputation with colleagues are also critical. Especially in an age where workplaces are increasingly safe spaces, you need to position yourself as someone that everybody wants to get to know.
1. Show your work philosophy and career goals.
These details tell recruiters and the curious how you think of yourself professionally. Often, this information will help decision-makers determine if you’re someone they’d like to work with, especially in terms of cultural fit.
2. Highlight positive relationships with colleagues and team members.
Not only can those people vouch for you, but simply having colleagues who are willing to admit they know you is often helpful for finding opportunities.
3. Include relevant images and media to showcase your work environment.
These can be vanity pictures, or they might depict an ordinary day. Either way, photographs are an opportunity to tell people about yourself.
Tips for Optimizing Your LinkedIn Portfolio
Just because you know how to add your portfolio to LinkedIn, and follow through, doesn’t mean you have an optimal profile. Instead, there are ways you can optimize your profile for maximum exposure and success. Here are some of my best tips.
Further Reading: LinkedIn Profile Tips: The 21 Mistakes You Want to Avoid – and Why
Keep your content fresh and up-to-date
Besides not having a LinkedIn portfolio, one of the worst mistakes is letting it go stale. For this reason, you need to update your content as appropriate.
Most importantly, regularly update your work samples and resume. By doing this, you’ll be sure and show up in the most appropriate keywords when recruiters and other decision-makers look for talent. Plus, work samples represent your abilities at a point in time. You want to be sure that this timeframe is relatively recent, or you might sell yourself short.
Also, add new achievements, events, or presentations. This helps document advancements in your career and your recent activities.
Engage with your network and industry leaders
Nobody works in a bubble, and you shouldn’t either. Instead, maximize your portfolio by engaging with people who can help you succeed – and vice versa. However, to accomplish this task, you’ll need to put out some effort.
1. Share your portfolio items on your LinkedIn feed.
Not only is this approach an open advertisement for services or an overall bragging session, but it also shows people what you’re most proud of.
2. Connect with potential clients and employers.
You can do this by reaching out through mutual acquaintances, which LinkedIn calls an “introduction.” Other options include interacting with a company’s LinkedIn content and commenting on an individual’s posts as appropriate.
3. Participate in industry discussions and groups.
Doing this will help you demonstrate your level of knowledge and expertise. And who knows, you might even become a subject matter expert. In that case, you might be able to make a lot of money.
Further Reading: You’ve Connected on LinkedIn. Now What?
Utilize other social networks and platforms
After you add your portfolio to LinkedIn, you might want to market your portfolio on other platforms. First, cross-promote your LinkedIn portfolio on other social media. Twitter and Facebook are especially appropriate for this technique, though you can still show off your LinkedIn elsewhere.
If you have an online presence other than social media, you can include your LinkedIn portfolio link on your website or blog. Depending on your software and preferences, you can show more or less of your LinkedIn portfolio. Most people choose a thumbnail or link, but you might choose to go further.
Finally, leverage your professional network to gain exposure. If you’re not the sort of person who brags about your achievements, it might seem awkward to do this. But remember, positive reviews from colleagues and other professionals can really help your career when you need it most. And for sales professionals, that’s all the time.
If you’re a professional that depends on connections, then learning how to add your portfolio to LinkedIn is critical. After all, you want to show up in as many relevant searches as possible. Not only that, but most of us need some professional credibility from time to time.
Luckily, LinkedIn portfolios can go a long way towards demonstrating that you’re a valuable professional with a lot to contribute. Best of all, a well-crafted portfolio can easily help you stand out from the competition during job searches and contracting.
Photo by Brett Wharton on Unsplash
How To Add Portfolio To LinkedIn FAQs
Adding a portfolio link to LinkedIn is a fairly simple process. By going to the “Featured” section on your profile, you can easily upload links to external websites, including your portfolio. From there, your work is just a click away for anyone browsing your LinkedIn profile. So go ahead and share your best work with the world, and let your portfolio do the talking for you!
The answer ultimately depends on your personal preference and the type of work you do. Some like to include it directly in their summary section, while others prefer to add it as a separate section under “Featured”. Whichever option you choose, make sure to keep it organized and easily accessible for potential employers and connections to view. A well-crafted online portfolio can serve as a valuable tool in showcasing your skills and expertise and helps you stand out among the crowd.
Yes, one of the great features of LinkedIn is the ability to create a portfolio. Through this platform, users can upload more than just their resumes and showcase their work to potential employers or clients. Whether it’s creative work like art, design, or writing, or more traditional work like presentations or case studies, a portfolio on LinkedIn can help demonstrate skills and accomplishments in a professional manner.
While LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool, it is important to recognize that it is not the same thing as an ePortfolio. An ePortfolio is a digital collection of evidence that illustrates your learning, growth, and achievements over time. It provides a more comprehensive picture of your skills, experiences, and personal brand than a LinkedIn profile ever could. An ePortfolio can feature multimedia elements, such as photos, videos, and audio recordings.
Here are the steps on how to create a portfolio URL:
1. Choose a domain name that reflects your brand or personal identity. This could be your name, your business name, or something creative that embodies your work.
2. Once you’ve settled on a domain name, you’ll need to purchase it from a domain registrar.
3. From there, you’ll need to host your website and design it to showcase your portfolio. This includes selecting the layout, choosing your color scheme, and creating clear navigation so that visitors can easily find their way around.
4. Remember to customize your website’s meta tags to improve your search engine optimization and use high-quality images to highlight your best work.