By Phaedra Brotherton
In part 1 of this series, you learned how to complete your LinkedIn profile to meet basic “all-star” status: You now have a great photo, a strong headline with keywords that position you for your next career goal, and you have a unique, personalized summary that talks about your accomplishments or what you stand for professionally that gives a sense of your personality.
Now, you’ll learn how to take your profile to an even higher level using LinkedIn sections and multimedia tools to create an online career portfolio to showcase your experience and credentials to help build your credibility.
Create Your Online Portfolio on LinkedIn
If you’re looking for a place to display your samples in a simple way, LinkedIn has made it easier than ever. Most of the sections allow you to use video, photos, web-links, and slideshows to add samples and excerpts of your work. Here are some ideas:
- Create a slide show of your award-winning publications, designs, or other visual materials with brief captions or written descriptions.
- Link to websites you’ve created or your blog’s most impressive posts or upload PDFs of print samples to highlight the quality of skills you offer.
- Upload video excerpts and samples to demonstrate outstanding video production skills.
LinkedIn also has several sections you can use to showcase your credentials and work samples.
Here are the major sections, in their order of appearance, that you can use to strategically promote your expertise and qualifications.
Introduction and Summary. This section includes your photo, your headline, and your summary, which is the first place in the LinkedIn profile where you can post samples of your work and other links.
Consider posting items here that represent what you most want to be known for in your career or the most impressive credentials that help support where you’d like to go next in your career. Be creative. This can include awards or specific content examples that demonstrate your expertise in a certain media or in a certain subject matter.
For instance, if you want to be known for your ability to write for different media, you could link to three different samples that display content in various ways — a blog post, a magazine article, and brochure promotional copy.
Experience. Here you can include samples associated with each of the specific positions you’ve held. First, make sure each job entry has a strong position description that includes appropriate keywords as well as information on result-oriented achievements. The next step is to think about ways to showcase your most impressive work.
For instance, if you’re an editorial or content director, consider uploading a copy of an award-winning newsletter or a link to a sample episode of a podcast produced by your team to bring that job description to life.
Education. Include information about your degrees and link to special education-related awards or projects. You can also highlight training or special certifications that are impressive and particularly relevant to your career in this section, such as the CAE designation.
Volunteer. Include either community service activities to give a sense of your well-roundedness or highlight professional volunteer service, such as your participation on the Association Media and Publishing board or on a committee or special project.
Skills and Endorsements. Here is where you can spell out the specific skills and competencies ( also known as keywords) associated with your function or industry.
Move these skills around to make sure that the top skills associated with your career goal appear first. To do this, edit the number of endorsements for each skill area to ensure that the skills you want to appear higher have the most endorsements. For instance, if 10 people have endorsed you for copyediting, but you want editorial management, which only has five endorsements, to appear higher, you can turn off some of the copyediting endorsements so that editorial management ranks higher.
Recommendations. This section provides one of the best opportunities to boost your credibility in the area of social proof. You can display written recommendations from those who know your work and have agreed to provide a recommendation or testimonial.
Recommendations differ from endorsements in that they are complete online references from LinkedIn colleagues. They provide third-party insight into you as a professional and can go a long way in establishing your credibility. Be sure to take time to give recommendations to others as well.
Accomplishments. In this section, include those extras that can help you promote your expertise. Sections available to you include projects, certifications, courses, organizations, patents, publications, honors and awards, test scores, and languages.
Use these accomplishment sections to detail special projects you’ve been involved in, industry publications you’ve written for, presentations you’ve made, special credentials you’ve earned, and industry honors and awards you’ve won, such as the AM&P Excel award.
Projects. This is a flexible section you can use to spotlight a variety of different projects you’ve participated in as a member of a team. For instance, if you’ve worked on a special publication with a team made up of editorial staff, volunteer leaders, and outside partners, you could mention the publication, describe it, and link to the final project. You can also include the specific names of those involved, and if they are on LinkedIn, their photo with a link to their profile will also be included in the entry.
Building Your Reputation and Credibility
Now that you’re familiar with the options, take some time to determine how you can strategically use these sections to help boost the presentation of your qualifications.
In the final article in this Build Your Brand on LinkedIn series, we will discuss how you can gain visibility and position yourself as a publishing or communications expert by taking advantage of LinkedIn features that can help you promote your expertise and thought leadership. Stay tuned.
Phaedra Brotherton, principal of Resumes and Career Strategies, specializes in working with association executives.
For a checklist to help you optimize your LinkedIn profile, click here.