Graphics are all the rage on the web. Everyone seems to prefer skimming over a grid of photos rather than reading a block of text, but even the wordsmith in me will admit that there are times when this makes sense. For example, the visual portfolio. If your work translates into a visual medium, that’s how you sell yourself – with examples instead of a resume.
LinkedIn is rolling out a new feature that will allow you to upload photos, videos and presentations in each section of your LinkedIn profile.
In this example, Trent has uploaded a few examples of the advertising campaigns he managed while at Dynamic. When someone views his profile, this section shows up right under that section of his work history. Imagine if you kept this up from your very first job. It would become this mini-museum dedicated to your achievements and that’s pretty cool.
If you’re searching LinkedIn for a new hire, then having concrete examples of a person’s work is a huge move in the right direction. At a glance, you can tell if their style and talents fit in with your project. Photographers, graphic designers, filmmaker, fashion designer, artisans — this is the way to go.
For those of you whose work doesn’t translate into pictures, LinkedIn invites you to get creative and join the fun anyway. . . and here’s where I draw the line. (I wish these photos from LinkedIn were sharper, but I think you’ll get the “picture.”)
Here’s recent grad Katy. She has a stock photo image of graduation caps and diplomas for those who can’t read and understand the dates on her resume. While she was in college, she worked as an intern. We can see this by the array of stock photos related to an office. Think that’s Katy standing there giving a presentation to her peers? I doubt it. And even if I factor in that LinkedIn had to use stock photos to build this fake portfolio example, it’s still silly.
This isn’t kindergarten. If I visit your profile and see a generic photo depicting your profession, I’m going to assume that either you’re not too bright or you think I’m not. I don’t want to see photos of cluttered desks, official looking reports, planes, trains or hands working an iPhone. I would like to see examples of the ad campaign your created, the website you designed or the party you planned.
Which brings me to my usual and final comment (complaint) about LinkedIn. It’s perfect for anyone with a traditional work history but for the self-employed, the enforced history system makes it hard to explain what you do. I think this portfolio idea is a step in the right direction. Now I just need LinkedIn to create a separate profile template for people who work with clients instead of employers.