A professional profile can be one of the most important ways to sell your skills and experience to employers. However, it’s also one of the most neglected areas when it comes to job hunting!
If your New Year goals include revamping your professional profile, editing it with a good CV layout, and acing that interview, this article is here to help. Whether you’re looking to find a new job or simply stay in tip-top form, we’ll go over five of the most powerful ways to refresh your portfolio and attract plenty of new opportunities.
Freshen Up Your Profile
First and foremost, the most important tip for revamping your professional profile is to take a good look at what’s written and update it accordingly.
For example, you might have moved out of Manchester years ago (yet still list it as the current city on your profile), or perhaps changed careers down the line and need to update your headline or title. Maybe your CV or LinkedIn profile is missing a few certificates that you’ve acquired over the years, or even a few minor jobs that you’ve forgotten to add!
You’re not alone: many people only update their resume when they’re looking for a job, but experts recommend updating it at least once every six months. A lot can happen in those few months, so don’t wait until you’re actively looking for work to update your profile!
Take a New (High-quality!) Photo
While a fresh profile may be king, it’s equally important to take a high-quality photo that will look professional on your LinkedIn profile or portfolio.
When taking a headshot photo, ensure there is good lighting, maintain a neutral yet confident expression, and pay attention to the background. A well-designed profile picture can definitely make a good first impression on potential employers.
In the age of artificial intelligence, headshot photography has become even more convenient and easier — simply take a photo and use one of the dozens of AI headshot generators to create a flawless and professional image. As a bonus, there’s no need to change into a fancy suit or blouse, and you have the digital version within minutes.
Ask Colleagues For Recommendations
To give your professional profile more authority and showcase your talents, it might be worthwhile to ask your colleagues to write a recommendation.
Start by encouraging them to describe any notable skills that you have, talk about a specific project where you worked together, or simply make a note of how well you work in a team.
This way, you’ll make it clear to employers that your CV isn’t just about theoretical skills, but that you have successfully applied them in practical scenarios at work. A good reference can definitely leave a lasting impression on potential employers.
If you don’t have the opportunity to ask colleagues for their recommendations, there’s an alternative option: take screenshots of emails, notes, and/or reviews where you received compliments and display them in your portfolio. This option is especially helpful for those who freelance or have their own side business (i.e. consulting).
Consider Enrolling in Courses
If you want to truly wow recruiters and show your commitment to personal development, one of the best ways to do so is by enrolling in courses or certificate programs.
Online learning courses come in many different options, from self-paced courses where you’ll learn on your own time, to certification programs with a set schedule. These programs also vary in length, from short courses you can complete in a week to month-long programs with homework and exams. Finally, these courses are taught by professionals with years of experience, which means you’ll learn first-hand from the best!
You can find courses related to your profession on platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning. Likewise, large companies such as Google, IBM, and Amazon have courses on their own products, like the ever-popular Google Analytics Academy or Amazon’s Deep Learning on AWS course.
By improving your skills, you can stay on top of the latest trends in your field and, as a bonus, you’ll have a certificate that you can add to your portfolio! Speaking of which…
Create a Project Portfolio
If you work in a field that is known for projects, don’t forget to share them in your portfolio! This is especially true for professions like graphic designers, copywriters, programmers, and UX designers.
While a CV showcases your experience, a portfolio will visually showcase those skills and bring your qualifications to life. Instead of just writing that you worked on a major advertising campaign, take the next step and show it off with a visual portfolio.
Of course, this also goes for other industries as well: programmers can display their code and open-source projects on websites like Github; UX designers, creatives, and graphic artists prefer Dribbble or Behance to showcase their designs; and architects can present their projects on Archinect or Coroflot. Of course, it’s also possible to create your own professional website and display your work there!
Overall, a well-curated portfolio will give employers a clear picture of your skills and set you apart from your competitors.
Just like the other tips on this list, be sure to update your portfolio regularly with new work so employers can see that you’re constantly developing your skills and are active in your profession.