If you’ve followed me for long, you’ve likely heard me say that, aside from a current resume, a professional portfolio is the single best thing you can do for your career.
A portfolio isn’t just for job-seekers. It demonstrates your achievements when your annual review comes around. It proves your value to your executive and organisation. It can help you secure a promotion or a raise. If your dream job suddenly becomes available, an updated professional portfolio allows you to act immediately, while other candidates could be scrambling to get their information current.
What is a social portfolio?
A social portfolio contains much of the same information as your print and digital portfolios. The only difference is that it lives on a social media site where it can easily be shared and viewed by others. It allows you to demonstrate your career experience, accomplishments, resources, and more. The best part is that creating a social portfolio is as easy as setting up a social profile!
The biggest reason you need a social portfolio, in addition to your print and digital versions, is that it makes you easy to find in a sea of other administrative professionals. Recruiters are increasingly using social media to find viable candidates for open positions. According to the “2021 Recruiter Nation Report”, 68% of recruiters were using Facebook, 65% LinkedIn, 48% Twitter, 46% Instagram, and 35% YouTube. LinkedIn was the top pick for sourcing the highest quality candidates. Recruiters can’t find you if you’re not there, so it’s time to create your social portfolio!
Steps towards creating your social portfolio
The good news about a social portfolio is that as long as you already have a complete print and/or digital portfolio, it’s just a matter of plugging in the information. Your social portfolio doesn’t need anything different; it’s just presented in a different way.
Here are some steps to help you get started:
1. Choose your social media platform
While most admins will choose to host their social portfolio on LinkedIn, you may have a different preference, and that’s OK. Once you make your choice, it’s as easy as creating an account or logging into an existing account.
2. Complete the key profile sections
The next thing you need to do is complete the key profile sections. These sections are the ‘meat’ of your social portfolio. Choose a professional headshot and cover photo, and enter details like your location, industry, and contact information. This is also your chance to create a custom headline with keywords that will help recruiters find you. Here are some examples:
- Executive Assistant to the CEO. City Clerk. College Educator. Training Specialist. Entrepreneur.
- Certified Executive Assistant. C-Suite. Oil & Gas. Administrative Performance Excellence. EA Advocate and Mentor. Administrative Professionals – Houston Founder.
- Compassionate Medical Administration. Experienced Joy-Bringer. Diligent, Encouraging, Supportive, Reliable. 15+ years Administrative Excellence.
- Sophisticated Executive Assistant with Experience as a C-Suite Ambassador, Gatekeeper, and Event Planner.
The more specific you can be with your headline, the better the chances of matching with a recruiter who can get you into the right role.
3. Complete the experience, education, and skills sections
Now that you have the basics, it’s time to get down to the finer details. The experience, education, and skills sections, along with applicable documentation to back up your claims, help you to shine.
If you’ve chosen LinkedIn as your social media platform, you might consider taking some of the quizzes offered on the site. These quizzes earn you skill badges for your profile. This is also the place where you can ask for endorsements and recommendations from past employers, colleagues, or others in your network. Don’t forget to include things like accomplishments, awards, certifications, training, etc.
4. Add work samples
Anyone can say they can do something. Work samples prove it.
There are four main areas you can add work samples to on your LinkedIn Profile and turn it into a social portfolio site.
- Featured media. This is where you can showcase LinkedIn posts you’ve created, articles you’ve written, and links to your website, blog, or digital portfolio.
- Experience. Here’s where you’ll include work samples that showcase your skills and accomplishments. It’s important to be selective. Don’t include a work sample for every single skill.
- Education. If you’re actively engaged in a training program or have recently finished one, you may want to share links to presentations you’ve done or papers you wrote. If you haven’t been to school in a while and don’t have any relevant work samples to share, it’s OK.
- Projects (which you can find under accomplishments). You can add URLs from websites, Dropbox, or Google Drive to share work samples in this section.
Remember, just because you can add work samples in all of these places doesn’t necessarily mean you need to. You want to give your viewer a taste of who you are, so only include the best of the best.
5. Connect and interact with others
Now that your social portfolio is complete and up to date, it’s time to start networking. If you’re looking to connect with someone specific, simply enter their name into the search bar. By selecting “search my network”, you can see a list of people you may know and send connection requests. Mutual connections are also a great way to expand your network, as people are more likely to accept networking requests if you have a connection in common. But just connecting with people isn’t enough. You also need to engage with those connections. Join groups. Post questions or thought-provoking articles you come across. Make an effort to interact with your network. A social portfolio is supposed to be social, after all!
It’s time to see and be seen!
With a print or digital portfolio, it’s up to you to find people to share it with. A social portfolio allows people to find you, creating new opportunities that you might not otherwise know about. While a social portfolio should never replace your print and digital portfolios, it’s one more component to add to your career toolbox!
© 2022 Julie Perrine International, LLC
Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books - The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity, and Become a Procedures Pro: The Admin’s Guide to Developing Effective Office Systems and Procedures.