We can learn a lot from artists, photographers and savvy career professionals who have always taken the initiative to routinely collect examples of their best work. They then organize these examples in a variety of ways depending on who they want to show these examples to and for what purpose. We can do the same. Start your own career portfolio by taking these first three steps (keep it simple):
- Buy a large plastic box (your Master Portfolio) with five hanging files.
- Label the files with P.E.A.K.S. (Personal Characteristics; Experience; Accomplishments; Knowledge and Skills).
- Go on a scavenger hunt. Find documents (certificates; evaluations, testimonials; photos etc) that are “evidence” of your efforts in each of these areas. Toss them into the folders.
Now this just gets you in the right mind set. It’s a delicious feeling of “I can do it” and the proof is right here at my fingertips. That’s a great shot of confidence – realizing that you have done a great deal and as a result you have a lot of value to offer others.
With this memory jog and resulting momentum move on to creating your own LinkedIn profile. Pull ideas and inspiration from your Master Portfolio. This is a process, so relax and enjoy giving yourself the recognition that you have earned over the years. And pick up Jason Alba’s book (scroll down) for step-by-step instructions on how to create your profile and how to use LinkedIn effectively.