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In case you hadn’t noticed, LinkedIn has quietly been overhauling itself during the past year in terms of features and appearance. And today, the powerful social network upped the ante again with the ability to add photos and video to personal profiles through its Professional Portfolio feature.

Long gone are the days of the boring LinkedIn profile that served as a glorified online resume. Today’s LinkedIn profile is quickly becoming more of an online portfolio or storybook, capable of showing the world who you are, what you’ve accomplished and what you can do to help. LinkedIn professional portfolio takes that experience to a new level to allow professionals of all types the opportunity to showcase examples of their work, completely within LinkedIn.

In announcing the new features, LinkedIn says “For the first time, you will now have the ability to showcase your unique professional story using rich, visual content on your LinkedIn profile. This means you can illustrate your greatest achievements in the form of stunning images, compelling videos, innovative presentations and more.

Here’s a quick slideshare demonstrating the new features found in LinkedIn professional portfolio.

Potential Benefits of LinkedIn Professional Portfolio

What are the true benefits of LinkedIn Professional Portfolio? As I see it, here are three to consider:

  • A better demonstration of the type of work that you’ve done in the past. Words are great, but can be limiting. A photo or a video in LinkedIn professional portfolio takes that explanation to another level.
  • A competitive edge in finding your next job. Consider this scenario: an employer is considering two candidates with fairly equal backgrounds. One has visual examples of their work in their LinkedIn professional portfolio and the other does not. There’s a better than average chance that the person with the visual portfolio will get extra consideration.
  • A more attractive profile. Let’s face it, LinkedIn has become a crowded landscape and you need to do more to stand apart from the crowd. Strong visual elements liven up your profile in a big way that gets you the attention you seek.

Will LinkedIn professional portfolio take off? Clearly it’s too soon to tell, but I like its chances. LinkedIn has gradually moved itself to be more visually appealing and this move fits right in with that direction. In the meantime, it looks like it is time to start dusting off the photos and videos to show off your professional creativity in your LinkedIn profile!