Being part of the The Portfolio Collective community is about more than just meeting other members and attending courses – it’s also about defining who you are (and want to be) as a portfolio professional. The goal is to develop a thriving portfolio career, which is why we work hard to help our members connect with exciting opportunities as seamlessly as possible.
In order for us to do that, you need to create a robust and distinct TPC profile. A well curated profile opens doors to opportunities by clearly displaying your unique experience, skills and offerings to potential clients. It’s the best way for others to know if you’ll be a good fit for a job when it pops up.
Your story is constantly evolving, so we created this guide to help you best define yourself and get found for the right opportunities on the platform.
Let’s get started
If you haven’t filled out your profile before, simply click on your avatar and select “edit my profile” from the drop down menu.
From there, you’ll be taken to the “About me” section. You can access all the other sections from the left hand menu. Your profile is broken up into five categories:
Each section is designed to showcase the diversity of skills, values and experience you bring to the table, the things you’re passionate about and the offerings you bring to your clients.
In other words, this is so much more than a CV – it’s your personal brand – an intimate glimpse into everything that makes you unique and special.
Section 1: All about you
A good place to start is the “About me” section. This is where you can upload a profile photo, choose a cover image, add a bio and fill out key information like your location and the regions you work in.
Choose imagery that tells us who you are, not just what you do
Your profile picture and cover image are the first impression of you on the platform. So don’t stick with the generic placeholder image that comes standard when you sign up. Make your page unique to you.
You want to pick a profile image that’s professional, yet approachable. Keep in mind it will be inside a circular frame, so your head and shoulders should be centred with a background that is clean and clear.
Your cover image, on the other hand, can be a bit more playful. Think of it as a way to visually show your approach, skills and passions.
Don’t have the time to dig up an image? Not a problem. We’ve built a handy search function right into the profile editor that allows you to find royalty-free images from Unsplash without leaving the page.
Simply click the “Browse” button and start searching. Once you’ve picked an image you like, you can zoom in and crop the photo.
Remember to fill out your key information
By telling us where you’re based and what regions you prefer to work with, we’ll be able to accurately match you with any relevant roles that come up. Plus, it’s a great way for people nearby to connect with you and make plans to meet up in real life.
Create a unique bio that goes beyond LinkedIn
Don’t just copy over the same professional (backward-looking) bio that you have on your LinkedIn – tell us about your ‘Why’ too. What are you passionate about? What do you value most in the work you do and the clients you work with? Where do you want to take your portfolio career?
You have 450 characters to tell us about you – so make every letter count!
Section 2: Your portfolio career
One of the things that makes a TPC profile so impactful is its ability to highlight the multitude of skills and services that portfolio professionals have to offer. We’re not just limited by one thing; we can be passionate about a variety of projects.
That’s why we made sure your profile allows you to showcase EVERYTHING that you do.
The “My portfolio career” section highlights the many roles you juggle, the industries you work in and the years of experience you have. It also lets you link to a personal website and all your social accounts.
And, importantly, it’s where you can choose the keywords that best describe you and what you do. This is essential for getting found on our platform. Keywords are the foundation of any search functionality – so don’t neglect them!
Think about differentiation
It’s important to include the same language people might use when they’re searching for someone with your expertise – but you also need to stand out from the crowd. When listing your roles and industries, remember to add the niche experiences and skills too, and don’t be afraid to add your quirky interests into the mix.
Are you a lawyer and a wine sommelier? Then include both!
Link to your wider web presence
When you provide insight into the different parts of your personal and professional life, others understand more about who you are and what you do. Linking to your social networks and website makes it that much easier for other members and hiring managers to determine if you’d be the right fit for a project or collaboration.
It’s all part of your wider digital footprint. So don’t be afraid to share!
Choose your keywords wisely
Think about how people might search for you. What keywords would someone use to find a mentor, board member, fractional CXO, startup consultant or a project manager? These are the words and phrases you’ll want to include in your profile. That way, you show up in the search results when people are looking for someone with your skills and experience.
An added bonus is that the right keywords will also get you found on Google. TPC profiles are public, which means anyone searching your name or for your unique skill set can find you via a search engine. That means more visibility and opportunities for you.
Section 3: Your offerings
This section does exactly what it says on the tin – it tells potential clients what you offer. That includes the products, services, IP, network and passions you bring to your clients.
It’s the perfect space to showcase your unique approach, emerging ideas, businesses you’re currently developing, collaborations you’re taking part in and things you’d like to do down the line.
Give us the full picture
Don’t just tell us what you do – show us. Each offering you add allows you to have a project title, description, link and image. The more insight you give, the more we’ll understand you. Have at least three offerings, and make sure to consider all the ways you can bring them to life.
Section 4: Your experiences
Think of your experiences like a visual celebration of all the cool stuff you’ve done. That could be a high level overview of a specialisation you have (i.e. you’ve worked as a Go-To-Market Consultant) or it could be something amazing you built like an agency or an online marketplace.
The layout of this section is very similar to “What I offer” – so make sure to include an image, description and any relevant links.
Portfolio careers aren’t linear - and your profile doesn’t have to be either
You don’t have to list out past employers in a chronological list. Rather, this is your opportunity to showcase the top accomplishments you’re proud of.
Include exciting projects you’ve worked on, awards you’ve won, relevant roles you’ve held and other experiences (personal AND professional) that have shaped who you are as a person. Upload 4-6 relevant work-related experiences that give you credibility for your ‘What I Offer’ section, plus 1-2 more personal (even quirky) experiences that bring the complete ‘you’ to life.
Section 5: Your skills
Finally, we have the “My skills” section. Just like the keywords, these are great for helping other members find you when searching on the platform.
You can make the most of this by featuring specific skills you want to draw attention to – and that includes soft skills too!
We recommend choosing at least five skills that best describe your repertoire and highlight how diverse your offerings and capabilities truly are.
It takes a few iterations to build a memorable TPC profile, but, trust us, it’s totally worth it. Putting in the leg work now helps you define your personal brand and portfolio career, which makes it so much easier to be understood and connected with right opportunities.
Still not sure where to start? Look at other members’ profiles for inspiration! And don’t be afraid to ask for advice – the TPC team is always on hand to help out, so reach out if you’d like some feedback.
It’s important to think about why you joined The Portfolio Collective in the first place. There’s no right or wrong way to fill out your profile and we expect it will change as you continue to develop your portfolio career.
Think this sounds like the right path for you? Come along to our monthly Get started event for new members to find out what a portfolio career could look like and how The Portfolio Collective can help you take those first steps towards professional success – and don’t forget to connect with our community!