Building Your Professional Portfolio & Online Presence

Professional Portfolio & Online Presence

If you met someone who was hiring for your dream job, where would you send them to show them what you know and the types of things you can do? If you had to think about this and didn’t have an instant answer, you should consider establishing a personal online ‘home base’.

Think about it. People are making first impressions of you BEFORE they ever meet you. Whenever I have a meeting or phone call with someone I’ve never met, I Google them to see what I can learn about them. Odds are you probably do it too? And if we are doing it to them, guess what? They are doing the same thing to us.

Have you ever taken a minute to see what they’re finding about you? If not, go to Google right now and search for yourself to see what others are finding. (Use private or incognito mode to avoid personalized results.) What did you find? Do the results represent you and your best work?

I can hear what you’re thinking. You don’t have time to do this. My response is you do, you just don’t know it. You should apply the concept of “pay yourself first” and block time on your calendar. Even 10 or 15 minutes a few times a week is more than enough. Small actions over time have a big impact.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are a collection of professional presence and networking articles I’ve gleaned from my Friday 5 newsletter that can help and inspire you as you start down this path.

Of course, I’m always happy to help. If you have any questions or would like any suggestions, etc, just leave a comment at the bottom of this page.

Working Out Loud Circle Guides

What do you know about the concept of Working Out Loud? In a nutshell, when you Work Out Loud, you’re more effective because you have access to more people, knowledge, and opportunities that can help you. John Stepper (@johnstepper) has literally written to book on this topic. The best part is how easy and accessible it is to get started. He recently updated his free guide for leading or participating in a Work Out Loud circle which helps you build relationships related to a goal you care about in just an hour a week.

How to Future-Proof Your Career

This short piece by Phillip VanDusen (@philipvandusen) is totally spot on. The secret is founded on learning and assuming that one day you’ll be laid off. Well worth a few minutes of your time and I’ll bet you can think of at least one other person who could benefit from seeing this as well. Why not share it with them?

Watch it here.

Skill Stacking: A Practical Strategy To Achieve Career Success

Interesting perspective from Darius Foroux (@DariusForoux) about how the combination of various skills combine to help make you successful.

“If you think extraordinary talent and a maniacal pursuit of excellence are necessary for success, I say that’s just one approach, and probably the hardest. When it comes to skills, quantity often beats quality.” — Scott Adams

Skill Stacking: A Practical Strategy To Achieve Career Success

Tips and Tools for Creating a Professional Portfolio

You never know when you might need to show a professional portfolio. I recently talked with Connie Malamed (@elearningcoach) about options for creating your online portfolio. We walked through some great options no matter what you’re experience level or technical skills may be. Check the show notes for the links and let me know if you have any questions!

ELC 051: Tips and Tools for Creating an eLearning Portfolio

Do You Have an Online Home-base?

Having an online presence is like career insurance. Get it before you need it. It is an investment in yourself that everyone should make. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours!?

How to Publish Regularly, Even If You Lack Writing Confidence

This article by Sonia Simone (@soniasimone) on @Copyblogger is another one that resonates with me and is a lesson that I had to learn myself. Whatever your reasons for not being comfortable with it, just do it. Click that Publish button — even if you’re not a “great writer” yet. If nothing else, you owe it to yourself to hear what Ira Glass has to say about it. It is one of my favorite things in the world.

How to Publish Regularly, Even If You Lack Writing Confidence

Want to Grow Your Network? Stay Home and Write

Andrew Chen (@andrewchen) reflects on his 10+ years of blogging and shares what the lessons he’s learned. This is something that really resonates with me and is well worth a read. You’ll get valuable insights on building your ‘personal bat signal’ and other great stuff. If you like what he has to say, you can subscribe to his newsletter.

Publishing ideas, learnings, opinions, for years & years is a great way to give. And you’ll figure out how to capture value later.

10 years of professional blogging – what I’ve learned

8 Skills For Learning And Development Professionals To Future Proof Your Career

Arun Pradhan (@arunzpradhan) thinks our profession is needed now more than ever – just not in its current form. I agree and you can read this post to form your own opinion. I’d love to hear what it is!

What is digital body language?

As digital interactions are becoming a larger, more important part of our lives this is a rich exploration of “digital body language” by Jo Cook (@lightbulbjo) gives you some things you should be thinking about.

What is digital body language?

The Expert Generalist: Why the Future Belongs to Polymaths

Zat Rana (@Zat_Rana) explores how the value and importance of polymaths may increase in a world increasingly dominated by machines. “Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses — especially learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”

The Difference Between Open-Minded and Closed-Minded People

Another great article from Shane Parrish‘s (@farnamstreet) fantastic newsletter. If you’re not subscribed, you really should get on that. Learn how self-made billionaire and founder of the largest hedge fund in the world Ray Dalio (@RayDalio), lays out seven powerful ways you can tell the difference between open and closed-minded people.

The Difference Between Open-Minded and Closed-Minded People

Networking for introverts, the shy and the socially anxious

Networking can be intimidating for a lot of people. In this post, Richard Cosgrove (@rcosgrove) shares how preparation can be the secret to tackling a networking event if you’re a person who struggles with socializing.

How to introduce yourself so you’ll be unforgettable (in a good way!)

If you can move beyond the boring basics when you’re asked “What do you do?”, you’ll set yourself up for new relationships, opportunities and revelations says introduction expert Joanna Bloor (@JoannaBloor).

How to introduce yourself so you’ll be unforgettable (in a good way!)

Thanks for reading! If you found anything good, forward it to a friend or spread the word with a tweet.

Published by Mike Taylor

Born with a life-long passion for learning, I have the great fortune to work at the intersection of learning, design, technology & collaboration.

4 thoughts on “Building Your Professional Portfolio & Online Presence

  1. This is a great check-list of stuff for making portfolios Mike, thanks for sharing this. Over the years from teacher’s college through graduate school in educational technology I’ve had all kinds of portfolios, but it took me a long time before coming up with something I was happy with. The current version is at and this acts as a hub for a few aspects of my digital footprint. I’ve spent moments here and there over the last year or so trying to claw back my web presence from platforms to create a ‘domain of my own’.

    One other portfolio making resource I’ve been recommending to colleagues is Kristin Anthony’s course “Go Design Something: Building Your Job-Winning Portfolio” She breaks down the process into actionable steps to get participants straight into making their portfolios. I found it useful to review even after mine was 75% together.


  2. Hi Mike, regarding “Professional Portfolios and Online Presence”, for most people isn’t a well-thought out and up-to-date LinkedIn page enough? I know its the first place I go if I want to see what someone has been doing in their professional capacity.


    1. Hello, Paul! Thanks for your question. I think LinkedIn is a great place to start and the thing you should do if you are doing nothing else. It typically ranks high in Google results and has a lot more features than a lot of people realize. One key is being active and not just using your LI profile as a static billboard. One good way to check how you´re doing with that is to check your SSI score at

      One consideration is that you don´t ¨own¨ what you put on LinkedIn. It isn´t very likely but it could theoretically go away at some point. Also depending on the type of work you want to highlight you may need some other platform to host certain types of content, etc.


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