We are living in times of new opportunities and possibilities.
We are also living in times where AI and robots are going to take away many jobs.
In such times, it is important to do the work and create a body of work that can help you stand apart. You can’t stop there. You should know how to showcase it.
I am sharing options that you can use to build and showcase your body of work. Only the first option (resume) apply to job seekers. Rest is for everyone, all creators, startup founders, and executives. So skip the resume if you are not looking for a job.
Resume. A resume appears at the lowest rung among all possible options to showcase your work, because everyone has it. That said there are companies that will ask you to send a resume when you apply to them. So it makes sense to do a resume refresh once every year or six months.
Resume does not mean anything without a cover letter. Your cover letter is your pitch to the employer and you should take time to practice it.
A resume is where people start when it comes to showcasing their work. It has utility and you should use it where relevant, especially when you are seeking a job.
A LinkedIn profile is people’s next stop. But there are other options that you can use based on your focus.
I am sharing them below.
Social Platforms You Can Use to Showcase Your Body of Work
There are different platforms for different professionals.
LinkedIn is the most popular one with more than 600 million users. It is like a resume with layers of connection and content on top of it. On LinkedIn, you can create your profile, connect with other professionals, and consume and create content.
Behance, owned by Adobe, is an online platform to showcase & discover creative work. As of last year, Behance had over 10 million members. If you are a designer or an artist you can use Behance as your portfolio showcase.
YouTube is the world’s second biggest search engine. You can use it to showcase your work but YouTube’s big power is its user base and discovery capabilities. If you can do long-form video then you should be on YouTube.
Medium is popular among writers and programmers. It allows the discovery of your content and also allows you to build a community around your content.
500px is an online platform for photographers. Photographers can use it to gain global exposure and test their work. As of last year, the site had 15 million users. If you are a photographer then 500px is a place to showcase your work.
Instagram is a platform that all creators can use because of its size and content capabilities. While it is an obvious choice for artists, video creators and visual designers, marketers, and authors can also use it.
Authors like Seth Godin are using Instagram to showcase mini-books on different topics. That is one innovate use of micro-content to distribute your work. (hat tip: Jigyasa. I am glad, she told me that Seth is doing something interesting on Instagram. I wasn’t tuned into his Instagram after his last run there and curiously checked. I was wowed by what I saw.)
Create Content to Feed The Platform of Your Choice
All the platforms that I have shared above are nothing without the content. You need to feed content to these platforms.
Here are your options:
Words / Article / Blog Posts.
Start by writing one article about your area of expertise. If you are keen you can write a series of articles and even convert them into a definitive guide. You don’t need to start with a series though.
If you end up writing a definitive guide, it can serve you for years. Just update it once a year. You can also write a new guide every year, and showcase the new skills you acquire.
Once you write you can use the platforms above to showcase your work. LinkedIn and Medium are both good for publishing long-form content. You can also use Instagram to post snippets of your work and prompt users to click through to the longer content in other places.
Photos / Art Series.
If you are a photographer and are learning in a course or class, start by showcasing a class project. If you are self-taught then announce a project like #100daysofphotos. Take a photo a day and showcase what you create. You can do a similar 100 days project as an artist to practice, and be consistent.
Use one of the platforms shared above to showcase your work and build a community around your work. Start with Instagram.
Voice is taking over the search and the world slowly. It may not be as fancy as video or colorful pictures but its consumption is more convenient than that of words or video. Utility alone makes it a force. You can create voice content using your phone and distribute through platforms like Soundcloud.
Video / Video Reel / Short Film.
You can start by creating short videos on your phone. As you progress make videos with a better storyline, editing and production values.
Video and audio are big now. This is how everyone will communicate for some time to come. So every creator even if they are not filmmakers should learn to create videos.
You can also create a short film or documentary which is the long form version of video like you write a definitive guide for text.
Remember when it comes to creating content, skill or craft is more important than the platform you choose. So work on getting better at what you do and learn to talk about it using words, images, audio or video. Once you become good at one of these, add more and leverage multimedia in the true sense.
Content Creation: Micro to Macro, Macro to Micro
There are two ways to create content. You can use micro to create macro content, like how I have shared in my slow writing the book post.
You can also create a long video and use it to create multiple blog posts, short videos, and short blog posts. That is macro to micro. You can also use a series of such videos and convert it into a book.
Packaging Your Body Of Work And Creating A Hub To Showcase It
Raw ingredients don’t mean much until you cook food using them and present them as a dish for others to enjoy. Similarly, words, videos, audio files, and photos by themselves don’t have a way to connect each other for viewers, readers or listeners. You need to package them and create a home base where people can find your body of work.
Content Packaging Options
Blog / Podcast / Vlog.
You can package your articles into a blog, videos into a show, and your audio files into a podcast. Casey Neistat is one of my favorite video creators who took the consistency and craft to a new level by creating a short film every day for several years. To start a podcast, you can use Anchor.
Book is one of the most credible packaging options for your work. It is not easy but if you have the skills and the patience to write a book then go for it. It will be one of the most satisfying and rewarding things you’ll do for your career. You get an asset that you can show to your family/kids, and get a handy tool to establish your name in the market you operate.
Reach out to chat, if you fancy writing a book. I can help you assess your idea and share if you are ready to write your book.
Website As A Home Base
At some point in your journey as a creator, you should create a home base where some of your work lives, and where you can share pointers for all your other work.
You can use WordPress, Squarespace, or Webflow to create your site and link everything you have from there. Check out my friend Sandhya Ramchandran’s website to get an idea. She used Squarespace to create it.
Doing all this is not the end. Just the beginning of building and showcasing your body of work.
Once you do it, you will need to create a short story, an elevator pitch around it and also find ways to spread your work by giving feet to your work through a well-thought plan.
Stay tuned to learn more about it.