LinkedIn's profile pages have long resembled the traditional resume — a bland white page filled with black text — but today the company is changing that by turning profiles into something closer to a portfolio. Users can now include content such as photo galleries, videos, and slideshows in their profiles to display examples of their work experience. Each item is represented by a large image that adds some needed flair inside the profile's summary, experience, or education section, and other users are given a separate space to comment on the work.

The content must be hosted by either LinkedIn or an approved service, such as TwitPic for images, and users can't have links that lead out to their own websites. However, the site includes support for a number of major services where video and audio files are already likely to be hosted, including YouTube, Vimeo, and SoundCloud. Each item that a user adds to their profile must link to something, but it can be as simple as a text document, which will be represented as a screenshot from the first page. The option is beginning to roll out today in English-speaking countries, but there's no timeline for when it will be available to all members.

LinkedIn is turning its focus to visuals

Though the company views the profile enhancements as being useful in every industry, there isn't necessarily a good way to visualize everyone's work experience. Visuals have been a focus for LinkedIn lately, which last month overhauled its iPhone and Android apps with big, bright imagery and a sleeker look. The company has also been issuing a series of new services and improvements over the past two months as it works toward a more vibrant feature set. Though not all users will be able to easily take advantage of the new feature, for some it could make LinkedIn's profiles more representative than a traditional resume.