Building your LinkedIn profile

- 5 minutes read

Your profile

The number one goal of your profile is to make you visible to potential employers and recruiters. In order to be found, you need to have the right keywords in your profile. Also make sure that the keywords you emphasize are related to the jobs that interest you, do not talk about your Microsoft Work skills when looking for a React developer role. This is very important if you are changing careers.

Generally speaking, you will want to get your profile strength to 100% since it boosts your ranking in results (follow LinkedIn’s advice on how to get there), but below are some sections you will want to make sure are perfectly written:

Profile photo

It’s important to have one, but don’t stress too much about this. Make sure you’re alone in your picture, look professional and ideally don’t take a selfie.

Job Title

This should be the job you are looking for, not what you are currently doing. If you are looking for a Web Developer role, put that as your title. You should avoid any mention of being a student or aspiring to become a developer, you’ve gone through the training you’re officially a developer !

Summary

This is the only place where you can be creative on your profile, so don’t miss that opportunity. Make sure you write 2-3 sentences that best describe you and your skills. It’s always a good idea to capture the person’s attention with a call to action, like a link to your portfolio or inviting them to contact you with your personal email address.

Example:

I am a Front End developer with real world experience that is passionate about building websites and web applications. My specialty is JavaScript programming, using frameworks like React and VueJS to build engaging projects. Take a look at my portfolio: https://www.myportfolio.com

Experience

Very much like the summary, you should keep each job’s description very concise. One sentence to describe your role and one sentence for the skills you used/developed (these can also just mention technologies used). Recruiters are going to spend only a few seconds reading these, so make sure keywords (technologies, tools, etc.) are clear.

Example:

Front End developer building UI components based on UX requirements and user-stories. Technologies: Typescript, React, sass, Github, CircleCI

Skills & Endorsements

These are a very good way of making you look experienced and knowledgeable. If a recruiter has a list of skills they’re hiring for, chances are they will look at your skills and endorsements as a way to validate a checklist.

Here is where you flex your network and get everyone that knows you to endorse your skills. Trade endorsements with other students in your class if you need to. Make sure you only list skills you actually have and would be comfortable talking about in an interview. If you are changing careers and have professional experience, have your old colleagues vouch for non-tech skills on your profile.

Get your profile score

After doing some basic optimization of your profile you can use a tool like https://www.jobscan.co/linkedin/results to scan your profile. It’ll give you a score and some pointers of things to improve.

Your settings

Making things public

In order to be found, you need to make sure everything on your profile is public. You can tweak those settings in your account under the Privacy Tab.

Account > Settings & Privacy > Privacy > Edit your public profile
Your profiles’ public visibility — On
Profile Photo — On
Headline — Show
Websites — Show
Summary — Show
Current Experience — Show
Details — Show
Projects — Show
Recommendations — Show

https://www.samanthaming.com/blog/tips-to-optimize-your-linkedin-profile-for-developers/

Open to job opportunities

Let recruiters know you are open for opportunities. You can follow this article for more details:

https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/67405

Keep recruiters on your profile

The last setting we suggest you update is something that disables Viewers of this profile also viewed. You don’t want to facilitate recruiters finding people with similar profiles and skills, so we recommend you turn that feature off in Settings & Privacy > Privacy > Viewers of this profile also viewed.

profile settings

Connections

The last step in getting a truly All Star profile is by adding connections.

A few good ways to find valuable connections:

  • Go to tech meetups, connect with people you meet there
  • Teachers, TAs
  • Other graduates and students you meet
  • Add people that make you look experienced
  • Colleagues from previous workplaces
  • A few recruiters from companies/fields you are interested in