It may be tempting to ditch all social media these days, but you can’t ignore the power of LinkedIn. Especially in tech, the platform is a powerful tool used by employers, recruiters, professionals and job seekers.
Engaging with it and using it to expand your network can make a huge difference in your ability to attract all of the above. The more detailed, organized and easy-to-read your profile, the better your chances are at creating a powerful network. That network is the key to attracting potential employers that are a perfect fit for you, your skillset, and the culture you’re seeking.
Here are 8 quick tips to help you build a winning profile and use LinkedIn to your advantage:
- Choose the right profile picture. Your profile picture is the first thing people see and can make an instant first impression. Even if it means investing in a good headshot, it’s critical to choose an image that captures your essence. You can also add a frame that demonstrates you are #opentowork, if applicable.
- Add a background banner. Adding a background banner can show more about your personality than what viewers would get by simply reading through your experience. Make sure you select something classic and professional, and avoid images with a lot of text that can be difficult to read behind your profile image.
- Come up with a catchy headline. Create a phrase that represents either what you do, the tools or environments you specialize in, or what you’re searching for. Some examples could be “Specializing in React/Node, Docker, AWS or Systems Admin” or “Seeking DevOps Cloud Opportunities.”
- Include a summary. It’s easy to breeze past this section, but adding a summary can give viewers more information on what motivates you, how your experience has shaped you as a professional, and ultimately, what you bring to the table. You can approach it with a brief anecdote about what inspired you to pursue the field, a memorable story of a time when everything clicked, or a summary of 1-2 of your greatest personal achievements. Regardless, make sure you end with a call to action – why would an employer want you? What do you bring to the team that is uniquely you?
- Stock your featured section. Do not skip over the featured section as it’s a great place to enter your portfolio. In tech, we see a lot of GitHub, personal websites, and portfolios, and this LinkedIn feature is an excellent place to add those links or upload relevant documents. You can even get ahead by uploading a downloadable resume here, making sure to note when it was last updated (example: Resume March 2022).
- Link your experience to past employers. For each job role you had in the past, be sure to connect the role to the company’s official LinkedIn profile. This will help LinkedIn’s algorithm understand more about your skills and help market you to the best networks. For descriptions under each role, stick with an easy-to-read list of bullets: achievements (what you are most proud of within the role), whether it was full-time or contract, and any special recognitions you received.
- Don’t sleep on skills. By adding all of your applicable skills, platforms, languages, frameworks, and tools to this section, you can help LinkedIn’s search engine connect you to the right potential employers and positions.
- Include all of your education. Listing your degree programs verbatim is a given, but it’s also important to connect the official LinkedIn profile for your schools or universities. Don’t be afraid to add details around extracurriculars, GPA, or relevant background (for example, if you attended part-time while working full-time).