You could be missing out on some amazing job opportunities just because your LinkedIn profile doesn’t accurately show what you know. Many really qualified people are invisible to recruiters because they don't add enough information—or the right information—to their profiles.
Recruiters scroll through hundreds of LinkedIn profiles every day, trying to find people who might be a good fit for their company or their client’s company. If they can’t find the information they’re looking for on your profile right away, they’ll quickly move on to the next.
You don’t even have to write much to build a profile that’s easy for recruiters to find. It's actually easier to locate all the information when it's presented in a bulleted list.
Let's go through the LinkedIn profile sections and improve them! TL;DR:
- Photo and Banner: make recruiters more inclined to click your profile and remember you
- Contact information: makes it easier for recruiters to reach out (emails are great)
- Headline: absolutely needed if you ever want to be found. Use common words so you can be found in search engines.
- About: tell them what you like to work with and what you want to do.
- Featured: highlight your greatest accomplishments.
- Experience: detail the programming languages and tools you’ve used.
- Skills & Endorsements: include a list of your skills; it’s extremely valuable. If you passed assessments, that’s even better.
- Languages: list languages you can communicate in well enough that native speakers will feel comfortable talking to you
- Education: some recruiters weigh this more than others, but if it’s relevant to what you want to do, you should totally include it
Below you’ll find an explanation of each profile section with tips on how to make it better.
Note that "Nice to have" means it's not required, and recruiters probably aren’t going to read it, but it could influence their decision making if they do.
Photo and Banner
A photo and a banner image might not provide any useful information about your professional experience, but your profile will be far more attractive and memorable if you include them. It’s a lot easier to remember someone with both a name and a face, plus some other image, and it’s nice for recruiters to see that you’re a real human.
Provide a clear, high-quality, professional picture and make sure no one else is in it. Wearing casual attire is fine.
Make it as easy as possible for recruiters to reach out by including contact information. Providing an email address can be especially helpful.
Nice to have: Links to your website, blog, GitHub, and other things that showcase your work.
Recruiters will look at your headline to figure out what you do as they scroll through a list of users, so it’s important to pay attention to what yours says.
If you're interested in Full Stack development, these are some of the headlines that will indicate that:
- Tech lead
- Full Stack Developer
- Full Stack Engineer
- Software Developer
- Software Engineer
If you're interested in Frontend only or Backend only, you could use “Backend engineer” or “Front end developer,” similar to the examples above.
You could also add information to make your headline more specific. For example:
An expanded headline helps recruiters further identify what exactly you do and what you like to work with.
Being creative with your headline is cool and all, but you also have to remember that recruiters probably won't be thinking the same way you are when searching for keywords. Stick with at least one very common keyword in your headline.
You might be wondering if you should also include words like “Senior” or “Junior,” as in “Senior Software Engineer.”
I’d say that having “Junior” in your headline is probably always bad. Recruiters might ignore you if they have instructions to look for “Senior” people, even if you have the skills to do the job and they’re probably actually looking for people who are “Mid-level.”
Including “Senior” in your headline could be useful in some cases, though. There might be recruiters who specifically search for “Senior Developers” or something of the sort. But this title might also attract a certain type of company, for example, companies that will put you in a box (Developer I, Developer II, Developer IV, and so on).
Unfortunately, these titles are extremely subjective, and there’s really no point in using them other than to please people with inflexible mindsets. But sometimes that’s necessary.
In the About section, consider highlighting what you’re interested in, like programming languages, and what you want to do in the future. It can potentially be helpful to also note anything that you’re specifically not interested in (ex: You might want to be a Backend developer only).
Keep in mind that almost no one will click “Read more,” so make the most important information immediately visible.
Featured (Nice to have)
It’s certainly nice to see some of your achievements. If you wrote some blog articles, post them and highlight them here. Articles can show that you're passionate about your work and a good communicator.
The most important piece of information in this section is what you’ve been working with. Information about the programming languages, databases, and tools you’ve been using and how long you’ve been using them is extremely valuable.
Nice to have: information about the scale of the projects you worked on. Do you have a project with millions of users? Let people know.
Nice to have: details about the type of projects you worked on. Was it a new project you built from scratch? Was it a big project that you helped fix bugs or add new features to?
Nice to have: ways in which you helped a company. How did your contributions make a difference? What did you learn while working there?
Skills & Endorsements
The list of skills is critical; it shows the programming languages you like and have experience with.
It’s helpful to have “Passed: LinkedIn Assessments” next to the skills you want to use in your next role. The assessments verify that you have the knowledge you say you have.
Nice to have: endorsements in these skills. They’re somewhat beneficial but not required.
Recommendations (Nice to have)
Recommendations from others show that there are people who care about you and like you. Plus, they can highlight your strengths and provide insight into what it’s like to work with you.
Giving recommendations shows that you’re willing to go out of your way to help someone else.
Projects (Nice to have)
You can share your projects and explain what you accomplished with them.
Honors & Awards (Nice to have)
You can share some big achievements that you’re proud of.
If you’re looking to work for a company from abroad, it’s important to mention that you speak their language. That means you have the ability to communicate with team members seamlessly, without it being clear that you’re not speaking your native language.
Some people weigh this heavier than others. If you have a degree in the field you work in, it’s best to show that off.
Look for inspiration in other resumes and integrate good ideas.
Remember to use keywords. They’ll help you show up in search results.
Listing CodeAcademy, FreeCodeCamp, Coursera, and any other similar courses usually gives recruiters the impression that you’re a beginner. It has a similar effect to adding “Junior” in your headline, so be sure to consider that.
If you want to be Backend or Front end only, make that clear in your headline to avoid unwanted messages.
Remove skills you don’t want to work with.
Full Stack vs Full-Stack vs Fullstack?
The best for SEO is Full Stack according to Google Trends.
Backend vs Back-end vs Back end?
The best for SEO is Backend according to Google Trends.
Frontend vs Front-end vs Front end?
The best for SEO is Front end according to Google Trends.
Does it help to indicate that I’m open to work?
Not really. Most people that get hired don’t add it, and recruiters will contact you regardless of your status. But having it enabled won’t hurt you, either.
Are you ready?
Feeling confident in your profile now? Why don’t you apply to join us... ;)