There are plenty of ways to find a job in a software house no matter if you’re a developer, project manager or UX designer. Even if you just merely skim IT world you probably noticed the great significance of LinkedIn profile for both employees and HR specialists. So if you consider working in this prospective and exciting industry work on your LI first. Here’re some tips on how to pump it up!
Within 3 seconds when you clicked on this article and started reading, about 6 new people created a profile on LinkedIn. Crazy, right? Every day LinkedIn is more and more popular. Just look at the number of registered users. Over 610 million users in 200 countries and over 70% of them live outside the USA. In Poland, over 2.5 million registered users! If you are looking for a job, an employee, business contacts or need some information about a specific company you should definitely have a profile on this portal. It's good to know that apart from private profiles, on LinkedIn over 30 million companies have corporate fanpage. 30 million from various industries including the IT sector.
What should we do, to make our profile attractive? How to draw the attention of business and recruiters on us? I will show you some tricks on, how to pimp your profile to appear more often in searches and to keep an interested person on it for a little longer.
Let us see you! Profile & cover photo on LinkedIn
The main profile view on LinkedIn is crucial. It has the greatest impact on whether our observer decides to watch the rest of the information.
The added photo increases the number of visits to the profile - up to twenty-one times (!) and is a key element in building an image of our personal branding. Take care of a good photo and remember that LinkedIn is a business website so leave your holiday photo in sunglasses and hat better for other social media like Facebook or Instagram. Make sure your photo is up to date, done with good light, non-distracting background and your dress is neat. Don’t forget that smile is always a good choice!
An additional element that will make your profile more attractive is the customized cover photo. Background photo can show the business area which interests you or your hobby. High quality and good size are really important. Below you’ll see two examples of the main view - take a good look! Kuba as UI Designer knows what aesthetics, good design and consistency are. The logo he used as a cover photo can also be found on his website and portfolio - well done Kuba, well done!
On my profile, as a cover photo, I chose a picture of the landmark - tenements on the old market in Poznan. Whoever visits my profile knows that I live and work in Poznan, I’m attached to this place and I probably don’t want to change it in the near future.
Treat the cover photo as your personal business card - put there your company's logo, a photo with your hobby or a photo of the place you are related to.
You in Short - headline and summary
Another thing is the headline which we can see on the profile under our name. This is an important thing, it's always displayed next to our post, comments and on search lists. So what should be in the header? Let's look at the examples above - Kuba posted only brief information about the field which he works, it nicely fits with the rest of his profile and is consistent with his principles of order and minimalism. For better visibility and increased traffic on the profile, he could add a few keywords defining his work, for example, UI or Graphic Designer. I want to let people know from the first look who I am and from where I write so I also posted the name of my current employer. We both need to improve our headlines. I specialize in IT recruitment and Kuba is really good at design mobile and web application. We should post this information there!
When you personalize the profile it's also worth to change the URL - LinkedIn allows you to set your own URL and profile privacy. Choose what LinkedIn members and others see on your profile.
Summary, as the name suggests, is the place where it is best to sum up in a few words your professional experience, business interests, and development plans. Don’t leave this field empty! LinkedIn gives us 2000 characters there, so it means that this set is really important due to search algorithms. Post there a lot of phrases and keywords. A very popular trend is to compose a summary answering the question WHY you do what you do - not necessarily how
Below is a good summary of our Head of Development - Mateusz Anioła.
The paramount part of LinkedIn Profile - professional experience and skills
Only one advice works in the experience section - treat this part as your resume. Keep your profile update. It’s not enough to create your profile once because you are constantly developing and acquiring new skills. Earlier sections of the profile are a visual business card but the experience is what business contacts really looking for. From a recruiters point of view, the scope of duties and the tools and technologies used are the most important. Let's assume I want to hire Python Developer - first I put in the search engine phrase like Python Developer, Backend Developer, Web Developer or Software Developer and keywords, for example, Django, DRF, Flask, Pyramid - it's good to write technologies that will help particular people reach you. If you do not have a lot of professional experience, because you are just starting your professional career - write about projects that you have done so far, post a link to GitHub or your portfolio - show yourself from the best side :)
Let's come back to Mateusz's profile.
Ask for endorsement - recommendations
LinkedIn has an option to confirm skills by people from our network. Like most, this section also matters in search engines and skills are treated like keywords. Confirmed positions are a great asset and profile verification - look one more time at Mateusz’s profile, where the number of confirmation reflects his experience.
Recommendations are one of the most effective ways of selling something, so they also work on LinkedIn. Whether you're looking for a new job or a client, it's worth getting them from people you've worked with. LinkedIn makes this easier and you can ask for recommendations through the portal. All you need to do is to visit the profile of the person from whom you want to get a recommendation and click "more" under the headline - you’ll find a proper feature there. Before you ask someone for positive feedback, it's a good practice to send a message before. Remember that not everyone might be interested to give you references. The important thing is also to collect recommendations on a regular basis - it is more effective than asking for a recommendation when we worked with someone a few years ago :)
It’s never fully completed - be active on LinkedIn
What else can you do to hone your Linkedin profile? If you speak foreign languages, you have completed courses or you can show off publications and articles - you will also find places to post it. As a recruiter I always check this section, I really appreciate the candidate's activities beyond his standard business.
I was wondering how to summarize this article for a long time - and I have only one idea. If you want to get real benefits from LinkedIn like job offers and business cooperation, even the most completed profile will not help you when you are not active there. Write, recommend, and comment. Expand your network, regularly check messages and write back to them even if you are not interested - karma is coming back!
If you're looking for a job in IT - check job offers of our software house! Hope to see you personally on the interview :)