p.s. Am I still providing personal feedback for developers? Yes.
p.s.s. All you have to do is connect with me on LinkedIn and ask.
p.s.s.s. I need people to volunteer their linked in profiles for feedback, I want to create a video where I walk through some profiles.
p.s.s.s.s. If you like this article, maybe you should read the article I posted prior to this which has 5 other Linked In Profile tips.
p.s.s.s.s.s. Please leave a thoughtful comment down below if you found this useful. ❤️ Comments help more than you know!
🙌 It all started because I was helping out a couple of buddies
I have a couple of friends of mine who graduated from full-stack developer boot camps here in Toronto. They were struggling to find a job that pays well or finding a job at all, and so I thought I could do something to help.
So last Sunday, I wrote in an hour an article on DEV.to tips to improve your LinkedIn Profile for developers. It was more popular than expected, how popular? Continue reading.
🤷 I guess more people are having the same problem
By the end of this week, I had 700+ new connections requests where 90% were asking me if I could personally provide them with LinkedIn profile feedback.
So for the last week, I've been volunteering one hour each morning providing detailed feedback to help more developers. What I'll do is create a Google Doc and list out 4-6 suggestions accompanied with screenshots and multiple practical examples for improvements.
In that 1 hour each morning, I can complete feedback for about 4-7 profiles. I've only so far personally provided feedback for 43 LinkedIn profile requests.
That is only 5% of requests.
🏃The Speed At Which I Can Provide Feedback
So at the current rate, it will take me about 19 weeks (4-5 months) to get through all of them though I have an idea on how to help at scale. (I'll tell you at the bottom of this article)
Out of the 700+ profiles, how many have I looked at who sent requests? All of them. I would say 80% have the same problem.
What are these problems? That's the whole point of this article, and I'm going to tell you the top 5 starting now!
1️⃣ Suggestion 1 - LinkedIn Banner
Your LinkedIn Banner is that big blue graphic above your profile photo, and you can replace it was a custom graphic. The LinkedIn banner is your most effective tool to create an impression.
What makes a good and not so good banner?
Your banner should quickly communicate your specialization. So, for example, my specialty is AWS Cloud Computing.
Here is a good banner example which tells you this person specializes in the MEAN stack.
Here you can see Laura's specialization is writing and she shows that clearing in here banner with a concise summary.
Some people use their banner like wallpaper and have beautiful images:
It doesn't tell us much about this person. I suggest you use sharp messaging in the form of a text when possible.
A good example of a banner where you don't use text is in this profile here as you can see she is an experienced illustrator and it's clearly communicated in her banner.
How do you make your banner?
So you're convinced you to need to create a banner but how do you go about making your own? If you do not happen to own a subscription to Adobe Photoshop and need graphic making capabilities may I suggest Adobe XD. Adobe XD is free to use and a powerful graphics tool, in fact, I created my banner using Adobe XD.
If creating graphics is not a strong skill of yours, I would suggest going on Fivvr and paying someone between 5-30 USD to create you a banner. A word of warning. Fivvr has a section dedicated to making LinkedIn Banners.
These banners tend to be awful with way too much text as you can see:
I'd suggest looking for a graphics artist that doesn't specialize in banners to make something that looks great on Fivvr. Here's a really cool artist on Fivvr. Give them a concept on the banner dimensions and you'll have something unique.
2️⃣ Suggestion 2 - Headline
Use anything beside the headline "Web Developer" or "Software Engineer." It doesn't tell us anything about you. I noticed profiles from Indian and African used the word "IT" even when they intended to describe full stack web developer experience. "IT" devalues web developer as "IT" is a support job so I would suggest if you want to be a Full Stack Developer avoid the "IT" term. The same goes for using the word "website" instead say "web-app."
3️⃣ Suggestion 3 - Profile Summary
Most profiles either have nothing or have an essay's worth information accompanied by a long list of skills of every technology they have ever read or briefly toyed within.
I had said in my previous article on DEV.to I talked about how you should avoid these lists because they will devalue your profile because recruiters may categorize you as inexperienced.
You can typically spot these lists since they seem always to be accompanied by terrible ASCII arrows or example:
► Linux, Unix, Windows, FreeBSD, Solaris, Temple OS ► C, C++, C#, Lua, Python, Ruby, Go, Rust, Java, ColdFusion ► Rails, Laravel, Spring, Flask, Meteor, Wordpress
Or here's an example of a big list. No one is combing through them.
How much should you write? No more to ensure that the "more button" does not appear.
You should think of the summary as your elevator pitch for you. Being able to craft a concise two sentence summary is an indicator of strong communication skills. Here are a few good examples of concise summaries:
4️⃣ Suggestion 4 - Experience Description
So if you have written heaps of experience in your summary, what do you do with it? Do you throw it out? No, distribute it amongst the titles you held so now it has context. Here is an excellent example:
5️⃣ Suggestion 5 - Profile Photo
I used to have one a black and white profile photo, I no longer do. I'll tell you why. I asked around 30 people their opinion on what they thought about black and white vs colour. The best answer that summed it up, "Black and White remind me of an Obituary from a newspaper."
I also paid a small amount of money for 1000 people on MTurk to have people choose the better profile where I had variations of the profile photo. Not one preferred the profile featuring the black and white profile photo.
🚀 Help Me Help You With Video Feedback Review
I thought it might help to do a record a video or a live stream on youtube and provide feedback on a handful of profiles so that everyone can better learn how to improve their profiles.
To do this, I need some people to volunteer their profiles. If you're interested, send me a direct message saying you'd like your profile included in the video.
If I get enough profiles volunteered and the video is well received, then I will consider doing a few of them.
Connect with me on LinkedIn and start building your network:
Top comments (65)
Thanks for the advice! Updated my LinkedIn and am now expecting even more recruiter spam :D
I need to improve my presence in Monster Slaying. It's my preferred skill on LinkedIn, yet somehow under appreciated. :D
Haa! Maybe you can piggy back off Capcom's success and mention "Monster Hunter" instead, lol.
I loved that game!
As a suggestion, one could use Adobe Spark ( spark.adobe.com/ ) to create a LinkedIn banner with little to no design experience. You have a number of templates to choose from and they're free :)
Do you have any advice on how to deal with the endless stream of recruiters that send me invitations and ask for my CV? Should I connect with them? Should I ignore them? I usually send to most of them a short response that I'm not looking for a full time position but consider contracts. From most I never hear anything back. Some offer to connect. I connected with a few and now I have all these connections that I find meaningless and I get lots of updates on people's careers, people that I've never heard of and honestly don't care about. What would be your suggestion? Thanks.
The more I filled out my profile and now that people understand my background as a CTO I get fewer recruiters because there are less CTO jobs out there for them to try and sell me on.
I don't know if there is a correct answer. For me, I leverage recruiters to grow my network but that's because I am looking to influence instead of finding a job.
I think it might be possible to unfollow their content but be connected but I have never thought of trying this.
I don't think it matters how you treat most recruiters, they'll just keep persisting no matter what.
I would just leave their invitations pending. The day you feel you might want to leverage them go ahead and add them but honestly, it's not hard to get recruiters attention if you pay for LinkedIn Premium.
I can tell you what I get spammed the most for is outsourcing web-dev, dev-ops shops from eastern europe (poland, ukrakine, russia) and india.
I am very wary of adding people from India if I don't know where the connection is coming from because the spam starts to snowball. If I think they came through a DEV.to article I add them otherwise I'll outright it ingore and dismiss the connection.
Thanks for your reply. I actually sent you an invitation on LI, since you said let's connect. Even though I'm originally from Russia (I live in Germany now), I didn't mean to offer you any web-dev or dev-ops services =)
I saw your connection and did not consider your intention to spam as your profile history did not indicate as such as well you did write your reason for connecting.
These web-dev dev ops spammers are really easy to spot because they have so much content geared towards their service and that great effort into grooming their profile. Since your photo is not a representation of yourself this was the quick indicator to me you are not spam.
The reason I have yet to accept your connection is that I enter every connection into a spreadsheet for later engagement where I then send out personal messages to everyone. So it's just a matter of time when I find the time to do so.
No worries =) And just so it's clear, I'm not connecting with the intention of getting feedback on my profile. I know it's beyond bad. I've been neglecting it for way too long. I never treated LI as a valuable social network or a job market. Reading your post, though, made rethink that. I'm now trying to decide if putting any effort into making my profile better is worth it.
Principle Engineer + Scala + AWS and a recognized company such as Nokia. This explains the recruiter spam. You're a big ticket.
Scala and AWS alone are so in-demand you can neglect LinkedIn and get jobs without résumés just by proving your knowledge through demonstration and even conversation.
I was quite adverse to LinkedIn as I really hate social media but I went all in.
The way I see it is developers are being commoditized which will drive down larger salaries and so you'll have to keep jumping to new technologies and so I wanted to stop having to hop to feel secure in case I had to go back to the market and that's why I pivoted to education.
Though with your skill set you're going to stay in demand for another decade so you have the luxury of not-participating in the social platform.
I know a guy here in Toronto that retired at 30 because he was a high paid Scala developer getting paid $300K / per year. I think he now spends his time building and perfecting his own mini putt golf course in his backyard.
I see. I had no idea the AWS keyword in my description would be bringing so much spam/traffic to my profile. Unfortunately, there are no such salaries in Berlin, where I live at the moment.
Thanks for the tips.On your suggestions modified few sections in my profile,making it more meaningful.Adding one more on your backlog and wondering if you POP rather DEQUEUE the list. :-P
Got a minute to review (linkedin.com/in/goelvarun88/) ?
Interesting tips. A lot of people have different versions of what they think works best for LinkedIn.
My tip regarding the list of keywords: don't delete it. LinkedIn is essentially a search engine. If you remove keywords, you will cut yourself out of search results. So as a compromise, I'd say keep the list, but don't put it at the top.
You don't delete it you move it to the appropriate place.
You place it under skills.
You place it under the appropriate job experience.
But if you're trying to game the search by having everything keyword under the sun this will not work as you hope.
Like I said, a lot of people have different versions of what they think works best for LinkedIn. Ultimately, it's a search engine so different strategies will work for different people. (But really if no one is reading your profile summary, no one is reading your job experience either.)
It's also entirely possible to write 2 descriptive lines that show up in a profile summary...and also more. I think you get like 350 words in this area. If you only write 2 lines, you really cut out the opportunity to describe yourself in more detail.
Anyway, interesting tips. I hope they work for someone.
I just want to state that its less of "thinking what works best" and what I'm doing is creating hypotheses, experimenting and capturing the results. So I like to think I'm closer to the truth than just writing nonsense:
I plan on showing more of this information if people keep showing interest.
Great, I'm glad you can back up your post with your own data. There are different approaches to LinkedIn and it's good that people can try out what works for them.
Another suggestion for your post: in your first comment to me you said your advice was to move that keyword list to different areas of your profile. In your post, you don't make that suggestion or any suggestion at all. If your advice is to move the list to different areas, you might want to update your post to include that extra detail. Right now it reads as though your advice is simply to delete those keywords.
Great article Andrew, thanks so much! I would love if you could review mine as well:
Another thing to note with the header image is to also check the mobile view. Some of these examples with the custom header you shared will unfortunately have text and graphics partially covered up on the mobile view, so that's something to keep in mind. I believe over 60% of users on LinkedIn are on mobile devices (app and the website) and I thought that would be something worth mentioning. 👍
Michael is right here where the profile photo covers part of your banner.
This is the case for my banner where it's obscuring my messaging.
I have yet to optimize a banner for both. You can, of course, click on the banner in mobile to see all of it but I doubt this is what users do.
I was planning to do another post just on mobile because the experience is different and when I talk about using concise text it makes even more sense in mobile view.
Sounds great, thanks Andrew! Looking forward to your next post.
I've gotten mixed comments about the Profile Summary... Will definitely take your point about it being the Elevator Pitch into consideration. Otherwise I think I'm doing alright with mine.
Great article with some interesting points! Hope to see more stuffs like this.
You mentioned limiting the profile summary such that the 'Show more' link does not appear. What are your opinions of writing summaries in such way that the key important stuff is there on first glance, before the 'Show more' link, but also if someone actually wants to read more, he can click on 'Show more' and read more?
The reason I discouraged to put more is that most people will use that Show More as dumping grounds for content. So you can take advantage of this space but I think most people will not have the writing skills based on what I've seen so far.
So what you're saying is, if I want to reduce the number of recruiters bothering me all the damn time, I should do everything exactly the opposite of these recommendations?
Damn, too late!
Re: LinkedIn banner
I have found a lazy way to easily generate a LinkedIn banner for devs
On my profile linkedin.com/in/jmfayard/ it gives this
What do you think?
How I did it? => carbon.now.sh/
I can't say I'm a fan
It's too much text and it's hard to read.
I think the Fiverr artist you mention might have died...? I was impressed with his work but in the comments, there is some bad news, followed by cancellations.
(Thanks for the rest of the article.)
That is upsetting to hear to happen to such a great talent, I did not know.
I just swapped it out for another artist.
Great article with alot of useful . I've been job searching recently and making full use of LinkedIn has really helped.
I'll definitely be updating my Headline and Profile Summary to follow your suggestions.
👍 More bookmarks than likes (best compliment).
Great article! I've updated my Profile :D
I would love if you could review mine: linkedin.com/in/andrea-hernandez-m...