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Cover image for LinkedIn is for Losers? Think Again. From πŸ’° 100k+ to 200K+ job opportunities. πŸ›  Hacks Included.
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LinkedIn is for Losers? Think Again. From πŸ’° 100k+ to 200K+ job opportunities. πŸ›  Hacks Included.

andrewbrown profile image Andrew Brown πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ Updated on ・5 min read

P.S. if you want some feedback on your linked in profile connect with me and send me a msg.

I am convinced the ☝ number 1 thing you can do to accel your career is a well-groomed LinkedIn profile.

Why was I doing this?

I was not trying to get 200K+ job offers; it just happened. I was trying to do free workshops on AWS at innovation centers in Canada, but booking events was difficult. After multiple rejections, I straight up ask why no one is booking me. I was told, they didn't take me seriously because my LinkedIn profile was barely filled in. I hate LinkedIn but I heard it enough times I decided to go all in, and I'm glad I did.

Good or bad LinkedIn has become the source of truth for the professional industry, and this includes developers.

The hand I was dealt

  • I'm from a small town
  • I don't have a Computer Science degree.
  • I haven't worked at any FAANG or super-well known company
  • I never went to university
  • I started with little to no network, everyone I knew growing up was poor and unsuccessful

Max Out Your Connections

This is straightforward. Add enough people until you have at least 500 connections. If you have anything less than 500, recruiters and employers won't take you seriously. Also, the more extensive your network, the farther your reach.

There is a limit to how many connections you can add in a day. So pace yourself; otherwise, the LinkedIn algorithm will figure out what you're doing and will slow you down by limiting your search results for a month.

Strategically Build Your Network

Don't just add anybody to reach 500; look for people that are going to be of best use to you. So for myself, this is my strategy:

  • AWS employees or people who hold multiple AWS Certifications
  • Security CTOs or Experts
  • CTOs in Toronto
  • Full Stack Bootcamp graduates
  • eLearning startup employees, eg. ACloudGuru, LinuxAcademy

You don't want to be sending lots of connection requests that don't get accepted. The reason why is you can have up to 30,000 connections. There is a limit of sending out 3,000 requests, and then after that, you're going to have to ask people to send you connection invites.

Title and Specialization

I happen to be good at everything because I've been at it for 15 years, but I do not list all my skills. Only Inexperienced developers list every possible language and framework they touched. If you ever had the chance to be on the hiring side, you would notice this trend.

So you need to remember this saying:

A jack of all trades is a master of none

So here is what I would suggest you do.

Core Title

Ensure you have a recognized core title. Please don't just say something generic such as "Web Developer" eg.

  • CTO
  • Full Stack Developer
  • Front-end Developer
  • UX Engineer
  • Solutions Architect.

Indicate Experience

Then work in your experience level, eg. Intern, Senior, Junior

  • Junior Full Stack Developer
  • Senior Front-end Developer
  • UX Engineer Intern
  • 4yrs Solutions Architect

Framework/Langauge Specialization

Then add your framework/language specialization: eg.

  • Senior React Front-end Developer
  • Senior Full-Stack Ruby on Rails Developer
  • UX Engineer Intern, Mastery of Adobe XD
  • BigData Engineer, Python Expert

Notice for the last two titles I specified experience in the specialization instead of the core title. Sometimes it just works out that way.

Conceptual/Industry Specialization

Then add your conceptual/industry specialization. It doesn't have to be in your title but needs to show up repeatedly throughout your profile, and you could get away having two.

So for myself, I am eLearning and Security.

Skills and Endorsements

It's essential you choose your top 3 skills wisely. It is what people are going to most likely endorse and will help recruiters when they are searching for you.

I think you should go as specific as possible when choosing your top skills. Avoid generalities such as Web Development, Startups, and instead, pick very specific things so a template:

  • Langauge
  • Framework
  • Speciality

So this could be:

  • Salesforce
  • PHP
  • Azure

Sometimes you can infer language through framework so you can see here I have Ruby on Rails.

How much does the endorsement count matter? Uncertain. I think it has to be 99+ to be of value anything less doesn't matter.

I would strongly suggest you look at other people who are successful in the roles you want to and see what's their skills.

Recruiters and job posts match on skills to quickly filter candidates. So you can look at job postings than add all the relevant skills and get endorsements, so you tick all the boxes. I strongly suggest you do this. These skills don't need to be in your top 3 need them in your skill list

Gender, Race and Politics

HR's job is not to be fair but to protect the companies best interest. The companies best interest is not getting sued or taken to human rights tribunal over things such as gender, race or politics because they hired a lemon.

When you have projects or post topics or comments on gender, race and politics, you could be putting out red-flags.

Be like Switzerland and stay neutral or get a friend to look over your LinkedIn and social links to spot any of these possible misinterpretations and scrub or rework them.

Premium LinkedIn

Is it worth it? Yes. Is it expensive? Yes.
Its something like 400 USD per year for the lowest tier.

LinkedIn Premium makes your public profile more accessible and allows you to tell recruiters if you're looking for work and prioritize you over other candidates.

The 200K+ offers ony came after I had premium. The best high paying jobs are delivered generally through third-party or in house recruiters.
With LinkedIn Premium I could exactly see the top search terms recruiters were using:

  • Security
  • CTO
  • eLearning
  • AWS

LinkedIn Premium badge can tell you who are serious about networking on LinkedIn. It's going to send the right signal.

My LinkedIn Premium trial just ended, and I'm going to pay for it, just deciding if I want to go one tier up.

Is there more to it?

Yes, I might do a second post on more things, some of these I'm still validating whether they matter or not but off the top of my head:

  • how to deal with gaps in LinkedIn history
  • show you list prior experience if you are switching careers?
  • whether to show your country/schooling of origin eg. India to Canada
  • different kinds of media you can attach and their effectiveness
  • do testimonials matter and how to ask for them?
  • best way to showcase projects and volunteer work
  • adding connections at events using LinkedIn geo-location functionality

If you want to connect with me on LinkedIn and start building your connections go ahead and add me, click the big button below

https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrew-wc-brown/

Also, if you want some friendly help getting feedback about your LinkedIn Profile, I can try my best to help you out.

P.S.S. Both Karan and Ashwin at ExamPro published their first DEV.to articles. Can you do me a favour and check out their articles and if you like them and give them some encouragement.

P.S.S.S. I did another LinkedIn Profile Tips so here you go more to read!

Posted on by:

andrewbrown profile

Andrew Brown πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦

@andrewbrown

πŸš€ CEO of ExamPro πŸš€ free AWS Certification courses on freeCodeCamp youtube πŸš€ AWS Community Hero πŸš€ DEV Moderator for AWS tag πŸš€ Star Trek Obsessed

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Discussion

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If you have anything less than 500, recruiters and employers won't take you seriously.

I don't think this is true. I've worked for a few different software companies and seen both sides of the interview process. I've yet to see anywhere that cares about linkedin profiles in the slightest unless they either look like they're really bad or trying too hard.

 

Yeah, I agree with this too. But having a lot of connections can lead to more possibilities. So it's to your own benefit to have 500+ connections.

 

Same. Also, I think LinkedIn is as nasty crap as Facebook, and the goal of any developer should be to delete his/her LinkedIn profile once enough true professional relationships ensure you to get enough works and easily switch to new companies.

 

Agreed -- is there a good reason for achieving that number of people in your network beyond other people's perception of it?

 

Is there actually anyone who says that LinkedIn is for losers? I got most of my jobs and a lot of interesting offers from there.

 

I don't think people say it's "for losers", but there's definitely a lack of perceived value. It's seen as full of people who are trying to look better than they really are, partly by making connections with anybody and everybody they've ever spoken to or worked near.
People don't ask connections to make introductions to 2nd- or 3rd-level connections that I've ever seen (maybe it happens but nobody I know's ever mentioned it) and with the quantity-over-quality approach I suspect most people would be reluctant to agree to it.

 

Yes, especially among devs 8+ years into their careers in North America. There was a time when LinkedIn held no value and this is what these developers remember and it's unbelievably difficult to get them to reconsider LinkedIn.

 

How much does the endorsement count matter? Uncertain. I think it has to be 99+ to be of value anything less doesn't matter.

I hope that's not true. I doubt I know 100 people, let alone 100 people who I am connected to on LinkedIn who know enough about my individual skills that their endorsement is worth anything.

 

When you endorse someone you are presented with the following additional information you can provide anonymously to LinkedIn. So you get an idea what LinkedIn thinks about the validity of endorsements (which is they are not taken that seriously).

Looking at Charles Max Wood LinkedIn is a good example of where 99+ makes sense. He is a long time Ruby/Rails developer and currently runs multiple developer podcasts which you can find here on DEV.to

See he is endorsed by Adam, (hes a personal friend in my network) and Chad Fowler (a famous developer). Seeing those people endorse him does validate that I should check out his content. It is also my guess that LinkedIn is being intelligent to show me which endorsements that will have the largest impact to influence my opinion. So if I had 500+ endorsements in a single skill I think they will cherry pick the most high profile or relevant endorsement.

  • A real endorsement that holds value is a LinkedIn Testimonial.
  • A Skill's Endorsements is the equivalent to a thumbs up.

So when I say I think it has to be 99+, I am thinking for a specific use case for content creators, and influncers. I don't have any information currently if 1 or 50 endorsements have a larger impact on job matching.

So should you try to get 99+ on a skill? Probably not.

 

That's a really thorough response, thank you!

 

I had the same ideas. I literally just made my first LinkedIn profile a couple weeks ago. If anyone wants to connect with me, that would be super awesome: linkedin.com/in/brian-barbour-9718...

Thanks!

 

One of the things I love about LinkedIn is how easily you can reach out to experienced professionals and potential employers, even if you are just getting started with no prior network. A few keystrokes and clicks can pretty much connect you with someone whom you can reach out for advice or opportunities. While I started out I used this process to get multiple interviews, eventually leading to my first ever job.
For the curious ones, here's the linked post I recently shared stating how you can get your first job via LinkedIn linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:ac...

 

Is Software Engineer a generic title? I recently graduated from university and am looking for my first job.
I'd love any comments on my LinkedIn 😊 I get some profile visits by recruiters but nothing pans out.

 

For your headline Software Engineer is generic.
Most CompSci grads like to use the "Engineer" and if you are trying to align with a company culture where the people hiring also hold CompSci titles than you may want to keep "Software Engineer"

I see your last project was .NET stack so I may suggest this as your headline:

Full Stack .NET Software Engineer

I think you need to pick a language and focus on it. Since you have Python, Java and .NET
Certain titles can imply the usage of more than one language and then allows you to choose a primary language you promote.

So for example, if you wanted to be a Data Engineer I'm going to expect you know Java really well and so you can double down on that.

If you are a Data Scientist I'm going to expect Python.

When you're mixing languages its normally going to be Javascript Flavor + Primary Langauge.

eg.

Typescript + Python
ES6 + PHP
Coffeecript + Ruby
 

That's the thing though, I'm applying for web dev jobs with different stacks so I don't want to limit myself. I'm even applying for mobile development and data science. I may try the ES6 + Python combination as I've done projects that used both and consider myself as a beginner in .NET.
Thanks a lot for your reply!

My suggestion, in this case, is to curate a unique rΓ©sumΓ© for the requirements of the job and keep your LinkedIn profile specific to one technology.

This will allow you a bit more reach.

I think that without specialization in your profile the result is likely you'll be applying to more jobs such as 20-30 applications before you see conversion and you may become overwhelmed with the number of challenges, take homes or additional study required which is a common complaint by juniors here on DEV.to.

Last time I went to the job market, I only applied to 7 and had 6 formal offers and I attribute this to exact 1-to-1 alignment with the job excluding anything unrelated even if it was transferable knowledge. I don't believe this is the result of being a senior since in-fact played down my years of experience to combat against ageism.

Python is an excellent choice and is on the rise.
React is also a great way to enter the market.

If you have an interest in data-driven startups which are clamouring for developers may I suggest:

ES6, Python, Django, Pandas

 

No its not, developer title is generic.

 

A Jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.

Using the phrase to denote something negative detracts from it's real meaning.

 

Thanks for the tips. The hardest thing I find on creating my CV (on LinkedIn or anywhere) is the writing part. The description about myself. I think I'm not good at describing me, first because I'm not good writing a convincing letter without sound techie, and second I think it's mostly related to the Impostor Syndrome that makes me think: "mm, no, better I don't write that".
I don't know if there are companies or people that offer that service of writing your cover letter or presentation letter based on your skills and that.

 

Be yourself, you'll either end up with a job that you hate and doesn't fit or you're not suited to in the first place.

If you're applying for technical jobs, they're looking for someone technical.

 

Hi Andrew! I enjoy reading your work and get an immense amount of insight out of these types of articles. Would you mind if I included this article in my June Newsletter? I'll link to this article and attribute you as well if you're alright with that?

 

You sure can. You may also want to include this complimentary article as well.

dev.to/exampro/700-web-developers-...

 

Thank you very much! I will include the other article as well! I know my readers will find them both very helpful and informative.

 

Thanks for this insight into LinkedIn mastery. I've added you to my connections. This is my profile linkedin.com/in/bnisevic/

I have over 700 connections and still I didn't that 200K job. Something must be wrong with me or my LinkedIn profile? Please check? :)

 

I will have to review my linkedIn profile after reading this!

In my case, I sometimes see people I want to connect to (interesting company or product) but I always shy away from requesting it.
I always feel that it could be seen as rude to connect without any real reason like applying to a position.

 

LinkedIn for me, it’s our weapon to find the best fit until you want to build your own companyπŸ”₯ . You can check more about me here: pedropcruz.pt I had all social links there as well. I appreciate feedback, from all of you :) congratulations on the post @andrew Brown :)

 

Hey Andrew, great article. I featured it in my latest video:

dev.to/marek/dev-to-career-insight...

 

Cool, Interesting format where you have vertical split with video.
Just relinking here with liquid tags so it has more visibility:

 

Thank you for useful advice. What do you say to who has no contact at all when for a connection?

 

Hi Juneau,

I can see you live in the GTA. Go to tech meetups listed on Meetup.com such as

  • ServerlessToronto
  • DevTO
  • TechTO
  • Lunch && Learn
  • AWS Toronto User Group
  • Ruby on Rails Meetup
  • React Meetup
  • Scala Toronto Meetup
  • BigData and DataScientist Meetup

Try to volunteer your time if they will allow you to.

Look for events at MaRS or any of the economic development centers in the GTA and attend.

Whatever your skill is start sharing it for free.

Get a LinkedIn with a Profile Photo, and same here get a Profile Photo on your DEV.to. Nobody wants to spend their time helping or networking with an anonymous person online because it feels like time wasted.

There are lots of opportunities in the GTA.
If you can figure out a way to get free or inexpensive tickets to Collision Conf that would be ideal as well.

Find a tech mentor in Toronto. There are plenty of senior entrepreneurs that will mentor you to grow your network if you in exchange but time in and do busy work and menial tasks for them.

From this article, I received 400+ connections on LinkedIn in 2 days asking feedback on their LinkedIn Profile. That is menial work for myself but I do it without thinking what my return will be.

Instead of thinking "what can I get out of this?", think "how I can help someone today?"

 

Thank you for the thoughtful comment! It's good I am at least volunteering several places already. I was shocked by the number +500, so thought If I Should massively send connection requests. What a great work of yours! A admire it.

 

Let's connect through LinkedIn and build our network! linkedin.com/in/danwoz/. This is a great write-up, appreciate the time you put into this.

 

Dang! This is what I was looking for. Thanks for the article <3

 

Brilliant! I have already modified my profile of Linkedin and prepare to update it in the future. Thanks!

 

Thanks, Andrew. Updated my LinkedIn profile with your great advice.

 

I think having a LinkedIn profile has got its value. But the job applications made on LinkedIn seems to reach a black hole. Has anybody had similar experience(s)?

 

Awesome post. Striving for 500+ mark does truly make a considerable difference

 

I have a question about Endorsements. Is it OK to ask others to ask for Endorsements? (Of course, only when they already know about my skill and I think they will certainly endorse it.)

 

Great article! Thank you. I am applying all your tips.
I would be grateful for any comments on my profile 😊
linkedin.com/in/maciekchmura/

 
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