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Eliot Sanford
Eliot Sanford

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Want to have tech recruiters find you? Sixteen important things to remember

I've used LinkedIn to find my last three developer jobs, and that was also my first three developer jobs ever. 🟦


Hands down, the most important thing on LinkedIn is a well-crafted headline, otherwise known as the title or tagline at the top of your profile.

βœ“ I suggest placing the title of the role that you are seekingβ€”in multiple ways including the tech stack that you know.

For example, if you are a web developer, I wouldn't say "Web Developer at Acme" or "Owner at YourLLC".

Say something like "React Front-End Software Engineer | React.js, Redux, and Node JS | Web Developer".

Search can't find keywords that are not there.

βœ“ Additionally, this type of tagline doesn't make the recruiter wonder, "What tech stack do they actually work with? What type of engineer are they? Java? JavaScript? Python?".


The second most important thing is a professional mugshot.

βœ“ Doesn't have to cost a lot or be a professional πŸ’°

βœ“ Find a friend to take free pics πŸ“Έ

βœ“ Nice work-appropriate collared shirt or dress πŸ‘”πŸ‘—

βœ“ Big grin on your face. 😁

βœ“ No selfie pics from your bathroom mirror or car. πŸš—


The third most important thing is your "Featured" section, especially projects with meta images.

You should have one or more:

βœ“ Polished projects with meta og images (Google it if you're struggling here) πŸ“½
βœ“ Published blogs or articles πŸ“„
βœ“ Some accolades that you received πŸ†
βœ“ AWS cloud certificates (practically one of the only certifications that matter to tech recruiters) πŸ“œ
βœ“ Anything that you would brag about (if you were the bragging type). πŸ”₯


The fourth most important thing is your "About" section, or your bio.

This section should include these things:

βœ“ The stack you want to build in and currently build in πŸ₯ž
βœ“ 5-10 skills bullets listed by most in demand first
βœ“ What role you are seeking πŸ‘€
βœ“ 1-3 sentences or bullets to summarize what you can do to help an employer 3️⃣
βœ“ Invite them to message you πŸ“₯


The fifth most important thing is your "Recommendations":

βœ“ Ask mentors, instructors, and co-workers to give a positive recommendation πŸ‘
βœ“ Find people who know you well enough to speak to your character and tech skills πŸ—£
βœ“ Find people to recommend you for work that you've done recently πŸ“†

Think of it like this:

You're up against an equally qualified candidate for the last interview slot. They also have 1 through 4 down, but...

They have 5 sterling recommendations and you have zero.

Who gets the last interview spot❓

Work Descriptions

The sixth most important thing is your work history bullets:

3-5 well-written bullets for past work experience and any volunteering.

βœ“ Bullets should start with descriptive verbs other than "Responsible for" or "Worked" πŸš…
βœ“ Weave in the tech skills that you want to get hired for πŸ‘·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ
βœ“ Craft the title for your role for what you actually did with the tech stack included. 🎨

For example, do not use a meaningless title like Software Engineer I. What is that anyway? It just tells me that HR pays you less than a II or III. But say something like "React Front-End Software Engineer | React.js Redux TypeScript AWS". Again, you are allowed to re-craft the title as long as it's what you actually did and skills used in the job.

Recruiters do use these keywords from past titles to find you.


The seventh most important thing but maybe it's the most important really in terms of leaving a positive impression:

No typos on your profile

βœ“ Don't use poor grammar 😢
βœ“ Use words that you actually use πŸŽ™
βœ“ But write business formal 🎩
βœ“ Triple check 3️⃣
βœ“ Ask a friend to proof your profile and offer feedback πŸ’β€β™‚οΈ


The eighth most important thing is your tech projects near the item in your profile where you did them:

Link relevant projects underneath your roles and volunteerism.

βœ“ Try to show a before and after shot
βœ“ Tell your reader what you specifically did to create or contribute to the work
βœ“ Give details in terms of numbers or stats
βœ“ Demonstrate results with great visuals and meta images on links (improves clickthrough rate)

Meaningless words

The ninth most important thing is avoiding fluff or vague clichΓ©s.

βœ“ Be descriptive and include examples of what you know and what you've done.
βœ“ Describe what you did as if you're painting a picture with words. πŸ‘©β€πŸŽ¨
βœ“ Don't give someone the impression that you're a newb.
βœ“ Try to convey that you're a pro who can step in and give the employer value.


The tenth most important thingβ€”being active on LinkedIn

βœ“ Create a meaningful well-written typo-free post regularly (more often and consistent is better)
βœ“ Try to offer free value to your reader
βœ“ Comment on a trending relevant topic
βœ“ Mention people who don't mind being mentioned


The eleventh most important thing is networking with other people

βœ“ Attend popular live streams
βœ“ Follow cool people
βœ“ Like cool people's posts
βœ“ Comment on their posts
βœ“ Send new connections
βœ“ Always request a connection with a thoughtful note based on mutual interests
βœ“ Send recruiters a three bullet summary about you including your years of experience with your most high-demand skills and what you're looking for in your next role
βœ“ Be kind and treat others how you want to be treated


The twelve most important thing is that you're not selling your best projects well.

Don't put your best projects at the bottom of the profile in the "Projects" section where no one clicks. Sell your polished work in the visible places.

βœ“ Best projects need to go in "Featured" and/or under the role in "Experience" or "Volunteerism"
βœ“ No one will click on the link that's at the very bottom with no picture or description... no one


The thirteenth most important thing is to not be too wordy or put links in the about or roles

If the links aren't active as they are in the "About" section and in the work experience bullets, then no one will copy and paste it

βœ“ You need to be brief and write with bullets mostly.
βœ“ No one will read a lengthy paragraph


The fourteenth most important thing is that a good banner picture doesn't hurt

βœ“ Avoid landscapes with no words
βœ“ Find open source images from Unsplash and Pixabay
βœ“ Go for images with technology in it
βœ“ Bonus points for using Canva to add your name, a short summary of you, and contact information in an attractive, legible color and font

βš›οΈ πŸ™ πŸ‘‹

The fifteenth most important thing is emojis.

Don't be afraid to use emojis because they demonstrate tone and that you're likely more personable than the average engineer.

Yes, emojis on a LinkedIn profile.

βœ“ Emojis in good taste can improve your clickthrough rate
βœ“ Google emojis that get traction and engagement
βœ“ Use them appropriately and sparingly
βœ“ Don't get too crazyβ€”a simple πŸ”΅ or two is good
βœ“ Place them next to things that you want them to read most

Tagline part 2

The sixteenth most important thing is to avoid unhelpful words in the tagline.

βœ“ Don't include your current company in your tagline and "About" section.
βœ“ No one who will recruit you for a job will search for your company by its name to find youβ€”NO ONE.
βœ“ You have them listed in your work experience, so they will pop up at the top of your profile just to the right of your tagline anyway.
βœ“ That's where it should go, so you don't have to be redundant by placing your employer in your tagline.

What have I missed?

After the top four, this list is probably unordered really and would be bonus points, but the top four-six are must-haves.

Hope this helps you. That's it. Thanks for reading.

All the best on your LinkedIn improvements and job search.

Top comments (21)

it_headhunter profile image
Tom Byrne

Very well written and helpful, Eliot. Well done! I am a technical recruiter with 30 years of recruiting experience.

This article would be very helpful to others. Can I share it on my LinkedIn feed?

techieeliot profile image
Eliot Sanford

Thanks for your kind words, Tom.

Certainly! Thanks for doing that.

it_headhunter profile image
Tom Byrne

Great, thanks Eliot.

andy3278 profile image
Andy Cheung

I can't help myself but to comment and save this article, so useful!

techieeliot profile image
Eliot Sanford

Thanks! πŸ™ Glad you found this post helpful.

norwaynina profile image
Nina Elisabeth Berge

From a recruiter to you Eliot: Great read :)

techieeliot profile image
Eliot Sanford

Wow, that's really appreciated and affirming. Thanks πŸ™

gtobar profile image
Guillermo Tobar • Edited

Thank for this post Eliot :)

Flying Meme

techieeliot profile image
Eliot Sanford

πŸ˜‚ I get the comments in your linkedin message better now. πŸ™

josefine profile image
Josefine Schfr

Super useful, thanks for all these tips! ✨

techieeliot profile image
Eliot Sanford

Appreciate ya! Thanks!

asteriskz profile image

nice insight

techieeliot profile image
Eliot Sanford


bigzude profile image

Thanks, this is helpful information.

techieeliot profile image
Eliot Sanford

You're welcome, Zude!

manuelbrs profile image
Juan Manuel Bello

Useful, thanks for sharing

techieeliot profile image
Eliot Sanford

You're welcome β€οΈπŸ™

manjunani profile image
Manjunatha Sai Uppu

Thank you so much for such an useful Article Eliot...

dolapo_adebanjo profile image
Adebanjo Dolapo

Thank you for this article. It is a great resource.

techieeliot profile image
Eliot Sanford

You're welcome. πŸ™

alecdhansen profile image
Alec Hansen

Such a helpful article. Time to get to work ✍️