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.
✓ I suggest placing the title of the role that you are seeking—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.
The second most important thing is a professional mugshot.
✓ Doesn't have to cost a lot or be a professional 💰
✓ Find a friend to take free pics 📸
✓ Nice work-appropriate collared shirt or dress 👔👗
✓ Big grin on your face. 😁
✓ No selfie pics from your bathroom mirror or car. 🚗
The third most important thing is your "Featured" section, especially projects with meta images.
You should have one or more:
✓ Polished projects with meta og images (Google it if you're struggling here) 📽
✓ Published blogs or articles 📄
✓ Some accolades that you received 🏆
✓ AWS cloud certificates (practically one of the only certifications that matter to tech recruiters) 📜
✓ Anything that you would brag about (if you were the bragging type). 🔥
The fourth most important thing is your "About" section, or your bio.
This section should include these things:
✓ The stack you want to build in and currently build in 🥞
✓ 5-10 skills bullets listed by most in demand first
✓ What role you are seeking 👀
✓ 1-3 sentences or bullets to summarize what you can do to help an employer 3️⃣
✓ Invite them to message you 📥
The fifth most important thing is your "Recommendations":
✓ Ask mentors, instructors, and co-workers to give a positive recommendation 👍
✓ Find people who know you well enough to speak to your character and tech skills 🗣
✓ Find people to recommend you for work that you've done recently 📆
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❓
The sixth most important thing is your work history bullets:
3-5 well-written bullets for past work experience and any volunteering.
✓ Bullets should start with descriptive verbs other than "Responsible for" or "Worked" 🚅
✓ Weave in the tech skills that you want to get hired for 👷🏼♀️
✓ 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
✓ Don't use poor grammar 😶
✓ Use words that you actually use 🎙
✓ But write business formal 🎩
✓ Triple check 3️⃣
✓ Ask a friend to proof your profile and offer feedback 💁♂️
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.
✓ Try to show a before and after shot
✓ Tell your reader what you specifically did to create or contribute to the work
✓ Give details in terms of numbers or stats
✓ Demonstrate results with great visuals and meta images on links (improves clickthrough rate)
The ninth most important thing is avoiding fluff or vague clichés.
✓ Be descriptive and include examples of what you know and what you've done.
✓ Describe what you did as if you're painting a picture with words. 👩🎨
✓ Don't give someone the impression that you're a newb.
✓ Try to convey that you're a pro who can step in and give the employer value.
The tenth most important thing—being active on LinkedIn
✓ Create a meaningful well-written typo-free post regularly (more often and consistent is better)
✓ Try to offer free value to your reader
✓ Comment on a trending relevant topic
✓ Mention people who don't mind being mentioned
The eleventh most important thing is networking with other people
✓ Attend popular live streams
✓ Follow cool people
✓ Like cool people's posts
✓ Comment on their posts
✓ Send new connections
✓ Always request a connection with a thoughtful note based on mutual interests
✓ 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
✓ 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.
✓ Best projects need to go in "Featured" and/or under the role in "Experience" or "Volunteerism"
✓ 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
✓ You need to be brief and write with bullets mostly.
✓ No one will read a lengthy paragraph
The fourteenth most important thing is that a good banner picture doesn't hurt
✓ Avoid landscapes with no words
✓ Find open source images from Unsplash and Pixabay
✓ Go for images with technology in it
✓ Bonus points for using Canva to add your name, a short summary of you, and contact information in an attractive, legible color and font
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.
✓ Emojis in good taste can improve your clickthrough rate
✓ Google emojis that get traction and engagement
✓ Use them appropriately and sparingly
✓ Don't get too crazy—a simple 🔵 or two is good
✓ Place them next to things that you want them to read most
The sixteenth most important thing is to avoid unhelpful words in the tagline.
✓ Don't include your current company in your tagline and "About" section.
✓ No one who will recruit you for a job will search for your company by its name to find you—NO ONE.
✓ 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.
✓ That's where it should go, so you don't have to be redundant by placing your employer in your tagline.
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.