Creating a strong LinkedIn profile as a web developer is a crucial step in your employment journey. Your LinkedIn profile is how you showcase your skills and expertise to both potential clients and employers---and nothing’s more important than a good first impression. Let’s go over some tips to help you create a LinkedIn profile that’s as incredible as you are!
What Is a LinkedIn Profile?
A LinkedIn profile is more than just a few words and images on a social platform; an effective LinkedIn profile showcases your professional brand, highlights your achievements, and communicates your expertise as a web developer---all before anyone ever even meets you!
Naturally, if you’re reading this article, odds are that you already see some benefits from creating an effective profile and you either want to get started or want to improve your LinkedIn profile. However, we’ve found that it’s generally incredibly helpful to understand the motivation for why we should do something before we get started. By better understanding the why, we think you’ll be able to figure out how to make the LinkedIn profile that best reflects you and all the great things that you bring to the table.
Why should I make my LinkedIn profile stand out?
As a web developer, all your work revolves around using the web to create value. And we’re here to tell you that there’s nothing more valuable than investing in yourself! If you take a step back and look at the big picture, a thoughtful and compelling LinkedIn profile is nothing more than an efficient and effective investment in yourself. Not to overuse the investment analogy, but by spending time on creating a profile that best reflects who you are as a developer and as a person, you can virtually guarantee that this investment will pay off.
So, what really are all those benefits we keep going on and on about? Well, we think there are four big ones: networking, job opportunities, industry insights, and personal branding. Let’s talk a little bit more about each:
Networking: connect with other industry leaders for job opportunities, conferences, and colleagues.
Job opportunities: LinkedIn’s job board is known for its wide range of positions; use it to send your resume out or browse listings to see what skills are in demand.
Industry insights: we wouldn’t call LinkedIn a social networking or a news site, but it’s certainly a great place to read about industry trends and see what’s up in the sector.
Personal branding: even if you’re working in-house for a company right now, your future as a freelancer could be around the corner; your LinkedIn profile is a great place to work on your personal branding and create your own, cultivated image.
But okay, we know what you’re thinking: this section is named “What Is a LinkedIn Profile” and we haven’t really explained what a LinkedIn profile is! We’ve just gone on and on about why it’s important to have one. The thing is, though, we cannot stress enough how important it is for you, as a web developer, to have a LinkedIn profile! If you don’t have one already, make one right now! With that said, let’s dive right in and learn about what a LinkedIn profile is and what you can do to make yours stand out.
What are the elements that make up a LinkedIn profile?
This one’s going to be kind of a doozy, but stay with us! There are ten (yes, you heard that right) elements that make up a LinkedIn profile, and some of them are more important than others. In order of most important to least important, we have your profile photo, activity, headline, about section, work experience, accomplishments, education, skills, recommendations, and interests. Here’s a little bit of information about each:
Profile Photo: this is a professional headshot, a clear, high quality photo that reflects the image you want to portray to potential employers and clients. Your profile photo will be the first thing anybody notices! With a professional headshot, you’ll be sure to make a good first impression.
Activity: this includes all your interactions with other LinkedIn users including posts, comments and likes. By engaging with others and sharing content, you can both expand your network as well as establish yourself as an expert in your field. Don’t be shy!
Headline: this is a clear and concise description of who you are as a web developer. This should be a one-sentence summary of your professional experience and expertise. You only have 120 characters to work with, so be short & sweet.
About Section: here you can explain exactly who you are. Provide a brief summary of your professional experience, achievements, and goals. Don’t just list out words but instead tell your story and highlight the value that you bring to the table.
Work Experience: this is a chronological list of your current and previous work experience. Be sure to include dates, job titles, responsibilities, and accomplishments.Be straightforward.
Accomplishments: this is a place where you can list your additional achievements, awards, publications, or even volunteer experience. A list of “extra” things that didn’t necessarily belong in your about section and weren’t important enough to state in your headline.
Education: tell the world about your degrees, certifications, and professional development courses. Be careful not to overload this section as not every course is worth adding---keep it high level!
Skills: this is a list of the things that you’re good at. Other people with whom you’ve worked or interacted (i.e. your network) can endorse your skills.
Recommendations: where other LinkedIn users’ recommendations go. Especially useful for those of us who do freelance development work.
Interests: this is the perfect place to list the things that interest you, whether or not they apply to your work. Here, you can add activities that are important to you and that can make you stand out amongst the crowd.
So, there you go: a brief summary of the ten elements that make up a LinkedIn profile. It can be a little overwhelming at first, but stick with us and we’ll show you exactly how you can make your LinkedIn profile stand out.
How Can I Make My LinkedIn Profile Stand Out?
Let’s focus on the five most important sections of your LinkedIn profile. If you spend time making your profile photo, activity, headline, about section, and work experience pop, you can maximize the benefits of your LinkedIn profile. Just remember, like most things, what you put into it is what you’ll get out of it.
Tips and tricks for all LinkedIn users
There are tons of ways to use LinkedIn to your benefit, but let’s run down a couple for each of the main sections:
Photo: make sure it’s clear, focused on your face, and clearly displays what you want to portray to potential employers.
Activity: this is where people can see the posts with which you’ve been interacting, the things you share, and any original posts you make; ensure that you’re sharing relevant materials and putting out professional content.
About: this is your time to put together the best possible elevator pitch! In just a few sentences, sum up your experience and what you offer.
Headline: try not to limit your headline to your current role; be broad and open to new opportunities.
Work experience: using action words and actual data to back up what you’re writing, outline your work experience in all your previous roles, showing everything you’re capable of.
Exceptional profiles for web developers
Let’s dive into the nitty gritty of LinkedIn profiles for web developers and discuss what’s absolutely crucial to your success on the site.
Recruiters want to know what you’re capable of quickly and without much delay. Take a look at this concise example of summing up your experience:
You can write whatever you want on your profile and that’s why it’s important to have colleagues backing up what you’re claiming! Ask those you know your skills to leave a comment on your profile or endorse a skill so that recruiters know that others also believe you’re capable of what you’ve written.
Does this sum it up a bit? We hope we’ve outlined how to use LinkedIn as a tool that can help you land your dream job, curate your personal brand, and present yourself as an incomparable web developer.