87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to check candidates.
If your LinkedIn profile sucks, your chances to be invited to an interview are pretty low.
That’s why we are going to make a LinkedIn profile that not just “don’t suck,” but a profile that will get you an invitation to an interview.
But first, let's start with a mindset shift.
The End Goal
The end goal of a LinkedIn profile is to make recruiters invite you to an interview. Not to make a “beautiful” profile, not to make an “interesting” profile, but to make a profile that gets you an invitation to an interview. Every decision you make about what to write or what to add to your LinkedIn profile should be based on the end goal. Before every decision, ask yourself, “Will it increase the chances of getting an interview or not?”
If the answer is “No,” don’t do it.
If the answer is “Yes,” do it.
Alright, let's make a LinkedIn profile.
When a recruiter comes to your profile page, what is the first thing that grabs their attention?
Your profile photo.
If it is a “weird selfie,” meme, or random image from the internet that is bad. Because most recruiters will think it's “not professional.” But everybody wants to work with professionals.
What should you do?
Take a professional photo.
Here 3 tips to pick a good photo:
- Use a high-resolution image.
- Make sure your face takes up at least 60% of the frame.
- Be the only person in the picture.
Example of good photos:
Example of bad photos:
The next thing that grabs recruiters attention is a background banner. That big graphic above your profile photo.
Put an image related to your job position. Banner should communicate exactly what you do.
If you are working with AWS and have AWS Certifications, put them into the banner. If you work with ReactJS, put a ReactJS logo or something ReactJS-related in a banner. Your banner should clearly represent what you do or what you're an expert at. The easier it is for recruiters to understand from the first second who you are and what you do, the better for you.
Example of bad background covers:
Example of good background covers:
In the "Headline" section developers make a lot of mistakes. They write ”Software Engineer” or ”Programmer” or ”Developer” or ”Future IT Specialist” or any combination of these words in their headline.
Why is it a mistake?
It tells nothing about what you do and who you are. Specify what you are an expert at. If you are a web developer who works with ReactJS, write about it. Put your main skills into the headline.
Example of bad headlines:
- Software Engineer
Example of good headlines:
- Senior Full Stack Software Engineer (ReactJS/ExpressJS)
- Backend Developer (Java/Scala)
Also, don't write that you are a junior developer. A lot of companies look for middle or higher-level developers. So when you write in your headline that you are a junior, you kill your chance of being invited to an interview. First, get to the interview, and then let interviewers decide what level you are at. From my experience as an interviewer, we have often hired junior developers for middle management positions. Because people showed great coding and communication skills in the interview.
The “About” section is interesting. It shows only the first 3 lines of text. If you want to view all the “About” section you need to click the “see more” button.
What does it tell us?
You should grab recruiters attention with these 3 lines. You should think about them as your sales pitch. Two sentence sales pitch that sells the idea that you have the potential to do the job.
Write something about you that will make the recruiter instantly want to DM you. First sentence could be about what you are best at. The second sentence could be about your biggest accomplishment if you have it. Make sure that they fit 3 lines.
After these 3 lines, you can write whatever you want. As long as it fits with the end goal of making a LinkedIn profile. But I suggest putting your skills here.
Example of bad about:
ReactJS developer. Skills: JS, React, HTML, CSS
Example of good about:
Coding on ReactJS and dreaming on ReactJS. Help companies to build complex web applications serving 1,000,000+ users with React and modern technologies.
Browse Linkedin profiles and read ”About” sections. If you notice that you start to read further than two sentences, copy this structure and use it in your profile.
In the “Featured” section you should place the web link to your achievements.
A good example of what to feature:
- Blog post that got a lot of attention and related to your job position.
- Github profile.
A bad example of what to feature:
- Photo of certificate ”HTML Basics.”
- Link to a random article that is not related to you.
If you don’t have any achievements, place this section empty.
In the “Experience” section write about all your work experience. But keep in mind, recruiters don't have time to read the full description of each job. Make it short. 2-5 bullet points with your accomplishments.
Example of bad experience section:
Example of good experience section:
The most critical part of this section is your accomplishments. Nothing sells you more as a developer than your accomplishments. Focus on them.
The formula I use to write a strong and sellable accomplishment was created by the Former SVP of People Operations at Google, Laszlo Bock:
Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y] by doing [Z]
Let’s break it down.
“Accomplished [X]” examples:
- Reduced costs for AWS.
- Improved sales of the main product.
- Developed a 12-month complex enterprise application.
“Accomplished [X]” + “as measured by [Y]” examples:
- Reduced costs for AWS by 17%.
- Improved sales of the main product by 30%.
- Developed a 12-month complex enterprise application just in 7 month
“Accomplished [X]” + “as measured by [Y]” + “by doing [Z]” examples:
- Reduced costs for AWS by 17% by rebuilding infrastructure from scratch.
- Improved sales of the main product by 30% by reducing the application size with smart bundle configuration.
- Developed a 12-month complex enterprise application just in 7 months by smartly leading a 10-member team of engineers.
Here are some templates that follow this formula that you can use:
- Reduced by by __.
- Increased by through __.
- Improved by through __.
- Redesigned for .
- Implemented for by __.
- Integrated by for __.
In the “Education” section write down all the educational institutions you have graduated from. Add a sentence or two there about your accomplishments, if you have one. Similar to the job description in the “Experience” section.
If you don’t attend or haven’t completed any educational institution, leave this section empty.
In the “Skills” section add all technical skills you know with different variations.
For example, if you know CSS, add skills: CSS, CSS3, CSS4.
This is the place where you should put as many keywords as possible.
Nowadays, some recruiters use different automation tools to speed up the recruitment process. One of these tools is Linkedin profile scrapers.
What they do:
- Parse your profile.
- Search for specific keywords.
- Send a ”welcome message” or job description to your messages if they find specific keywords.
Specific keywords often are skills variations.
So if you want to get an invite from recruiters (bots), you should place the specific keywords in your profile.
Friendly advice: don’t deceive people with technologies you don’t know. Interviewers can easily test your knowledge during the interview.
In the “Accomplishments” section I suggest attaching public accomplishments that show your strong technical and social skills.
Example of good accomplishments:
- Winning at a hackathon.
- School/college projects.
In the end…
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