Programmer Marketing: How to Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile
Today, I provide some tips on how to make your LinkedIn profile stand out for better opportunities in the development market.
I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
While LinkedIn has become the social network for businesses, it's also become the go-to location for recruiters as well.
Ever since Microsoft purchased LinkedIn, I've noticed some changes around the site.
Changes like the whole page will blur until content is fully loaded, there are pencils for editing various pieces of content in your profile, and tags seem to be missing.
But I digress.
This is THE social business network to use if you are an entrepreneur, employee, company, or recruiter.
But how can you stand out from a total of 467 million people on LinkedIn?
Kind of intimidating, isn't it?
Today, we'll talk about some tips on how to make yourself stand out from the rest of the crowd as a developer.
Don't Let Your Digital Profile Accumulate Dust
Always keep your profile up-to-date.
This is considered to be your digital resume as to how everyone will view you as an online professional.
Always be fine-tuning your profile.
Upload a Professional Image
Try to avoid the half tank-top picture your cousin took of you while at the family reunion. LinkedIn is meant to show your audience you mean business.
While the picture can be something casual, don't go overboard with a picture that looks something like a college frat picture with the boys doing beer bongs.
Your Ideal Job Title
If you are currently out of a job (and you have the skills to back it up), use a catchy, solid title of the job YOU WANT.
If you are already in a position and the title fits, add that to your by-line along with other characteristics or job titles you see fit.
By all means, if you did something in your past that you did not like, make sure you leave it off your profile.
Make your by-line as interesting as possible. For example, I noticed one person who was a full-time blogger called himself a Content Caretaker because he would archive curated content.
Sell the Sizzle, Not the Steak
When writing your experience or history, make sure it doesn't sound like this:
"I wrote a program to help with [department]."
Well, that doesn't tell me anything.
I could see a reader respond by saying, "I've written a lot of programs in my lifetime for [department]."
There's a secret to wording this a particular way. Want to know what it is?
Explain the outcome of your efforts.
So the above would read
"I've wrote a program to help with [department] and it became the standard in the company resulting in reduced phone calls by 65%."
The "steak" was the program that you wrote and the "sizzle" was what it accomplished in the end.
People want the sizzle.
For your profile, write every responsibility you had in every company in that manner and you will have a number of people sending you emails asking if you are available.
Start Your Mini Portfolio
If you are a designer or web developer, there is an area right below your summary with a section that says "See more" (I could mention a certain joke, but I won't).
If you click on the pencil in the top right-hand corner (located in the image), you can upload screenshots or use links to show your work to others.
This particular feature is a great place to start a mini-portfolio, but to really show off your talents, implement the next step.
Plant Your Feet in Cyberspace
As I've mentioned before, I needed a place to call home so I built DanylkoWeb (Yes, all by myself with ASP.NET MVC).
If anyone wants to contact you, you need a place (or hub) that connects to other social media outlets. That is your website...the one place you can call home.
If you don't have a blog, build one. It takes less than 20 minutes to build one nowadays.
Your website is your house, your domain, and your place to shine. Add links in your LinkedIn profile to point to your website so you can truly show off your work.
Give, Give, Give, Ask (For A Recommendation)
Just like Gary Vaynerchuk wrote in his book called Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook (affiliate link) , give a lot of recommendations to your current and past co-workers. Give recommendations until your fingers are bleeding (or until you can't think of anything else to say about Bob in Accounting).
Usually, the way it works is when you give someone a recommendation, it'll be on their mind and they will want to reciprocate the favor and write one to you.
However, everyone gets busy. If you don't hear from them within a week or two, ask them for one.
If they still don't write one to you, move on. You've done your good deed for the month. :-)
Recommendations are great for your reputation and provide instant credibility for when future bosses or prospects are looking over your profile.
Blow Your Own Horn
If you've achieved a number of accomplishments, don't be afraid to toot your own horn.
You made these accomplishments all by yourself (or maybe you had help), but no matter how small they are, definitely post it on your LinkedIn profile.
It'll make for a great story when they interview you and ask you about it.
What spurred this particular post is someone asked if they needed a large GitHub repository to make themselves visible and stand out, and how many projects would they need to become known as a competent programmer.
I wrote back and mentioned "it's not the size of your GitHub repo that matters, but how you use it." :-p
This post was meant to show that a programmer can market himself on LinkedIn so long as he dedicates himself to creating a truly outstanding profile of his career. It can be an incredible journey when documented correctly.
So remember...you'll only get out of it what you put into it.
Did I miss a technique on LinkedIn that brings in a ton of traffic? Post your comments below and let's discuss.