I've been helping Decode students and alumni with their job search for about 3 years now. Over that time, I have learned a whole lot about what works and what doesn't when it comes to marketing yourself as a developer.
Those who put in the time and effort to build their personal brand are the ones who have an easier time landing their first web development job.
While personal branding is a huge topic, I'll be breaking it up into a series of posts, starting today with the absolute basics of LinkedIn.
Why use LinkedIn?
If you're looking for a job, it's a no brainer. Not having a proper LinkedIn profile is a huge red flag. The potential company looking to hire you will wonder if you've been living under a rock for the past 5 years.
Having a proper LinkedIn profile serves as a professional outlet to show potential employers that you are credible. Also, HR professionals are constantly scouring the network for people to fill their open positions. As you build your network, you will most definitely get asked to meet with companies without even having to apply.
The absolute basics
Since this is an intro level post, I will just be going over the absolute basics to put a clean, public profile online. If you haven't already, start by creating an account on www.linkedin.com.
Once you're up and running, you'll want to follow these 10 basic steps to have a MVLP (minimum viable LinkedIn profile) --> I sort of just invented that term :)
1. Profile picture
First thing you'll need is a professional picture. A high resolution picture, with nothing in the background work's best. Please avoid putting things like your wedding photo, a picture of you and your buddies where you obviously cropped everyone else out, or anything else that looks like you put zero effort into selecting your picture.
2. Your title
Give yourself a simple title describing what you do. Some examples are Web Developer, Full-Stack Developer, Software Developer, etc. Later on, we will talk about ways to maximize the use of the title area, for now let's keep it basic. Also, make sure to build your network. Nothing says sketchy more than a profile with 3 connections.
3. Custom URL
If your URL has a whole bunch of numbers at the end of it, you need to clean it up. Find out how here.
4. GitHub link
To add a link to your GitHub properly, follow these steps. In the edit contact info section, click add website. Paste the link to your GitHub in the Website URL section. Then, change the dropdown from Personal to Other. A new text box will appear. Type GitHub. Save and close.
5. Your email address
Make sure your active, professional email address is listed. Gmail preferred.
6. Work experience
If you have no prior work experience, skip this section.
If you do have prior experience, keep it simple for now. Start by listing between 1-3 of your most recent jobs. Put the title, dates, and company name.
You can write a simple description, or leave it blank. Don't stress to much about it just yet. We will get into detail on this later.
List all of your education from college onward. If you've completed any online courses you can add these here as well. Showing that you are someone who continuously updates their skillset with courses is a big plus.
Add your technical skills. Ask your friends / colleagues to endorse you. Order them so that the top skills you want to work with are at the beginning.
If you live in a province or state where there is only 1 official language, this section is optional.
In Quebec, as we speak both French and English, it's important to add which languages you are comfortable working in.
If you are a recent graduate, you will want to add at least 1 project you are currently working on or have completed. Make sure to give it a brief description, and link any team members who may have contributed.
This is by no means a perfect LinkedIn profile, but it's enough to get started with. In later posts, I will go more in depth on specific topics. I highly suggest starting with implementing everything mentioned in this post, and start building your network.
If you have questions about your LinkedIn profile I would love to help. Send me an email to [email protected] and we can chat!