How to turn your professional LinkedIn profile into a machine for attracting new career opportunities
In this short guide, we share with the IT community how to update your LinkedIn profile in ten steps. This exercise will position you on this social network and help you win your next job opportunity.
Why work on your digital presence on LinkedIn?
Many IT professionals report negative experiences on LinkedIn. Either by being “bombarded” with recruitment messages, or by being lured into projects that do not fit their profile or career aspirations.
As a Talent Consultant, I feel I can use my experience to help you build a profile that provides a different and much more positive experience. After all, LinkedIn remains a social network through which many career opportunities arise.
After analyzing thousands of LinkedIn profiles and interviewing hundreds of IT candidates, I was able to identify some characteristics of “winning profiles”. Embark with me on this adventure so that you can capture the attention of the best companies in the market and find your dream project.
The 10 Commandments for a successful LinkedIn profile
1. have an up-to-date photo
Along with the name, the photo is one of the first pieces of content that the user “reads”. Having a suitable and up-to-date photo on your LinkedIn profile is one of the main requirements to create an impact on a first impression. You don’t need a big production, not least because it’s not about how you look. Just remember that it is important to create a connection with the person on the other side (who may be a potential employer).
How to do it? Find a neutral-colored wall, choose a spot with lighting, avoid shadows and wear a plain shirt. You don’t have to go to the photographer to get a proper portrait (and ban that selfie or beach photo from your profile).
2. Summarize in one sentence the professional profile
After the photo, it’s the title that most draws the visitor’s attention to your profile. The most common approach is to mention your current position and organization, but you can go further by including the professional area of greatest interest to you, your mission, or even your interests. Saying what drives you or something you are interested in, such as a technology or methodology, can also be a way to differentiate yourself from other candidates.
How to do it? Describe who you are and what you do objectively, avoiding vague or broad expressions. Remember that the keywords you use in your title will help recruiters find you.
3. Share career goals
Do you want to change technology area? Looking for a full-remote project? Want to have an international experience? Do you identify with a certain type of organization or sector of activity? Do certain organizational values inspire you? The best place to include this information is in the description section. Whether you are more objective or more creative, avoid leaving this space blank.
How to do it? Use this space to tell (the market) what projects and technologies you are passionate about, what you imagine yourself working on in the future, or what opportunities you are willing to consider. For example, if you are considering moving into a Team Leader position, make it clear that you are considering offers for team management.
4. Detail professional experience
This space is dedicated to your professional history and it is important that you include your most relevant experiences, always taking into account what you want for your career.
It is important to be transparent and show what role you took on in each project you were involved in, what your responsibilities were and what you learned in all of them. It is essential that the recruiter can see what path you have taken so far and what professional development milestones you have reached. Do the exercise of reflecting on the individual contribution you have made in each of your previous experiences – this will demonstrate what skills you have and how you can make a difference in a team.
How to do it? In the description of each entry, include detailed information about the projects in which you have participated. You could mention which clients or business sectors you worked for, what role and responsibilities you performed, over what period, and which technologies you used, for example.
5. Include academic and/or practical training
In a constantly updating world like technology, it is important that you give visibility to your training, both academic and practical. It is essential to indicate the name of your course, as well as the school, college or university you attended. Don’t forget to include other courses or workshops that you have taken, which in some way complemented your training and gave you new skills.
How to do it? Fill in the Education section with information about the course or training, the training provider, and the date or period when you took the training. You can also include a short description about the learning experience (no. of hours, training topics, skills acquired, etc.).
6. Add the training certificates
You also have your own space where you can add digital certificates or licenses that you have obtained (either in the use of a certain technology, methodology or even in some language). These diplomas are a testament to your knowledge, as well as revealing that you are a proactive, curious person with a constant focus on evolving.
How to do it? Add the information about your certification, indicating the subject or topic, the training provider, the expiration date of the diploma (if any), and a hyperlink to the certificate itself.
7. Highlight experiences of personal and/or professional enrichment
Ultimately, the mission of technology is to make people’s lives simpler and happier. Showing that you are involved in the community – tech or in general – can make a difference in a recruitment process. Participation in an open-source project, social volunteering or other similar experiences give the recruiter a better sense of your professional and, above all, personal growth and evolution.
How to do it? Include information about volunteering or pro bono participation, highlighting your role in the group or organization, indicating the cause you are dedicated to (technological, animal, social, or other), the period in which you collaborated in the mission and what you learned from that experience.
8. Identify key competencies
The section on your skills (Skills & Endorsements) is very important. It not only summarizes the topics you master in your area of expertise, but also allows your network to validate those same skills by highlighting your contribution to those areas. At the same time, it makes your profile more credible and professional.
Important note: the skills you include in this section will be decisive in the search and selection process used by recruiters. Make sure your LinkedIn stands out for your core skills – the ones you’ve been working on, the ones that are your strong point, the ones you’re working on or want to continue developing.
How to do it? Describe your key skills or select the skills that LinkedIn automatically suggests based on the information in your profile. Keep this section updated and focused on what makes you stand out as a professional.
9. Request recommendations
Have you had the opportunity to be part of any projects that went well and made you proud? Did you work with the dream team on an interesting project? Did you get good feedback on your work with a cutting-edge technology? This is your opportunity to capitalize on referrals from your colleagues, Team Leaders or even clients. Having a professional review from someone who has witnessed your work validates your experience, your skills, and significantly enriches your profile!
How to do it? Talk informally about it with your colleagues, project managers or clients about their willingness to share the experience of working with you. If they welcome the idea, tell them that it would mean a lot to you to have that feedback in the form of a recommendation on LinkedIn. Take a chance… and you’ll be surprised by what they have to say about you.
10. Talk about achievements
Despite the Herculean title, this section is very versatile. Here, you can include publications you have made (e.g. a paper or article you have written during your academic training), technical courses you have attended, specific projects you have participated in, awards or recognition you have achieved, results you have obtained in some technical test, languages you master, or associations you are part of.
How to do it? Choose the type of information most relevant to your profile and the career opportunities you want to achieve. For example, if your goal is to work on an international project, your level of written and oral English comprehension can be a determining factor in entering a recruitment process.
A final note
Having a good LinkedIn profile that does justice to your past and present professional situation and helps you achieve your future ambitions is not difficult. But it will certainly require time and dedication. Remember that your profile has to tell a story: your story. It has to mirror your experience, what interests you, what you are looking for in your career and, above all, what makes you happy!
Follow these Ten Commandments to transform your LinkedIn presence and ensure recruiters can find you and pitch you the projects you’re looking for.
We at Neotalent, a Novabase group company specialized in recruiting the best technological talents for business needs, increasingly value professionals with complete technical profiles, but also with demonstrated soft skills, ability to adapt to different contexts, sense of commitment, cooperation and teamwork. If you identify with these values, talk to us.
Ana Sofia Machado
Talent Acquisition Consultant
Good fork, beach lover, dedicated and persistent. I value good conversations, moments with family and friends, and love the company of a good book. I like to work with and for people, and as a Talent Consultant I have the daily task of looking for the best tech Talent and matching them with our best opportunities.