Software developers are constantly learning new things, and should be updating their LinkedIn profile to reflect new experiences. The following examples of real LinkedIn profiles will help guide you on what to do (and not) when making over your qualifications and skills summary.
Makeover tip #1: Choose a strong job title
Your first, and perhaps biggest decision is what job title to use in the main section of your profile. Here’s a random selection of titles used by developers on LinkedIn. As you can see, there are a lot of wide-ranging options.
If you have a meaningful title, such as Chief Software Architect, use it. If not, consider something that shows your interest (i.e. web or UI developer) or specialization (i.e. Java software developer). The last two examples should be avoided because you can add specific languages and skills elsewhere, and they are more tactical than helpful.
Makeover tip #2: Get endorsements in specific areas
Endorsements are easy to obtain, but ask for them in specific areas, programming languages, and major functions to really highlight your skills. This profile has a nice selection of programming languages and general categories – such as machine learning and software development.
Makeover tip #3: List your projects
The examples here give you the feeling this person is a generalist who can build a variety of different websites and Intranets, clearly focused on the small business marketplace (which can be very demanding). If you have a lot of project work like this, don’t be afraid to spell it out.
Makeover tip #4: Describe the entire project
This developer shows a nice mix of actual coding, integration amongst various platforms, testing and the description of the finished project that was eventually deployed. You get an immediate sense of what this developer did, and how she saw the project from beginning to end.
Makeover tip #5: Show what you actually built
This developer took the time to list all of the sites he built. You can see that he has international experience, and using “my team” is an indication that he is not taking credit exclusively for building them. He also took advantage of the “projects” section of the profile, and put together a wide range of applications too.
Makeover tip #6: Show your course work
Courses are a good indication of your specialties, and motivation for advancing your skills. However, you might want to spell out the acronyms so that others can understand them.
Makeover tip #7: Join local developer specialty groups
You can see this person lives in the London area and has joined several of the programming groups relevant to his skill set. Another good way to expand your horizons is to look for local groups on Meetup.com. There are many groups that specialize in .Net, Java, PHP, iOS, Android and other languages or operating systems.
Makeover tip #8: Participate in discussions
Sign up, and actively participate in a few discussion groups — ask and answer questions in the forums, and try to be helpful and contribute to the community. If you are a frequent poster, you will be listed on the right-hand column of this section, which is also a good thing.
Makeover tip #9: List industry certifications
Many industry certifications aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on, but if you have them, list them. This example shows that this person reached out to particular vendors, and got acquainted with their platforms.
Makeover tip #10: List your patents
If you have software patents, list them. They indicate a level of commitment you bring to your job.
Makeover tip #11: Share your GitHub links
Some developers may remember the GitHub application that allowed them to share code on LinkedIn, but it is no longer available. However, that shouldn’t stop you from sharing your code from GitHub by sharing links on your LinkedIn homepage, groups, etc.