Optimizing a LinkedIn Profile as a Tech Professional

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So you are done with your technical resume. You are now using it to mindlessly apply for your target profile on as many job portals as you can find. But there’s something that you’re missing. 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the largest platforms for professionals: both job seekers and employers. According to researchers, about  94% of recruiters use LinkedIn to search for viable candidates but only 36% job seekers use the platform to look for jobs. The idea here is to tap this marketplace and in this article, we’ll show you how.

Here are the 7 tips you can follow to optimize your LinkedIn profile as a tech professional:

Optimize your profile using domain-specific keywords

To make the most of your LinkedIn profile, it is important that you make the best use of domain-specific keywords in your functional profile. Focusing on trending keywords and using basic tech-specific keywords is a great place to start.

No exaggeration there, but using these keywords can set your LinkedIn profile up  for shortlist success.

For example, as a techie, you are expected to be lingual in some basic knowledge of programming languages such as:

  • HTML
  • Javascript

These can be categorized as basic keywords that every techie or tech professional is expected to have i.e. your LinkedIn profile should illustrate these skills.

As your profession gets more sophisticated, your skill sets also get more sophisticated. This skill transformation should reflect in your LinkedIn profile if you belong to a brand of professionals in a niche tech role such as Machine Learning or Data Science.

This means that if you are a Machine Learning Engineer, your LinkedIn profile is expected to have some machine learning specific keywords such as:

  • Data Analytics
  • Data Mining
  • Data Visualization
  • Predictive Analysis
  • Statistical Modeling
  • Clustering & Classification

What we are trying to say here is this:

Domain-specific keywords are common search terms that recruiters generally use to find potential candidates for a particular profile.

To qualify in a recruiter’s search, your LinkedIn profile should have these domain-specific keywords.

Customize your profile headline

How will a recruiter know that you’re a techie?

Your profile headline of course!

Your profile headline is one of the first visible identification markers of important things like:

  • Your job title
  • Your seniority level
  • Your functional industry

As such, your profile headline should communicate these points in one go.

A practice that some professionals have started to follow is to include their skills alongside the above information using a seperator.

For example, as a Machine Learning Engineer, your profile headline could read something like this:

“Machine Learning Engineer at XYZ Inc. | Data Analytics | Data Mining | Predictive Analytics | Clustering & Classification”

Customizing your profile headline in the above-stated manner can help you make the most of this section. 

Use a mugshot photo as profile image

In order to optimize your LinkedIn profile, adding a profile image is important.

Avoid using an online avatar as it fails to give your profile a human touch.

Recruiters prefer to contact professionals with a mugshot image of them as the profile looks more authentic.

To make the most of your profile, you can use a regular front-facing mugshot of you with a minimal plain background. Additionally, it will help if you’re smiling in the photo as it communicates warmth and receptiveness.

Tell recruiters that you’re open to job opportunities

There’s a special feature on LinkedIn that helps you communicate to a recruiter that you’re open to job proposals from them.

If you’re a techie  looking for the next best job opportunity, simply follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Step 1: Click the  Me icon in your LinkedIn homepage.
  • Step 2: Click View profile.
  • Step 3: Click Get started from the Show recruiters you’re open box near the top of your LinkedIn Profile.
  • Step 4: Provide relevant information in the pop-up window such as:
    • Choose your job title (you can select multiple options: be it your current job title, or the job titles you are interested in or qualified for)
    • Choose the job type you are interested in (you can either choose between full-time, contract, part-time, internship, volunteer, temporary, and remote OR you can choose them all)
    • Choose the area of job preference (you can select multiple locations)
    • Choose who can view that you are open to job opportunities: (you can choose between “all LinkedIn members” and “only recruiters can see that you’re open to job opportunities” option)
  • Step 5: Click Add to profile.

Customize your profile URL

By default, LinkedIn provides a random profile URL that is not ideal for your profile searchability.

Edit your profile URL by clicking on the ‘Edit public profile & URL’ button which is situated at the top right corner of your profile.

Just replace the random scribbled words and letter with your name, designation, and your location.

For example: If your name is John Smith, and you’re a java developer residing in new york, you can customize our LinkedIn profile URL along the below stated lines: 

https://www.linkedin.com/us/john-smith-java-developer-new-york

Make the most of the “about section” of your LinkedIn profile

The “about section” of your LinkedIn profile is a summary of your work experience and cultivated  skill sets. Optimize this section by providing relevant details of the skills you have cultivated over time. This is also your grand opening to show your professional versatility and talk about the things that you otherwise can’t put in a resume.

The idea here is to promote yourself as a brand rather than someone desperately looking for a job. 

Mentioning past and current achievements in the organizations you were and are affiliated with is perhaps a great place to start.

If you’re clueless, your profile summary can look something like this:

Having amassed over 5 years of relevant experience as a Machine Learning Engineer in industries spanning finance, fin-tech, and consulting; I am lingual in the art of solving major industry problems in past and current organizations using data science.

After you write something along similar lines, fill this section with the following points:

  • Point 1: Your Career Highlights i.e. a list of 2-3 one-liner points regarding the key achievements of your career.
  • Point 2: Endorse your Key Certifications i.e. a list of the certifications you have done.
  • Point 3: List your Expertise Areas i.e. a list of 5-10 key proficiency areas such as “Data Analytics”, “ Data Mining”, “Predictive Analytics”, Clustering & Classification” etc.
  • Point 4: List your Technical Expertise i.e. a list of the tools you are good in. 

Conclusion

To conclude, if you’re a tech professional, you can optimize your LinkedIn by focusing on the following areas:

  • Use domain-specific keywords to optimize your profile
  • Customize your profile headline to represent the skills that most represents your professional portfolio
  • Use a clean mugshot image of you for your profile image
  • Mark yourself as open to opportunities to recruiters
  • Customize your profile URL
  • Optimize the about section of your linkedIn profile to create an impact

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