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4 Ways to Level Up Your LinkedIn Profile

By The Fullstack Academy Team

Person with laptop open on lap and briefcase next to them

Last updated: June 2024

If you arrive at coding bootcamp with no prior programming experience, you may feel like the odds are stacked against you when it comes to procuring a job in the industry.

This is where our Career Success team comes in. At Fullstack Academy and the Grace Hopper Program, this team of professionals focuses exclusively on preparing you to land a job in the industry. They work with you to polish your resume, make sure your LinkedIn is attention-grabbing, establish a network, and much more.

Want some insider tips on how to enhance your LinkedIn profile? Here are some of our most surefire strategies for helping students stand out among the crowd.

1. Punch Up Your LinkedIn Summary — And Be Specific!

The Summary section on LinkedIn is the perfect place to demonstrate your unique personal and professional qualifications. Use this section to answer questions like: What were you doing before coding? What drew you to coding? What are you passionate about, and what are you looking for in your next job?

This is not the place to be shy or vague. Use direct, impactful language—this will increase the likelihood of attracting the interest of a company that will be a good culture fit for you, and vice versa.

2. Use a Professional Profile Photograph

In the fast-paced world of online networking, first impressions matter. Your LinkedIn profile picture is often the first thing potential employers, collaborators, and clients see. A professional profile photograph projects confidence, credibility, and approachability. Investing in a high-quality headshot that showcases your professionalism and helps you to stand out in a crowded digital landscape.

3. Include Non-Programming Work and Volunteer Experience

Don’t delete all jobs that aren’t related to programming from your LinkedIn. Employers are interested in candidates who can bring diverse perspectives to their company, and they want to see what you’ve done in your life before coding. We’ve taught musicians, artists, service industry workers, and more—and each of them possessed skills from prior jobs that are valuable to them as coders now. You should also include volunteer experience and extracurricular activities or groups. Just be sure to keep these roles from dominating your entire profile by choosing to display only those which you consider to be the most valuable.

Alternatively, if your experience section is looking pretty sparse, consider listing your coding bootcamp education here. This has the added benefit of calling attention more effectively to the projects you’ve worked on.

Make Your Move.

Take the first step in your journey by learning more about the immersive tech bootcamps at University of San Diego Tech Bootcamps Powered by Fullstack Academy.

4. Rely on Projects to Showcase Your Experience

Emphasize projects that you worked on during bootcamp and, more specifically, the components that you oversaw yourself so that employers can see how you approach problem-solving. At Fullstack and Grace Hopper, students work on a capstone project, which can be used to form the basis of their coding portfolio.

5. Maximize Use of Industry-relevant Keywords

Most LinkedIn pages are skimmed quickly. That’s why the most important points should be made easy to spot. Scan your LinkedIn and check those keywords relevant to the industry are jumping out from the page (ie - JavaScript, SQL). Keywords should be sprinkled throughout the following sections as appropriate: Summary, Experience, Education, and Skills.

Note: Be sure to indicate technologies or keywords that you’re interested in as well—not just ones that you’re already familiar with. This will communicate to an employer that you’re keen to learn—making them more likely to consider you.

6. Showcase Accomplishments and Skills

Your LinkedIn profile shouldn't just be a static list of past jobs. It's your chance to showcase the skills and accomplishments that make you a valuable asset. Go beyond simple descriptions by using strong action verbs and quantifiable results to paint a compelling picture of your impact. For example, if you spearheaded a project that increased website traffic by 20%, highlight that achievement leading with, “spearheaded.” Remember, your profile is your digital resume, so use it to tell your professional story and showcase the unique value you bring to the table.

7. Connect with Industry Professionals

Above all, LinkedIn is a tool for building valuable connections within your field. Actively seek out and connect with industry professionals, including thought leaders, potential employers, and fellow developers. Engaging with others' content, participating in discussions, and joining relevant groups demonstrates your professional interest and helps you stay up-to-date on industry trends. A strong network can also open doors to new opportunities for which you’ll have the competitive advantage of a prior personal connection..

8. Post Engaging Content Related to Your Field

Don't just passively scroll through LinkedIn! Become a thought leader by sharing insightful content relevant to your field. This could include industry articles, project updates, or even your own original content relevant to your chosen industry. Engaging content sparks conversations, demonstrates your expertise, and positions you as a valuable resource within your network. Posting regularly may also increase your visibility to potential employers and peers.

Make Your Move.

Take the first step in your journey by learning more about the immersive tech bootcamps at University of San Diego Tech Bootcamps Powered by Fullstack Academy.

9. Change Your Profile Visibility to Public

By default, LinkedIn profiles are set to a semi-private view. While you may want to control who sees your entire network, making your profile public is recommended for maximizing its reach. A public profile allows potential employers, recruiters, and collaborators to discover you through LinkedIn searches. Remember, your profile is your professional online presence. Think of it as your digital business card; the more visible it is, the greater the chance of making valuable connections and landing new opportunities.

10. Customize Your LinkedIn URL

The default LinkedIn URL is a jumble of letters and numbers. Not exactly memorable, right? The good news is that LinkedIn allows you to create a custom URL in most cases. This should ideally include your preferred first and last name, separated by a hyphen. A clean, professional custom URL makes it easier for people to find you online and share your profile with others. It also adds a touch of polish to your professional brand and demonstrates attention to detail–qualities employers appreciate.

11. Common LinkedIn Mistakes to Avoid

Even the most impressive careers can be overshadowed by a poorly crafted LinkedIn profile. Here are some common mistakes to avoid to level up your LinkedIn profile:

  • Leaving Your Profile Incomplete: A LinkedIn profile full of blank sections suggests inactivity–or worse, apathy. Be sure to complete all relevant sections and regularly update your experience.

  • Relying on Generic Wording: Don't rely on generic descriptions. Use strong action verbs and quantifiable achievements to showcase your impact.

  • Making Typos & Grammatical Errors: Don’t forget to proofread! Typos and grammatical errors can undermine your professionalism.

  • Using A Less-Than-Professional Profile Picture: First impressions matter! Invest in a professional headshot that conveys confidence and approachability.

  • Social Inactivity: Engage with content, recommend colleagues, participate in discussions, and share valuable insights to establish yourself as a thought leader.

  • Using Casual Language: LinkedIn is a professional platform. Avoid typos, slang, and unprofessional language.

  • Posting Personal Content: While a touch of personality is welcome, avoid sharing overly personal information or controversial opinions. Determine if your post may be better suited for an audience of family and/or friends before posting, and maintain a professional tone throughout your profile.

  • Ignoring Your Network: Don't just connect and forget. Engage with your connections to build meaningful relationships.

By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can create a compelling LinkedIn profile that effectively showcases your skills and experience, making a strong impression on potential employers and collaborators.

…And a Final Word About Resumes

Though it would be easier to simply print out your LinkedIn page and use that as a resume, they are not the same thing. LinkedIn is a more comprehensive view of you as a candidate, while resumes are best kept to about one page. In the header section at the top of your resume, direct employers to your LinkedIn page and GitHub, alongside your updated contact info.

We recommend hitting these items (in this order) on your resume: Education, Tech Skills, Coding Projects, and Experience. While you can have a short summary at the top of the page, there isn’t as much emphasis here as we’ve placed on the LinkedIn Summary. If you still want to add a glimmer of your personality, a short Interests section at the bottom is the way to go.

FAQs

1. How do I level up my LinkedIn profile?

Craft a compelling profile that showcases your skills and experience. Highlight achievements, use strong action verbs, and connect with industry professionals. Regularly share valuable content to establish yourself as a thought leader.

2. What tools optimize your LinkedIn profile?

While LinkedIn offers built-in features, no external tools are necessary to optimize your profile. Focus on high-quality content, relevant keywords, and a professional image to make a strong impression.

3. Which is the most important element of your LinkedIn profile?

There's no single most important element. A strong profile combines a professional photo, an attention-grabbing headline and summary, and a detailed experience section with quantifiable achievements. Consistency is key, so regularly updating your profile to reflect your latest skills and accomplishments is of more importance than a single feature.

These tips should help you stand out as a strong contender. They are all action items you can implement yourself— however, if you are a prospective student, consider the value of the strong career services team at University of San Diego Tech Bootcamps. We’ll show you ways to pitch yourself, how to prepare for technical interviews, the art of salary negotiation, and much more. Learn more about University of San Diego Tech Bootcamps at one of our info sessions.