article header

Why LinkedIn is important for Code Institute developers

So, you’re already social media savvy. You’ve got your Twitter account, you’d be lost without Facebook, and if you’re of a certain age, you might even remember Bebo and MySpace. But how savvy are you with LinkedIn?

Let’s begin. LinkedIn, believe it or not, is older than Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It was first released in May 2003, and since then, it has helped many people land roles, secure contracts, and look good. 

But for Code Institute-trained developers, why is LinkedIn so important? 

Show your wares

LinkedIn is a bit like a live CV. However, with it, you can connect to businesses that you’re interested in, other developers, employers, and much more. This is your vehicle to show off your work experience to date. On it, you can link to your websites, apps, videos, and more. With it, you can get recommendations or references from your peers, and likewise, you can show your worth by recommending your own connections. 

It’s networking

Networking is extremely important to today’s workforce. Whether it’s looking for a new job, searching for collaborators, or searching for mentors, LinkedIn is a good place to be. Use it to connect with people who operate in businesses that you want to work for, or people you’d like to work with. 

What should be on my LinkedIn?

So, what needs to be on your LinkedIn to make you stand out? 

Creating a good LinkedIn account is simple once you take care of the fundamentals. While these steps may seem obvious, some can still be done wrong. 

  1. Profile Picture
    Save your party photos for Twitter and Facebook. If you want to stand out on LinkedIn, you should use a professional-looking headshot. No, we’re not suggesting that you spend hundreds on a photo shoot, but we are suggesting that you get somebody to take a good headshot photo of you. Above all, look as smart as you can, and ooze professionalism.

  2. Location, Industry & Education
    Clearly outline the Industry you are in and your role. When it comes to location, let them know your city and country. This is essential, especially for someone who is seeking someone with your skills, in your region. Make sure to include your time on Code Institute – this will show prospective employers that you possess the skills that they need.

  3. Create a good summary
    Every LinkedIn account should have a summary. It sits under your name, photo, role and location. This summarises the skills and attributes that you possess. It needs to have a catchy opening statement, and it should highlight some of your personality. It should tell your career story today. It’s an opportunity to talk about your key accomplishments. While you may want to highlight yourself as a developer, it’s important to show your experience in other areas too – potential employers want well-rounded staff with knowledge of more than software development.

    Check out this video here, where employers tell us how they like other experience outside of software development. 

  4. Optimise, optimise, optimise
    LinkedIn can be seen as a search engine for employers. Therefore, to help them find you in their searches, your keywords need to be good. Talk about your skills in Python, Javascript, HTML, CSS, etc. Some of this can be highlighted within your summary, but don’t forget to put it in your education summary, in relevant past job descriptions, and more. Similarly, talk about your other skills, for example, marketing, management, hospitality, retail, administration, content, etc. These are all good keywords that highlight your overall experience. 

  5. Get recommendations
    Get in touch with past managers, colleagues, etc. and ask them to write a recommendation for your profile. Don’t forget to do the same in return!

  6. Link to past projects, websites, and more
    Remember, LinkedIn is a place to show off your abilities. Link to samples of your work in relevant areas of your profile. Show off your videos, websites, apps, etc. Make sure to use the good stuff!

  7. Join groups
    LinkedIn has many groups connected to it, including our own  “Code Institute Student’s and Alumni” group, be sure to join and network with fellow students, you never know what connections you could make. 

  8. Be a thought leader
    Sharing content on LinkedIn is easy, and it once again highlights your interests. However, if you have theories and thoughts, share them through an article on LinkedIn. In addition, get your friends to share them. 

  9. Connect to the right people
    Of course, it’s all well and good having a LinkedIn account that stands out, but what use is it if you have no contacts to look at it? Connect to the right people. Old colleagues, mentors, businesses you’re interested in, connect to them all.

These are just some of the ways of making your LinkedIn stand out. To borrow and break a phrase from Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they should come”. As a new developer, we want you to land the role that you desire. To do this, you need to be proactive and make yourself stand out. 

5 Day Coding Challenge

If you’ve been thinking about becoming a software developer, why not try our free 5 Day Coding Challenge to see if you might have the aptitude needed for software development. This free challenge will take you through some of the basics of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. After an hour a day for five days, you will have built your first webpage. Register now through the form below.