14 LinkedIn  “It’s estimated that one in three professionals on the planet are on LinkedIn. With that kind of reach, you can’t afford not to take your LinkedIn profile seriously.” Vanessa Van Edwards Linkedin is the most popular professional networking site that provides a great way to get exposure and set yourself up for job op- portunities. Thousands of tech companies are looking for potential candidates on the site every day and you want to capture their attention. Here is some advice for filling out your profile and marketing yourself on LinkedIn.  Profile Your photo is the first thing people will see, make sure it is a high-quality, professional or casual photo of yourself. Your face should be clearly visible in the front and center of the image. It is important to smile (or at least look friendly). You want to show that you are serious about your career, and your image speaks volumes to a company about how you present yourself. The profile headline is the next thing people see. It should include your job title or the title of the job you are seeking. If you are trying to get hired as a software engineer, it is okay to put that in your title, even if you do not have a job yet. Imtiaz Ahmad, an Udemy programming instructor, says, “If you are coding every day and expanding your skillsets, you are a software engineer.” He advises that the job title is about your profession, not necessarily the job you currently have. The summary section is an overview of your skills and experience. This section should really pique the interest of hiring man- agers, and is one of the first things people see, so use this space wisely. Include keywords listed like ”I am a software developer spe- cializing in JavaScript and web applications.” If you are passionate about something related to technology like accessibility or mental health, you can list it here as well. Read it over to ensure you are speaking with your own voice, and avoid nebulous terms like ”high performer”, etc. Instead, talk about what problems you can help solve for a potential employer. The skills and endorsements section, while not the most important, gives you some credibility and social proof. It is important to list all of the technologies you know here and make sure key items like frameworks and languages are featured at the top. As you build your network, you will notice people start to endorse you for the skills that you list. You should ask people to endorse you when you work with someone on a project or pair program. If you are wondering about what level you need to be at before you list a skill here, a good rule of thumb is to list the technologies that you have worked with in a project once you know the basics fairly well. No need to be expert level. Your work experience should be results-driven and clearly list what technologies you worked on. What have you achieved and what was the impact for the company? Speak with action verbs and talk about achievements. If you build websites or apps for local companies or individuals as you learn, you can put freelance software developer consultant. This will give you some relevant work experience if you do not have anything else to list. If you had to do anything technical at a prior or current job like updating your company’s WordPress blog, highlight that in your work experience. The goal here is not to embellish your skills or be dishonest, but to reframe your current skillset so it fits the tech industry, and see what transferrable skills you already have that can be highlighted in this section that are more technical. Ask people to give you a public recommendation on your LinkedIn profile. Social proof is important and it can mean a lot com- ing from someone you have worked with, especially from a supervisor. Even though you may feel intimidated or foolish asking for one, many people will be more than happy to write one for you if you ask. Add your certificates to your LinkedIn profile. As you progress through the stages of your learning plan, you will earn certificates from places like freeCodeCamp and Coursera on topics like ”front-end”, ”back-end”, and ”data visualization”. Post these to your pro- file as soon as you earn them and then announce your achievements to your connections. Never undersell yourself— you are a pro- fessional and who is using LinkedIn to let people know what you are capable of. The education section is not only for traditional college experience, but also for students of online curriculums and coding boot- camps. If you are taking classes or going through the curriculum on a site like freeCodeCamp, mark yourself as a student. It will prompt you to add start and end dates, so if you do not know exactly when you will finish, enter in an estimate (you can update it anytime).  Connections Grow your connections every week. When you exchange information at meetups and events, tell people you will connect with them on LinkedIn. The great thing about gaining connections is that the more you have, the more people will also find you and want to connect, creating a snowball effect. Other ways to grow your pool is by getting involved in relevant groups on LinkedIn. Make sure you join the popular ones related to the field you are trying to get into, e.g. ”Web Development”. People will be able to find you through your connection to these themed groups. There are many more profile optimizations for LinkedIn. Ask someone at a meetup to review your LinkedIn profile to get more ideas on how it can be improved. TIP: Keep your LinkedIn and Resume Consistent Recruiters and Hiring Managers will compare your resume to what is on LinkedIn, and if they do not match, it can make you seem dishonest, regardless of your intent. Double check to make sure you are using the same job titles, experience, etc. Conclusion Do not underestimate the value of social media on your career, but do not waste time on it either. Use the tips I’ve outlined in this chapter to help you use these platforms effectively. Action Steps:  1.Build a profile on LinkedIn or give your current one a makeover. 2.Double check that the information on your resume matches your LinkedIn profile.