As a part of career support for our Nanodegree cohorts, Francois (our Head of Marketing) and Jason (our Technical Recruiter) hosted an on-air talk for our Front-End Nanodegree students called “Stand out with LinkedIn.”

For anyone who doesn’t know, LinkedIn is a very valuable resource for job seekers and can be an incredibly effective tool for all professionals and students.

Here are some pointers from the talk to help get you started with documenting your own professional journey.

How Recruiters Look at LinkedIn

Jason says that recruiters usually follow a “3-30-180” rule when looking at a LinkedIn profile.

  • 3 seconds: a recruiter knows whether they’re going to read your page.
  • 30 seconds: the time it takes to read of your profile.
  • 180 seconds: the time it takes to decide whether or not to contact you.

So here’s how you can make each section work to your benefit.

  • 3 seconds: Make sure your picture and headline help you stand out in search results. Be creative! This is your best initial hook to drive interest and catch a recruiter’s eye.
  • 30 seconds: Recruiters will scan your top card, your summary (too many people neglect it!) and browse through your different jobs, skills and education. Feel free to get granular with your specific roles—this helps get across your specific skills, experience and expertise.
  • 180 seconds: In addition to the tops above, recruiters will read, in depth, about your various jobs, education, and connections you have in common. This is where adding websites, videos or presentations to your profile sections will help you make things pop.

How to Present a Transition into Computer Science

If you are transitioning into computer science from a different field, show that by highlighting your current projects and joining relevant groups. Projects are important because they demonstrate your ability and interests. Don’t limit yourself to Udacity projects—go out and build things for fun! Activities such as building a friend’s blog or designing an Android game, even for fun, will help build the experience you need to solve technical challenges during interviews.

Additionally, don’t hide previous work experience, even if you feel it isn’t relevant. LinkedIn is a tool you can use to tell your journey and recruiters, according to Jason, are very interested in what brought you to where you are now.

How to Highlight Nanodegree Programs and Udacity Courses on LinkedIn

If you haven’t already, add the online courses you complete on LinkedIn! This is best done under “Certifications” for individual courses.

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If you are part of a Nanodegree program at Udacity, list it under “Education” using “Udacity” as the school.

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Finally, add the projects you complete in class, or in your free time, under the “projects” section of your profile.

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We hope these tips help you stand out and make the best of your LinkedIn profile. Stay tuned for more career-development talks and pointers from the Udacity team!