Tech recruiters certainly look for all the usual info on your profile or resume: your tech stack, your past employment, maybe even your code.

There must be more to their sourcing game than that, right? How in-depth do they go? We reached out to our partners, as well as readers on Reddit, Dev.to, Quora, and Facebook. We asked them: ‘what do recruiters REALLY look for on a candidate’s resume or profile? What makes certain developers stand out? What are some unusual things they check?’

via GIPHY

Their answers were great – some stuff we never in a million years would have thought of.

Below, we’ve put together the curious list of things tech recruiters take into account when hiring for a position. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a senior or junior developer. These are some of the things potential employers might check on your dev profile.

Jump to a section:

  1. About me blurb
  2. Your soft skills on social media
  3. How your website looks on mobile/tablet/desktop
  4. Side projects/open source work
  5. Active or passive job-seek status on CodersRank 
  6. Comments on Reddit
  7. Endorsements or recommendations you gave to others on LinkedIn 
  8. Grammar 
  9. Activity in online communities
  10. Attending conferences
  11. Your ability to solve real-world problems 
  12. Experience in cross-functional teams
  13. Basic understanding of design 
  14. The year you joined GitHub
  15. Your README file on GitHub 

Although none of these details will get you a job offer on their own, they can all affect your chances of getting hired by making a positive impression on recruiters.

1. About me blurb

The about me section of your profile has to be interesting and well-written. It’s a chance for you to showcase your personality, so lighten up. Throw in a good joke or two.

Recruiters often have to go through dozens of profiles to find the right candidates. The best way to stand out and hold their attention is to be creative. Use a catchy opening line and make sure the rest of your text is written in an engaging way.

Just because this section is about you doesn’t mean you should cram it full of unnecessary personal details. Tell the story of your career path. Talk about the work you’ve done that you’re most proud of. Let the recruiter see how you’ve progressed through the years and the increasing levels of responsibility you’ve taken on.

An example of an interesting bio - recruiters often look for more in-depth info here
An example of a bio/dream job description from CodersRank

In summary, recruiters will check…

  • If you have an About section at all
  • Are you able to communicate your thoughts coherently (or even better: creatively)?
  • Is there a story to your career path?
  • Do you have a preferred job role or tech stack?
  • Are you willing to do relocation or remote work?

2. Your soft skills on social media

Giving potential employers viewing access to your social media profiles might seem like a nightmare come to life.

You obviously want to be able to freely express yourself and maintain boundaries between your personal and professional lives. However, technology has blurred the lines between the two.

Research shows that 93% of recruiters currently use or plan to use social media to find and screen qualified candidates. In a recent survey, 57% of recruiters said they wouldn’t hire a candidate with no social media presence.

Most tech recruiters will go looking for your online footprints to judge your communication skills. Your social media accounts can show them the kind of person you are and if you’ll be a good fit for the company culture.

A great example of a valuable social post: it’s about a side project and it provides further info, too.

At the same time, recruiters understand that not every developer is super active on social media. As devs tend to be very selective of their platforms, recruiters also adapt to their choices.

If you prefer to save them the trouble and keep their imaginations in check, you can include links to your social media accounts in your profile or resume. This includes Facebook, Twitter, Quora, Reddit, LinkedIn, etc.

Want to create a personal brand for recruiters to see? Ideally, you should post insightful, funny, smart, interesting content and engage with people in your industry. Doing a little marketing for yourself this way can help your chances to land a great role.

It goes without saying that you should also avoid sharing inappropriate content. Hate speech and derogatory or discriminatory remarks are huge no-nos.

In summary, recruiters will check…

  • Your communication style
  • What you share
  • Your knowledge of the latest changes in software development

Bonus tip: no, recruiters don’t care about follower count as much as you think they do. It’s a plus to have more but it does not play a big role in decision-making. (they told us themselves!)

3. How your website looks on mobile/tablet/desktop

If you have your portfolio website—and you should—listed on your profile, recruiters are going to take a look at it.

It creates a chance for them to see if you’re truly as good as you claim to be. You’ll get extra points if you actually designed and built the website yourself from scratch.

Recruiters are going to check out the completed works and projects you’ve chosen to display. They’re going to pay attention to the functionality of your website. Also, they’ll take note of how it looks on various devices from desktop to mobile.

GIF of a funny scene from Silicon Valley. Richard: "The tech will speak for itself."
via Giphy

If your site design is not responsive and mobile-friendly, that’s a red flag. Make sure that your website is attractive, professional, and easy to navigate. It should load fast regardless of the device it’s viewed on.

Keep in mind that this condition mainly applies to front-end developers. Everyone knows that back-end developer websites usually follow a simpler approach, as they keep their focus on their back-end functionalities or their written content.

In summary, recruiters will check…

  • What your website looks like
  • How it runs on mobile

4. Side projects/open source work

Another thing that tech recruiters look for when reviewing your profile is the side projects you’ve done or the open-source contributions you’ve made.

Not every developer is crazy about this expectation. But having several side projects and open source work shows that you’re passionate about your craft and interested in learning something new. It’ll earn you a better rating in the recruiter’s eyes. The more interesting your side projects, the stronger your engineering credibility.

If you have little to no work experience with the languages and tech stack the recruiter requires for the role, you can still make the shortlist of qualified candidates. All you need is significant and relevant open source work/side projects in that area.

Recruiters want candidates who are self-starters. You need to be willing to collaborate with others on projects that they find interesting.

They need employees who can build solutions to problems rather than waiting around for someone else to do it. Your open-source contributions and side projects are your chance to show that you’re such a person.

In summary, recruiters will check…

  • If you have any side projects
  • Analyze how your open-source preferences may fit into a position

5. Active or passive job-seek status on CodersRank 

GIF of a funny scene from Silicon Valley: Jared: "I'm available. Not emotionally, obviously."
via Giphy

One of the best ways to indicate your interest in a new position is through your job-seek status on your CodersRank profile

Tech recruiters are busy people so they’re constantly looking for ways to reduce the number of candidates they’ll have to screen. They’re going to check your job-seek status to know if they should eliminate you from their list of potential candidates or keep you in the running.

If your status says you’re not available for hire, recruiters are not going to bother shortlisting you for the position or sending you an interview invitation. At least the good ones won’t.

However, a status that says you’re actively looking for a job or open to offers means that they can carry on evaluating your suitability for the role.

Make sure your status accurately represents the current state of your job search and availability. 

In summary, recruiters will check…

  • Your job-seek status (this can be set to active or passive on your CodersRank profile)
  • Your other job preferences (also available on your CodersRank profile)

6. Comments on Reddit

Reddit is one of the largest online forums out there with hundreds of millions of unique monthly visitors. People from all walks of life have created strong communities on the platform, including tech professionals.

It’s a good place for you to network with other developers, learn new tricks, develop potentially important relationships, and even get hired.

The Reddit community is very much against ads, promotional material, and over the top recruitment activities. In spite of this, recruiters still consider it one of the more helpful resources for sourcing and screening potential hires.

IF they can find them, recruiters often check candidates’ Reddit accounts when looking for people to fill their hiring pipeline. So if you have a habit of posting distasteful, inappropriate, or offensive comments on the platform, it’ll disqualify you as a suitable candidate.

Before you post anything on Reddit, ask yourself if you’ll be okay with your current or potential employees seeing it. If the answer is no, let that comment begin and end in your thoughts. Don’t send it out into the world where it can hurt your chances of landing a great job.

Or at least use a throwaway account.

In summary, recruiters will check…

  • If you can be found on reddit at all
  • The type of posts you submit
  • Your job preferences (if you are active in jobs/developer-related subreddits)
  • If there are any red flags within your comments or subreddits you belong to

7. Endorsements or recommendations YOU gave to others on LinkedIn 

About 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to source or vet potential hires. These recruiters are not just looking at your work experience, summary, skills, or educational background.

They’re also checking your profile to see the LinkedIn recommendations/endorsements you’ve gotten or given.

Positive recommendations from others serve as proof that your credentials and skills are what you say they are. It shows that people enjoy working with you. So the more you have, the better.

linkedin meme for developers
Or you can do this.

Giving recommendations to other people is just as important as receiving them. It tells recruiters that you give praise freely to those deserving of it.

The endorsements you give show up on your profile and make your page more visible. They can also impact your hiring potential and career progression.

Take the time to write recommendations for people whose work you admire, clients/vendors you’ve had a wonderful experience with, as well as former or current colleagues.

When you give a detailed, sincere, and authentic recommendation, it shows that you have great communication skills, which is one of the most sought after soft skills.

In summary, recruiters will check…

  • If you’ve given any recommendations
  • If yes, how you worded it
  • How many you’ve given and whether it was reciprocal

8. Grammar 

If your profile is perfectly organized and written but there are a few grammatical errors, it could lead to you losing out on a job offer.

According to Undercover Recruiter, 59% of recruiters reject a candidate because of poor grammar.

GIF of a funny Silicon Valley scene. Richard: "I'm not hiring him, he uses spaces not tabs." Recruiters look for good grammar on resumes.
via Giphy

Grammar is a serious issue for recruiters and one of the things they check for on your profile. If you don’t care enough to take the time to review your profile for spelling errors and other mistakes, how can you be trusted to pay attention to the details of the job?

The fact that you live and breathe multiple programming languages is no excuse for poor grammar. It can make you come off as unprofessional, uneducated, and careless. One of our recruiters said: “If the dev is not willing to run a simple spell-check then I won’t be interested.”

Make sure you present yourself clearly. Don’t just rush through your profile, pay attention to what you’re writing.

In summary, recruiters will check…

  • If you can write coherently
  • If your basic grammar checks out: using the right tenses, double-checking for punctuation errors, typos, missing words, fragmented sentences, etc.

9. Activity in online communities

When reviewing your profile, the online communities you belong to and how actively you participate in them are some of the things tech recruiters check for.

It’s not enough for you to have a presence on social media, join developer forums or industry groups, you have to be engaged within that network.

Recruiters will be looking at the conversations you participate in and topics you lend your expertise to, whether they’re personal interests or related to your industry.

Actively participating in online communities—Quora, Leetcode, Dribble, StackOverflow, etc—will help you grow your network and create room for you to offer your expert advice.

It’ll allow you to stay up to date with the latest trends/information in your areas of interest. Also, it’ll give recruiters insight into your communication skills and technical ability.

In summary, recruiters will check…

  • Whether you’re active in online forums
  • In which tech stack you’re most active in
  • How you handle more complex questions
  • Whether you are a team player

10. Attending conferences

Another thing tech recruiters check for on your profile is the events you’ve attended. Candidates who have participated in mentoring/coaching programs, hackathons, or given presentations at conferences and meetups will be looked at favorably.

This is because attending conferences indicates that you’re committed to continuous learning and keeping up with advancements in your field.

via GIPHY

The knowledge you gain at these events can help you improve your job performance, grow your value as a tech professional, and provide you with career networking opportunities.

If you want an edge over other candidates, start taking part in tech conferences and looking for speaking opportunities for both in-person and virtual events. Doing this will reinforce your resume and profile.

11. Your ability to solve real-world problems 

The ability to solve problems is an important part of any employee’s skill set and 62% of recruiters are looking for people with this soft skill.

Anyone can learn how to code, but not everyone can use that technical skill or knowledge to find solutions to real-world issues. Tech recruiters often take a deeper look at the projects you’ve worked on to see how you built solutions with the available tools.

They’re going to screen your portfolio, online comments, and open source contributions to determine your role in various projects as an individual contributor or as part of a team.

They want to see if you’re the kind of person that solves problems by themselves or the kind who needs guidance.

When talking about your experience and the work you’ve done, don’t just list them and leave it at that. Describe how you identified the problem and came up with a solution.

Discuss the challenges you faced while doing the job and how you overcame them. Recruiters are bound to be impressed by this.

In summary, recruiters will check…

  • How you come up with solutions in different projects
  • How you communicate your idea (let’s say if you provided a solution on Stack Overflow)

12. Experience in cross-functional teams

Although recruiters tend to focus more on your impact—the work that you have done or are responsible for, they are also interested in your ability to collaborate. So they’re going to be scanning your profile to see if you have experience working with cross-functional teams.

If you do, that’d suggest that you have a more rounded view of what it takes to execute successful projects and grow a business. 

Recruiters want developers who can write code and still communicate effectively with stakeholders who don’t have the technical know-how.

via GIPHY

They want professionals who can work seamlessly with team members across functions such as marketing, customer support, product, design, and more.

If you have examples of this kind of collaboration, highlight them on your profile.

13. Basic understanding of design 

If you’re a front-end developer, you should know that a basic understanding of design is one of the things recruiters look for on your profile.

They’ll do this by visiting your portfolio website to see what you’ve built and how you’ve built it.

Ideally, your coding style, design decisions, site architecture, or courses taken should suggest that you have a good level of design expertise and understanding. 

It’s not enough for you to have a good knowledge of technical topics, you need to show that you can translate that knowledge into real projects.

In summary, recruiters will check…

  • If you have some design skills yourself OR
  • If you are able to successfully translate a design concept into code (via collaboration)

14. The year you joined GitHub

GitHub is the largest social coding site in the world. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a developer, engineer, or programmer that doesn’t use it. 

It’s where developers go to host and share codes for projects they’re working on. The year you joined GitHub is usually a good indicator of when you started your coding journey.

It can also suggest the level of experience that you have. GitHub serves as a technical resume, so a recruiter looking at your profile is probably going to check it.

The older your GitHub profile, the more experienced recruiters will think you are. However, this rule is not set in stone.

It’s possible for someone who has been on GitHub for only two years to be more skilled than a developer who has five years under their cap.

The best way to make sure that your experience level matches how long you’ve been on GitHub is to consistently update your repository with new and exciting projects.

15. Your README file on GitHub

from Silicon Valley GIFs via Gfycat

The ability to communicate coding decisions is what separates a great developer from an average one that just pumps out code. This is where your README file on GitHub comes in.

It tells recruiters what the value, purpose, and goal of your repository is. Your README file can say a lot about you from your thought processes to your ability to grasp problems and create solutions. It shows that you understand more than just code.

Not every recruiter has the time to comb through your code to figure out what’s going on there, so you must have a README file that explains what you’ve built and why you’ve built it.

If you can spend hours adjusting the margin of a single button, you should be able to spare 30 minutes to write a description for the project you’ve been working tirelessly on.

Your README file should include the following:

  • A self-explanatory title
  • Catchy description of the project
  • Demo using images, video links, live demo links, and GIFs to show what the thing you’ve built does.
  • List of all the technologies used
  • Special elements of your project like the problems you faced.

To get a recruiter’s attention and increase your chances of getting an offer, ensure that your README files are well-crafted, simple, and easy to understand.

Does your profile reflect your awesomeness?

Lots of recruiters use CodersRank to find and evaluate candidates to fill in various technical positions.

However, they won’t reach out to you if you don’t put some effort into your representation. I recommend that you make the most of your profile. Show that you have the experience and skills even before you get contacted.

Your website and online activities should also paint a good picture of you. Use side projects and open source work to highlight your best work. Give recommendations to people on LinkedIn. Take the time to create descriptions for your project on GitHub. Give recruiters what they are looking for.

Are you actively looking for a job or just wondering what’s out there? CodersRank can help you find the opportunity of your dreams at a company you’ll love. Claim your free developer profile today and get hired faster.

Author

Growth Marketer / Pizza Enthusiast @CodersRank. I love the Blue Jays, books, and The Office. Tell Elon I said hi. Always waiting for a Steam sale. | CodersRank: Our goal is supporting CODERS growth by their always up to date, professional CodersRank profile.

Write A Comment

Follow us