If you want to truly advance your career and succeed as a developer, you need to market yourself. Sure, coding is your passion and you’d rather bury yourself in it, but how would anyone know that you’re good at what you do or even discover you unless you put yourself out there?
When screening for developer positions, many companies pay attention to candidates who have active programmer profiles—a blog, podcast, open-source contributions, YouTube channel, or a history of speaking at tech events—that speaks to their abilities. They view developers with these achievements and experiences as more likely to be talented because their reputation suggests it.
A little marketing can help you shine brightly in the eyes of potential employers. The last thing you want is to be just another candidate or resume when applying for a job. You need to find a way to stand out from the other stack of papers so that companies are pushed to invite you for an interview or make you an offer.
With effective marketing, you may not even have to go job hunting, opportunities will come knocking at your door. When you share your goals, skills, experiences, and knowledge about your field publicly, it helps to establish you as an expert. As such, companies will be happy to pay you a premium salary rather than hiring one of your seemingly less qualified counterparts.
Now that you understand how important marketing is and how it can enhance your reputation and turn you into a job magnet, we’re going to walk you through actionable steps you can take to successfully market yourself as a developer, stand out from the competition, get on recruiters’ radars, and bag the job offer of your dreams.
We have ranked these steps according to how useful and important they can be in helping you market yourself and your skills effectively.
- Build your portfolio
- Build a personal brand
- Register a profile on CodersRank
- Network with fellow tech professionals
- Tidy up your LinkedIn profile
Following these steps will help you enlarge your horizons and place your best foot forward so life-changing opportunities can find you. While other developers are scrambling to submit resumes and nail their technical interviews, you’ll already be far ahead.
Let’s take an in-depth look into each of these steps and how you can use them to enhance your career as a software developer and go from chasing after the prize to becoming the prize.
1. Build your portfolio
As a developer, you know that you need to keep practicing and refining your skills. What you might not know is that you can use the assignments and projects you do to create a portfolio that showcases your expertise.
If you don’t already have a GitHub profile, start by creating one and start pushing code to it regularly, and make your experiments public. This is non-negotiable. GitHub is your code repository and it should be used to display all the code you’ve written, projects you’ve worked on, and other interesting code-related activities you’ve been involved in.
Your GitHub account is basically your developer resume because it serves as proof of how well you can code. It says more about your skills than any CV or interview can. Contribute to as many open source libraries as you can. The more open source contributions you have the greater the value prospective employers will see in hiring you.
If you’d like to make valuable contributions to open source libraries, but you’re not sure how to go about submitting one, finding projects to contribute to, or even what kind of contributions you can make, check out these resources:
- How to contribute to open source
- A first timer’s guide to an open source project
- How to contribute to open source projects
It’s also important to have a portfolio website where potential employers can go to learn more about you, the work you’ve done, and how your skills and experience can benefit their organization.
When building your portfolio, here are the things you’ll want to pay attention to:
Set up a professional site
It makes sense for your domain to be in your name since this is a personal portfolio and people should be able to find it by simply entering your name into a search engine. Make sure you purchase the domain so that you can have full control over it and be able to migrate to a different web platform.
You cannot expect employers to take you seriously if you proclaim yourself to be a talented developer, but your website looks shabby and amateurish. You want anyone who stumbles on your site to be immediately impressed by the layout and design even before they go through any of your pages.
Your site should be easy to navigate and visually pleasing. You can decide to code your website from scratch and display it as one of the projects in your portfolio or create one using your preferred web platform. Whatever you choose, remember to keep it simple.
Include a well-designed logo that communicates your values and serves as an accurate representation of who you are and what you do.
Keep in mind that a personal website is going to mean different things to a back end developer and a front end developer since they’re different fields. Whichever faction you belong to, you just need to find an approach to your website design and presentation that best represents who you are and what you do.
If you’re a newbie developer, this detailed step-by-step guide will help you build a great-looking portfolio website from scratch to showcase your skills and value to potential employers and help you get hired faster. It covers everything from registering a domain name to choosing a reliable website, creating eye-catching home and about me pages, building contact forms, and more.
Check out these 7 best practices for creating a programming portfolio website that stands out. The article also contains tips on mistakes to avoid when building your website and what recruiters look for in a developer portfolio, as well as stunning website examples that are sure to get your creativity flowing.
Showcase your work
The point of having an online portfolio is to highlight the work you’ve done in the past and the accomplishments you’re proud of. If you don’t have any concrete work experience yet, you can start by creating a single web page and adding links to other online profiles you have like your social media and GitHub account.
When you write articles, host webinars, give talks, contribute to open source libraries, create tutorial videos, or work on anything interesting, update your site accordingly. Explain what each project is about, why it’s important, and when it was done.
Let visitors see the skills you possess in action and how you can use these skills to grow their business. This will establish your expertise, credibility, and trustworthiness.
Share your story
Don’t be shy about being yourself. Let your personality shine through. Describe yourself as honestly as you can. What is it that makes you special? What struggles, failures, or challenges have you encountered over the course of your career? Employers don’t want to hire mindless code monkeys, but people they can relate to.
Include your contact details
Give visitors and potential employers a way to reach you. Add your email address and phone number or create a simple contact form they can fill out. If they have to jump through hoops to find your contact information, you might miss out on many good opportunities.
2. Build a personal brand
Personal branding is simply a way of making yourself known for something. As a programmer, you not only want to be competent in your field, you also want people to see you that way. Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to create a brand around yourself.
Ask yourself what you want to be known for? Who are you and what do you want to represent? What is your core message? What do you want people to think of when they see or hear your name? Once you have this figured out, start putting this message out there and making sure it’s reflected in everything you do.
Here are some of the ways you can create a strong personal brand and actively promote yourself:
Clean up assets related to communication
Come up with a logo for your brand if you don’t already have one. It should be something simple, eye-catching, and an accurate representation of who you are and what you’re about. Don’t go changing your logo every week or so. Find one that works for you and use it everywhere.
Get professional headshots taken to use as cover images for your online profiles. Go through your social media accounts and public forums and delete any inappropriate messages or comments that don’t align with the image you want to project or reflect badly on you as a person.
Start a blog
A blog can be a wonderful way to showcase your skills as a developer, become well-known in your industry, and attract potential clients or employers.
Your blog doesn’t have to have tens of thousands of readers, but you do need to build a decent audience. You can do this by sharing useful information that adds some kind of value to your readers’ lives. Talk about your professional journey, the challenges you’ve faced along the way, and how you overcame them.
Teach people how to solve problems. Show examples of work you’ve done in the past to help junior developers find their way and build themselves up. Think of something you’ve struggled with that you found a solution to and write about it for other people out there experiencing the same problems. Write about whatever appeals to you as long as it’s consistent with your brand image.
If writing isn’t your thing, consider creating content through other platforms like Youtube, social media, or podcasts.
Get active on digital channels and forums
Programmer resources and platforms like Twitter, Stack Overflow, Reddit, and Dev.to can go a long way in helping you market yourself and advance your career. Pick the one that you prefer the most or as many as possible and start making yourself visible.
Talk about your programming journey. Connect with senior and junior developers all around the world. Share your ideas and collaborate on projects. Answer questions on topics that you’re knowledgeable about. Discover open positions that you’re qualified for and apply for them.
Look for speaking engagements at developer events, host webinars, apply for mentorship programs where you teach people about a topic you’re interested in or passionate about. You don’t have to be an expert on a subject to speak about it convincingly and get people to listen. As long as you have a genuine interest in the subject matter, you can give a great presentation on it.
3. Register a profile on CodersRank
CodersRank is a platform that allows you to showcase your credentials and find amazing job opportunities. You can create a comprehensive digital developer profile using the private and public data you have on various coding sites like Stack Overflow, GitHub, and HackerEarth.
It’s kind of like LinkedIn, but better in that it’s specifically designed for developers and you have a lot more control over your profile and the attention it attracts. For instance, on CodersRank, you can regulate whether or not you’re interested in receiving job offers from recruiters. On LinkedIn, there is no such feature.
Naturally, we’re partial to CodersRank because it’s our own product, but we believe that its value and accomplishments speak for themselves. Over 40,000 developers from 100+ countries and various skill levels are happily using CodersRank to market themselves and land offers for their dream jobs.
You can highlight everything that makes you special from your work experience to the programming languages and tech stack you prefer, choose the salary range and job locations that suit you, and even compare your skillset and value with other developers around the globe.
Other benefits of having a CodersRank profile include:
- You can get personalized job offers.
- You can monitor your professional progress (see our cool progress chart below).
- You can network with other developers, get inspiration, or just have a good time.
- You can save yourself a lot of time by not having to update your CV ever again.
How to set up your CodersRank profile
Creating a profile on our platform is very easy. All you have to do is follow a few simple steps and your profile will be up and ready to go in minutes.
Step 1: Hop over to profile.codersrank.io/login and click on the Create Your Profile button. This will take you to the registration page. Click on Sign up with GitHub to get started.
Step 2: Enter your GitHub username or email address and password and click Sign up with GitHub or Create an account to continue.
Step 3: Next, authorize CodersRank to access your GitHub account and your personal user data. By default, we only request access to public data.
Step 4: You’ll be taken to a new page where you’ll be asked to select your job preferences. The options are: Actively applying, Not looking but open to offers, and Not available for hire. Pick the option that best applies to you, then answer the questions that follow to let us know about your dream job. Next, add your skills and specializations.
Step 5: Add your work experiences. We have a LinkedIn import tool that allows you to simply copy and upload your LinkedIn profile rather than inputting the information manually.
Step 6: Enter some additional information about yourself such as your full name, phone number, and location. Once that is done, your profile will be created and you can click Done, see your profile to view it, and add other relevant information such as your salary expectations, portfolio, and access to other programmer resources like Stack Overflow, GitLab, Bitbucket, and Hackerrank. For a more detailed overview of setting up your profile the right way, see this guide.
You can now start connecting with recruiters and receiving amazing job offers without going through too much trouble hunting them down.
4. Network with fellow tech professionals
When you hear about a great job opportunity you probably tell people you know that you feel are right for the position before sharing it anywhere else. When you need a product or service, you’re more likely to ask for and consider recommendations from people you trust.
That’s the beauty of networking. It gives you access to opportunities you might not have known about and helps you get your foot in the door.
The people you know can open doors for you and make your career, so you need to build a strong network of friends and acquaintances in the right places. There are many great places online for you to meet other tech professionals and introduce yourself as a senior developer or junior developer.
Use Twitter, Reddit, Stack Overflow, Dev.to, LinkedIn, and Facebook to learn, connect with other programmers and techies, share your knowledge, and promote yourself and your skills.
Join professional groups that cater to your niche on LinkedIn and Facebook, partake in conversations and get noticed, and build solid relationships with the people you meet there. We also highly recommend joining one of the many active Slack channels for developers out there.
These connections and communities will prove invaluable to your job search. Rather than sending out resumes en masse or cold emailing hiring managers, you can reach out to people in your network and have them send opportunities your way or put in a good word for you with recruiters.
When the pandemic is over, you can move from remote networking to in-person networking. Go out, meet people, introduce yourself, and interact with them. Attend local developer events, conferences, and meetups. Take an interest in what people are doing and position yourself as someone who can offer value to them. Networking isn’t about being a bloodsucking pest.
5. Tidy up your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is another powerful tool you can use to sell yourself. Research shows that more than 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn so if you don’t have a strong LinkedIn presence, you’re doing yourself a great disservice.
Whether you’re a seasoned front-end developer, you prefer to deal with back-end or the full-stack, or you’re a newbie techie, LinkedIn can help you get noticed, build connections that could potentially help your career, and help you discover new job opportunities.
Make sure you complete your LinkedIn profile because completed profiles rank higher on the platform and are more likely to be discovered and given opportunities. Upload a clear, professional photo of yourself as your profile image. Add your location and industry.
Fill out your education section. If you don’t have a formal college degree, list the bootcamps you’ve attended or the certificates and courses you’ve gotten from online learning platforms like Coursera, Udacity, Codecademy, Udemy, Pluralsight, etc.
Talk about your most relevant and recent work experience in the experience section. If you haven’t worked in fields that are related to web development, highlight the code-based projects you’ve done instead.
Don’t neglect the skills section. Proudly showcase at least five tech and non-tech skills you’ve acquired over the years. Do you have planning and organization skills? Give examples of the workflow, communication, and thought processes you’ve created. If you possess communication skills like writing, teaching, or presenting, talk about it.
The summary section is where you get to tell your story, explain what you do, what drives, your goals and aspirations are, and any other message you want to pass across. Mention the tech stack and frameworks you’re familiar with or interested in.
Summaries that are over 40 words long are indexed better in internal search results than those that are shorter. Try to sound as natural as possible. Write like you’re speaking to someone who’s right in front of you. Your summary should talk to people, not at them.
Don’t forget to show examples of your work. Demonstrate to potential employers that you’d be a valuable addition to their teams to projects. Include videos, documents, links, presentations, or photos to the education, experience, or summary sections of your LinkedIn profile to back up the claims you make about your abilities.
Adding a call-to-action to your profile is very important. You need to push visitors and recruiters to find out more about you. Examples of CTAs you can include in your summary are:
- Check out my GitHub repositories at (your GitHub profile).
- See my CodersRank profile here (your CodersRank profile link).
- Contact me directly at (your email address).
- Find me on Twitter at (your handle).
- See some of my design samples at (your portfolio website URL).
Don’t just create a LinkedIn profile and forget about it. Stay active. Connect with your current and former colleagues, and other people you know. Join LinkedIn groups with other developers and members who share your interests and participate in group discussions.
Post updates to let your network know what you’re up to. Share an article that you found informative. Share the project you’re working on or the code you’re writing. Keep interacting with people and growing your connections.
To learn more about how to create the ultimate professional LinkedIn profile, how to optimize your profile for better search visibility, and common mistakes you should be avoiding while using the platform check out this guide.
Take your job search efforts to the next level on LinkedIn by applying these tips so recruiters and potential employers can find you and be impressed by your story and talent.
Finding the right words to sell yourself can be difficult, so here are some amazing and creative LinkedIn summary examples you can draw inspiration from. You’ll get plenty of ideas that’ll help you craft a description that’s unique, personal, and engaging.
Are you ready to find your dream job?
If you’re going to get great jobs and advance in your career, your ability to market yourself is important. Start seeing yourself as a business, and your skills as a product that you need to sell.
Make sure you read up on tech recruitment processes and prepare yourself accordingly. Your interview should dazzle recruiters as well as your credentials.
Remember that consistency is vital. If you want your marketing efforts to stick, you need to keep putting yourself out there regularly. Without repeated exposure, people will forget you or fail to recognize you.
As long as you implement a good marketing strategy for promoting yourself and you’re patient and consistent with it you can grow your reputation, get recognized within the tech community, and start getting the lucrative job offers you deserve.