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Student profile top tips

By John
July 15 2016

Posted in Student Resources

I’ve just reviewed ALL SoT2016 student profiles looking for candidates for Create Camp… I thought it would be a good time to talk about what makes a good SoT student profile, as a LOT of the profiles need some serious polishing!!!!!!

The goal of the student profile is to get an employer to notice you, want to meet you, and consider you for a job.

The “Why hire me” section is like your cover letter. It is essential part in making a good first impression with an employer and to get them to look at the rest of your profile. ie You want them to check out your Skills, CV, grades and links to your portfolio, github, website etc. The profile text is the first thing an employer is going to see about you!

TIP: ¬†You need to think of the “Why hire me?” as your key marketing statement about YOU as a tech professional.

Your profile needs to be explicit ie. you need to state what you want to do and what can you can do for an employer! You should not assume that a employer is going to read anything more about you unless you make your profile interesting for them. You want employers to learn about you as person and as a role ie. developer/designer/engineer/admin/analyst.


Here’s what a student “Why hire me?” profile should contain:

Go and check out the “Summer of Tech profile 2016” slides here. We’ll update these for our bootcamp each year, but there are plenty of tips on what makes a good profile and how to get the best out of Summer of Tech.


The breakdown

Employers want to know makes you unique. They want to know about you and what you can bring to their organisation. Here’s our ¬†break down on how to write a good profile :

1) “I want to be an X”

Nearly everyone NEEDS to add this to their profile. If you only make ONE change your profile… DO THIS NOW!

UPDATE 3/3/2017: for SoT2017 we have made this even easier. Your first sentence is now your “short blurb”. We recommend you include the name of specific role(s) you’re going for, to make it REALLY easy for employers to know if they should look at your full profile.

Employers are looking for specific roles when they are browsing¬†students profiles. Imagine an employer is looking for ¬†a programmer. When they browse your profile and it doesn’t contain what role you want, the employer¬†has to use a “decoder” ring to try and find out what you can do. It’s likely that the employer will start to “skim” your profile instead of reading it and that means your¬†profiles is only a few short seconds away from being ignored.

We recommend that you tell an employer explicitly what type of role that you are looking for in the FIRST sentence. This helps an employer instantly identify what you want to do, and match the role against what they are looking for.

TIP: If you are interested in more than one type of role then add both roles/interests. eg. I want to be a developer and I’m interested in¬†AI … OR … I want to be front-end developer and I’m passionate about UX.

If you not sure about know what you want to do the we recommend you start with a base role like developer, system admin, designer, network admin etc. that matches your interests.

Here’s some great examples of the first sentences of student profiles that I’ve read:

I want to be a programmer and I have an interest in web design and system administration as well.

I am a budding web and software developer interested in software architecture, algorithm complexity, and artificial intelligence.

I aspire to be a software developer, and I’m especially interested in backend web development.

1a) WHY????

The next one or two sentences you should explain why you’re interested in that role and why you think you’ll be good at it. Remember every employer is looking for proof of skills. If you say you like web development then use examples of what you have done to prove that you like it!

2) What are you interested in or passionate about ?

This is where you get to describe what you like about working in technology. There is lot’s of good and bad stuff in technology (Blue screen of Death anyone?)… Tell the employer what are you really interested in and why.

3) About you

This is an opportunity to tell us about yourself including your hobbies or interests. Remember, we don’t hire robots. We want to know about what makes you unique and what motivates you. You can also write about some of your personal attributes. This is important as it helps the employer know about you as a person.

TIP: Cultural fit is a huge part of what employers think about when they hire. So, make sure you share a bit about yourself.

4) Why should we hire you?

What are best attributes about you that a¬†potential employer should know? This part of the profile is a good way to summarise what skills and attributes might be the most attractive to an employer. Try to use examples of your work that “prove” your skills & attributes. Remember, any statement that is not backed up with proof is just a statement and employers will tend to ignore it. eg. “I’m dedicated and hardworking” doesn’t mean as much as something that PROVES that you are dedicated and hard working. eg. “I’m dedicated and hardworking. I have been able to balance my studies and a part time job all while maintaining an A- grade average.”

If you say this on your SoT profile:

I am able to use popular programming languages

This statement is pointless without proof. There is no explanation of what languages this person knows or proof that they can use any of them. ¬†Don’t assume that an employer is going to take the time to read your CV to figure that out.

Finally remember: the first 160 characters form your introduction “tweet” that will show at the top of your profile, by your photo. Make it count! You should state what role you want and why.


For more tips on SoT profiles, check out Roseanna’s blog post here.
For developers, extra tips on what an employer looks for in a github profile is here.

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