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5 Tips for Software Agencies to Pitch Their Developers One Level Higher

Simple suggestions from our marketing team for more accurate positioning of software engineers

Imagine that you’re looking for a JavaScript developer experienced in React Native.

If given a chance to choose anyone, which of the listed below profiles will you settle upon?

David, a Full-stack JS and React Native developer, who is also familiar with Eclipse and other frameworks?

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… or

Valeria, who is both a Mobile and Web developer with a sound knowledge of numerous programming languages?

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I reckon you would choose the first one. Both of them have got JS and React Native in their core stack (see the highlighted blocks), nearly similar hourly rates, and exactly the same number of projects completed.

Then what’s the difference between them?’ — you’ll ask. Let’s get a closer look to find the answer.

There are several aspects that matter for you as a client who is looking to hire a developer on YouTeam platform: title, profile summary, tech stack, overall consistency, and photo.  

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When you’re looking for a JavaScript developer experienced in React Native,

You want to see a professional software engineer you can entrust your development to. 

This should be a result-oriented person with a meticulous attention to detail.

Below you’ll find some do’s and don’ts for helping your developer profiles stand out.

1. Title

David: Full-stack JavaScript developer and React Native developer.

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David’s title is a perfect match to your search query. Exactly what you’re looking for — nothing redundant. Nothing that would distract your attention or make you hesitant.

Nothing similar to Valeria, whose profile makes most people think: ‘Is she a Web or Mobile developer in the first place?

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2. Profile summary

David: Proficient in JavaScript, C#, C++, Java programming languages. Familiar with Eclipse, Intellij Idea, Spring, Hibernate, Maven and low-level programming. Excellent math, physics, and electronics skills…  

This section provides a deeper insight into other programming languages and frameworks David is familiar with. Some additional information on the skills he’d like to highlight is also provided here. Therefore, in this section, you can see what makes David a qualified expert. Now let’s take a look at Valeria’s profile.

Valeria: Expert knowledge of numerous programming languages, solid experience in Web/Mobile Development and open mind to meet all your ideas. I’m good as a team player and have excellent communication skills.

This pitch is a kind of too generic. Numerous programming languages without technologies specified don’t give you the understanding of what she is really capable of. Also, some grammar mistakes (open mind instead of open-minded) make you doubt whether Valeria can communicate in a smooth and hassle-free manner.

3. Tech stack

Both profiles include relevant tech stack ‘JS’ and ‘React Native’ which is very good.

4. Consistency

The major keywords ‘JavaScript’ and ‘React Native’ are present in the title and the tech stack of both profiles. At this point, both profiles are similar, so just skip it and read on.

5. Photo

David looks very confident and smiling. I guess you’ve also got the feeling he can be trusted. However, this is NOT the only thing that brings his profile more views.

Remember, you have only three seconds to make the first impression on your potential client.

Our marketing team decided to delve deeper into what makes some pages perform better than the rest.

We analyzed hundreds of developer profiles on YouTeam in terms of their user behavior. Our end goal was to find out what makes a profile perfect, what boosts the number of leads generated and results in a greater conversion rate.

Based on our research and expertise, we identified a few tips which may come in handy.

1. Clear title → more views

Max. 60-70 char.

Following the logic of Google Search Results, the main title should be relatively short. The information you include here should give a very quick idea of whether it’s something people are looking for. Hence, you should include only the most important information in your title.

For this reason, the maximum recommended title length on YouTeam should be somewhere between 60 and 70 characters.

Why? Well, 70 is the exact number of characters you can read in one breath more or less. And it takes just one line on a standard 13’ screen with a common page width of 600-800px.

Here are some titles of the developer profiles with the highest number of views on YouTeam. As you can see, none of them exceeds 70 characters.

The titles of the most viewed developer profiles on YouTeam in 2018

Max. 2 keywords

Compare these two profiles:

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We kindly recommend you to keep each profile title within two keyword combinations.

Why? Well, there are at least 3 reasons.

  1. Usually, your developer cannot be a top-notch expert in more than two technologies simultaneously. Sure thing, there may be some exceptions (e.g. senior full-stack developers) but we suggest you consider them very carefully.
  2. If you want to be a perfect match for your potential client, you have to prove that your developer is really focused on certain (max. 2) technologies so he is a damn good expert with first-hand knowledge of them.
  3. Here we come to Google Search Results again. When you see the website title with a list of keywords which altogether don’t make any sense — you most probably skip it and find a better option, with a clear title written as a complete sentence.

So please use it as a rule: ‘No more than two technologies in the title’. 

Be specific!

You don’t want your profile descriptions to sound like nonsense, do you? Sentences like: ‘Experienced with all stages of the development cycles for dynamic web project’ are too generic. Though I’ve already mentioned it, I’d better repeat it twice.

Try to be specific, as much as possible.  

Take a look at the profile below. How much information can you get from this preview section? How confident are you in Ivan’s expertise? Would you click to open this profile and learn more about his experience and projects completed? I suppose the answer is obvious here.  

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2. Profile summary is your pitch

Your developer profile summary is like a startup elevator pitch. Just 2-3 sentences to draw attention and evoke the desire to learn more.

In your developer profile title, you have to be as specific and concise as possible. Remember that it’s your one-time opportunity to tell your potential client something truly unique about your developer’s background. Something that has the potential to catch clients’ attention and invite them to click the ‘View profile’ button (of course, if there is also a tech stack match there).

It’s a very bad practice to leave this field empty. It’s equal to saying Here is just another Senior Back-end Developer. Nothing special. Don’t bother to get in touch with him’.

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… or

another example of trying to be too generic:

Here is an accomplished developer who is able to create applications of any type for every single project.

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Would you take him seriously if you were looking to hire a professional Front end and Back end developer for your core product? Don’t think so.

We suggest dedicating some extra time to writing this section. Discuss with every individual developer what are his strongest skills and expertise he would like to share. Then ask yourself:

What is the first thing you want your client to know about your developer?  

Don’t try to fill this field in just for adding some more text.

3. Technology does matter

Your developer profile could be perfectly completed, 100% proofread, and have a professional photo. Still, you don’t receive enough requests from potential clients.

Next thing you must take into account is the tech stack of your developer.

It’s not a secret that some technologies become more popular due to the ease with which they can be implemented. We at YouTeam track these trends from the very launch of our marketplace.

There are some ‘classical’ web development programming languages like Python, PHP, Java, JavaScript, .Net, Ruby on Rails, C++, C#, which remain the most searched for on the web, not just on our platform.

The same can be said of Swift/Objective-C for iOS Development and technologies supporting Android development — these are in the high demand.

We at YouTeam also observe the growing number of requests for React (JS) and especially React Native applications.

It doesn’t mean you have to give up everything and requalify for development with React. No.

We just want to share the tendency we have been observing for the last two years.

Important to mention, there are more and more requests for niche technologies such as Blockchain, Golang, NodeJS, Scala, Unity, Elixir, and Kotlin. Therefore, there is a demand for all of them, but the extent varies from one project to another.    

Technology does matter. But remember that you should not blindly follow the ever-changing trends. You need to find the perfect match with your future client. Not all of them are looking for another trendy development framework; some request a verified approach instead.

Find the perfect match with your client. No matter your technology is trendy or not.

Again, there is a demand for almost every programming language (!). We carefully suggest considering the tech stack you add to your developer profile and focusing on max. two core tech stacks within one profile.

Every other programming language, framework, and/or library should support one of the two tech stacks of your primary focus. (Remember, max. 2 keywords — we mentioned above).

4. Consistency = your key to success

Carefully check the preview of Yuriy’s profile — developing software for 8+ years — and see what’s below?

7 years of experience in JavaScript, which is maximum in terms of years. Sounds weird.

Most probably, it’s just a typo. But when your developer profile is closely examined by a CTO of a fin-tech startup, where the numbers and accuracy do matter, you have no excuses.

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… or

Micky, a Blockchain Developer focused on Decentralized Systems and Scalability Solutions. Looks impressive, right? But then, in the core stack below, you don’t see any blockchain related tag.

£95K compensation for a developer whose core stack consists primarily of JavaScript and DevOps?    

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It’s hard to prepare a great description and predict what exactly your potential clients may prioritize. However, one thing we know. Consistency is your key to success. Make sure your developer profile preview looks holistic. And don’t forget to make the story of your invaluable experience shown on a short snippet consistent as well.

5. High-quality photo

The deeper we go, the less explanation is needed. A picture is worth a thousand words’.

The same with developer profiles on YouTeam.

We’re looking for a Senior Java Developer. Here are two candidates with the same rates per hour. Yes, the first one is titled a Blockchain Developer, but let’s turn attention to the tags below.

Paul has 5 years, while Andrew has 8 years of experience in Java.

Paul is titled a Blockchain Developer, while Andrew calls himself ‘Senior Java Developer’ — exactly what we’ve been looking for.

… but

Surprisingly or not, Paul’s profile has got x10 times more views than Andrew’s.
(In this particular case, it was 10 views vs. 112 views per one single month).

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We repeated the experiment with other profiles and our assumptions were confirmed. The profiles with professional photos are viewed more often. They also receive new requests from inbound leads much more often compared to anonymous profiles without photos.

Of course, your developers have the right to hide their profile pictures and you can’t push them to change their decision. However, if they decide not to, help your developers to pick the right profile picture.

Checklist before submitting your developer profile

Selling strategy

    • Identify your developer’s core tech stack (programming languages, development tools, libraries/frameworks, RDBMS, and operating systems).   
    • Specify your developer’s industry and product experience.
  • After you decided you want to ‘sell’ your developer profile

with a tech stack X,
completed products Y,
and/or experience in the industry Z  

           create a list of keywords to add to a developer profile title, summary, and tech stack.

Title

    • A short title: not more than 70 characters.  
    • Max. 2 keywords in the title.
  • Is your developer a full-stack or a niche expert? Is his title specific enough?

Summary

    • Does the summary pitch the expertise your developer profile has to ‘sell’?
  • Are the two main keywords (tech stack/ product experience/ industry experience) included?

Tech stack

    • Is the core tech stack filled in? Is it shown on your developer profile preview?
    • Does the core tech stack show the expertise your developer profile has to ‘sell’?
  • Does the core tech stack contain 2 (max.) strategic keywords?

Consistency

    • Are your developer profile title, summary, and core tech stack consistent?
    • Are the title, summary, and tech stack aligned with strategic keywords that ‘sell’ your developer expertize?
  • Check the number of years in your core tech stack and in the title and summary. Are they the same?

Photo

    • Does your developer profile photo meet the basic professional requirements?
  • Would the profile photo look trustworthy to your potential client?

Final check

    • Try to browse and find your developer with the two specific keywords you target.
    • What’s the result? Does your developer profile answer the search query you typed in?
  • Ask yourself: Would you hire this developer? Do I want to give a try and start chatting with them?

Now you can take these tips and edit your developer profiles accordingly. Don’t forget to update them either.

Let’s get your perfect client sooner than you can think of that.

Yuliana Oselska

Yuliana Oselska

Head of Marketing at YouTeam, a marketplace for hiring remote tech talent, backed by YC. Interested in Product Development and Multi-channel Analytics.

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