What I Look For In A Laravel Developer's Profile

Published: 1 month ago

I've hired dozens of engineers and have a pretty keen eye for a good profile.

This has helped me make some great hires - engineers who I worked really well with, people who have become my friends.

To the best of my knowledge, many of them are still in the roles I hired them for years later.

Before Laradir, I could say "I've reviewed hundreds of résumés and profiles", but now I can legitimately say I've reviewed thousands of developer's profiles.

I really have! The approval flow on Laradir is completely manual and done only by me at the moment. We currently average about 10 new signups per day, and I only have so long I can spend reviewing profiles - I try to keep reviews under 5 minutes.

I think it's really important to have a high bar for profiles, to keep the quality of the site up. This makes it the most valuable for teams using it to find the best talent.

But this comes at the expense of volume. There's always a tension between quality and quantity.

If I set the quality bar too high, there would be no profiles on the site. If I set it too low, there would be so much noise (low-quality profiles) on the site no teams would use it and the folks who have made an effort wouldn't get noticed at all.

This affects people emotionally, of course. I'm getting a lot of these kind of messages now:

  • "Why has my profile been rejected!???"
  • "But, I don't have a way to prove I'm a Laravel developer!"
  • "I'm very experienced, akchtually!"

So I'm going to share some of my process here. Hope it helps!

(Remember, you can make changes and resubmit your profile - there's no limit to how many times I will re-review your profile.)

The Whole Truth

The most important pieces of guidance I can offer before anything else are:

  • Fill in as much of your Profile as you can
    The more you provide, the better the platform can work for you. If you're lazy and skip things, you'll be missing out on opportunities because your profile may not show up in some searches.
  • Be honest
    I'm not here to determine whether what you write is truthful. But if someone reaches out to you because they saw something on your profile which they later find out is not true, that won't reflect well on you. If that comes back to me, your profile may be removed.
  • Be public
    I can only base my assessment of your skills on publicly accessible materials. If you don't have anything in the public domain that gives sufficient evidence of your Laravel experience, your profile will likely be rejected. Reply to the notification email you receive so we can work together to find suitable alternatives.

Name

As you might expect, this should be your full name as you want it to appear.

If it doesn't contain your name, your profile will be rejected.

Your name is not public. It is only shown to people who unlock your profile.

It only appears in one place on Laradir: at the top of your Profile page.

Bio and Summary

Every developer profile has a Summary and a Bio. These are public on the site and are the first thing visitors will read about you, kind of like a cover letter.

Making effective use of these will make your profile stand out.

The Summary is used across the site:

  • On the profile card
  • In search results
  • On profile pages

There's no "perfect" Summary, but I'd suggest that it's brief and to the point.

If you're actively looking for connections/work, highlight your key skills, the ones that are likely to attract the attention of the people/teams you'd like to work with. If you do some digging, you'll know what they are looking for.

Your Bio is a place to go into more detail about your experience, your goals, and anything interesting that you feel is appropriate.

Use Markdown formatting to make it an enjoyable and informative reading experience for visitors.

It shouldn't be pages and pages of content but it should also be more than a couple of sentences.

Don't just copy-paste your whole résumé in here. You can use parts, but try to take the opportunity to be creative.

They must be written in English!

Must-nots

Your Bio and Summary must not contain:

  • Any personally identifiable information (your name, email address, phone number etc).
  • Any links.
  • Names of any previous employers, clients or other institutions.
  • Names of any products you've worked on.
  • Simply a list of skills - we have a field for that.
  • Significant portions written in a language other than English.

Doing any of these will result in an instant rejection.

A good Summary and Bio that you have taken time to produce tells me that you care and have made some effort to make your profile stand out.

I don't mind if you've used ChatGPT to help you write it, but trust me, I'm getting pretty good at spotting the AI-generated ones that haven't been edited at all and they're not good, so these risk rejection.

Profile Picture

You don't have to include one, but it does help.

If you do, it should be a photo of you or an avatar (basically, a face). Ideally the same as what you use elsewhere online so there's some consistency.

Anything not PG or infringes copyright is going to be removed.

City, Country, Timezone

Hopefully these are obvious. I don't use these in deciding whether to approve or reject your profile.

They are used to help Teams filter profiles down based on their locality needs.

For Country, you should select your current location, basically where you are working from. This is important for some potential employers/clients, so please keep this up to date if you change countries.

City is informational and is shown only on your Profile page.

Timezone is helpful for Teams that are looking for people who overlap well with their working times.

Speaks and Technologies

The Speaks field allows you to select which languages you can communicate in. You should only select languages in which you are fluent enough to be comfortable working with others daily in that language via spoken and written communication.

I don't use this in deciding whether to approve or reject your profile.

The Technologies field helps Teams to find developers that possess the skills they need.

You should only select technologies that you have used and can demonstrate proficiency in. The only skill I'm trying to validate is that you're a Laravel developer, but others may choose to interrogate you on any and all of your listed skills.

The list has some pre-defined options which you can choose from, but you may also enter technologies that don't already exist in the list simply by typing into the field. You can finish each with a comma or by pressing the Tab key.

If you don't list any technologies, your profile will be instantly rejected.

Work Preferences

Aside of Search status, which is required, the only field that I pay close attention to here is the Role level field.

Role level represents where you are currently in your career. If you've never been an engineering manager or a lead engineer, don't select those options.

It is not the level of proficiency you have with a particular skill. You might be a junior with React and a master of Vue, but if your current role is a mid-level engineer, then you're a Mid.

It's not tied to your current job title. It's not even about how many years of experience you have.

I appreciate that this feels somewhat subjective right now; every business has different ways of levelling and job titles carry different meanings. Don't worry, I've got another blog post in the works to go into more detail on this topic soon.

You should be realistic, not optimistic here. You cannot be both a Junior and a Senior.

If you've checked all of the boxes, your profile will be rejected.

Social Links

This is arguably the most important section for review. Every link you share should support your claim of being a Laravel developer in some way!

The links you provide will give me the opportunity to verify your claims elsewhere. It's really helpful to see the same name and profile picture in use across these sites.

Your profile will be immediately rejected if:

  • Something doesn't add up across the different sites e.g. your name, profile picture, or other details differ wildly from one site to the next.
  • You don't add at least one link. These links are really my only way to prove you know what you're doing.
  • The links go to something I haven't had a strong-enough coffee for.

Don't share links here which do not give evidence of your Laravel experience. Don't link to your YouTube channel if it only contains a bunch of cat videos you made when you were 12 years old. This doesn't help.

The most important link you can share is your GitHub!

GitHub is the main source (pun intended) for me to find out if you really are a Laravel developer. I filter down your public repositories to find any that can give me an insight into your proficiency with Laravel. If there aren't any, that's usually not a great sign.

I do approve profiles without a GitHub link, but usually only where there is overwhelming evidence of Laravel experience elsewhere, such as on your personal website (e.g. a blog with many articles of detailed, technical Laravel-focused content).

If you don't have any of that, it's honestly easier for you to set up a free GitHub account and share at least one repo on there, ideally something with more than a single commit made within the last year.

What if I host code elsewhere?

I don't have a good way to handle this right now, but it's coming. In the meantime, you can send these links separately via email.

What if I have no code I can share or content or any other useful links?

First of all, what have you been doing? Laradir is not the only place potential employers and clients are going to look. It's so easy to set up a free personal website and start writing content about Laravel. Go do that. Now!

Assuming you're not completely new to the world of Laravel development and you do have some code somewhere that you either can't or don't want to share, I am happy for you to share it privately with me if you're comfortable doing that. We can arrange this via email.

The final option is for us to have a kind of technical interview over a video call. This is usually about 45 minutes and will give me a way to assess your skills and level. From there I can decide whether your profile should be accepted onto Laradir.

(Because this is a time-intensive task, there will be a fee associated with this 'interview' option.)


If you're a developer hoping to get your profile on Laradir, I hope this insight into the process helps.

And if you're searching for and hiring Laravel developers, now you've had a little glimpse into the work I put in to bring you the best Laravel developers.