Creating a LinkedIn profile is a great way to be noticed by legal recruiters. Many law firms have a presence on LinkedIn, and might review the LinkedIn profiles of job candidates. Having a polished and professional profile will make you stand out when applying for a training contract.
What kind of photo should I put on my LinkedIn profile?
When you create your LinkedIn profile, you should be sure to use a professional photo. Ensure that you are wearing a suit and have a neat look in the photo. You might even use a photo that has been taken by a professional photographer. This will show that you take the job hunt seriously and want to perpetuate a clean image. Using a head and shoulders shot for the photo slot is a good idea. LinkedIn is a business network and it is not to be confused with networks that have purely social purposes like Facebook.
Optimising the content…
The profile image is only a small part of it: you will then want to create the content that will be viewed by legal recruiters on your profile. This content should be direct and to the point. Your LinkedIn profile is your online CV. Include any awards that you have received for your work performance and any past jobs that you have held in the legal profession. This will help you gain credibility in the legal field.
The important extras…
There are also other titbits of information that you can include on your profile that will be helpful for legal recruiters. There is a "languages" section on LinkedIn that allows you to post information about any other languages that you speak. You should also include any relevant technical knowledge that could be beneficial to law recruiters. There is also a section for you to list any volunteer work that you have done which can be an important way for you to market yourself to future legal recruiters.
In the headline of your profile, you should make it clear that you are seeking a job as legal recruiters may pay closer attention to profiles that have this caption. You will be more likely to gain job leads from other members in the LinkedIn community too.
Make the most of LinkedIn's features
Joining LinkedIn groups is a great way to optimise your profile. Law recruiters will be drawn to the profiles of individuals who show that they have unique interests. You can join groups that show which specific fields of law interest you. If you have a passion for intellectual property law, you can join a group that gathers leading lawyers in this field of law. If you have an interest in pro bono legal work, then you can join a group that keeps you updated on the latest pro bono efforts in the legal community. A legal recruiter may even browse through these groups to see how you have contributed to the discussion. You should be willing to post any helpful information that you have for other lawyers in these groups.
On discussion forums, you will also be able to learn about any job opportunities that are available. You may receive specific referrals from other lawyers who are already part of these groups. Ultimately, it’s all about being conscious of the information that you post and making an effort to keep your profile updated.
Michael Scott also works as a consultant for law firms on the topics of management, practice development and business strategy, as well as writing articles on legal recruitment for BCL Legal.