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10 Tips to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Legal Job Searches
by Jim Vassallo
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Summary: LinkedIn is a perfect resource to conduct your legal job search. But do you know how to use LinkedIn to its fullest capacity?
LinkedIn has features job seekers from all walks of life can take advantage of. In fact, many of these features reside in the LinkedIn users’ profiles. Whether you’ve created an account to simply join the masses or use the employment-related social site regularly, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to your profile. We have compiled a list of 10 tips that can help you optimize your LinkedIn profile so you are noticed more by legal employers, headhunters, and recruiting firms focused on the placement of legal professionals.
Tip #1: Don’t Underestimate Your Headline
The headline of your LinkedIn profile is the first thing recruiters will notice. You cannot underestimate the power it has in getting recruiters to look deeper into your profile. Aside from the name of the law firm you currently work for, your headline should include a solid description of the job you currently hold. You have 120 characters to work with, so be sure to use the best description possible. Also, include a professional headshot. The headline must be catchy in order to be found.
Tip #2: Publish Content Often Using Pulse
LinkedIn is a free resource for anyone to use, so why not take advantage of all it has to offer? Don’t want to pay to host a blog of your own (even though you should)? Use LinkedIn’s publishing feature, Pulse, to post content often. Not only will it help you gain connections and followers, but it can also help you become a trusted legal expert in your field. Try to post at least once per week. The more you post, the more often your profile will get noticed on LinkedIn. You can’t publish just anything; it needs to be content that shows your knowledge within your industry, helps others learn, and is shareable.
Tip #3: Join Relevant Groups
LinkedIn also has a groups feature. You can join up to 50 groups, so make sure you join legal groups relevant to your practice field. There’s nothing wrong with joining groups that are related to your hobbies, but most of your groups should be for work. All the groups you join will be public on your profile, which means legal recruiters will see your activity. Post in groups and interact with other members as much as possible.
Tip #4: Digital Content is King
Don’t forget the power of digital content; it truly is king. Showcase your creativity and broad skillset by recording a video on YouTube and embedding it in your profile. If you are actively searching for a legal job, the video can be a one-minute pitch to legal recruiters about your work experience. You should also consider uploading documents, PowerPoint presentations, and any other digital content you are good at creating.
Tip #5: Claim Your Own LinkedIn URL
When you first join LinkedIn your profile is given a generic URL. After you set up your profile, click on the link that lets you create a unique URL that features your name. Once you’ve created the link you can add it to your email signatures, social media accounts, and professional website or blog.
Keywords are not just important to websites and blogs, but also to get you noticed on LinkedIn. Don’t stuff your profile with keywords, but use them appropriately to describe your practice field and skills. Put yourself in the shoes of a legal recruiter. What terms would they use applicable to your practice field to find someone with your skills and background?
Tip #7: Ask for Recommendations
Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from people who have worked with you in the past, or currently work with you. Recommendations are a great way to show legal recruiters how well you work, what practice field you are experienced in, and how well your expertise has helped clients. The recommendation will appear under the legal job for which it was written, which makes them much different from endorsements, but just as important.
Tip #8: Showcase What Makes You Different
The best LinkedIn profiles showcase what makes each person different from the next. Companies love to see what you do outside of work, especially if you perform volunteer work. Put detailed descriptions of your volunteer work, organizations you belong to, and any awards you have received during your career.
LinkedIn does not put a tight limitation on how much you can write for each law-related job you’ve held during your career, so be sure to take advantage of the space provided. Use detail with each entry on your profile so you can clearly explain what it is you were responsible for in each legal position held. The more detail, the better. Legal recruiters want to know exactly what you do at your current or previous position so they can determine if you would be a good fit with one or more of their clients.
Tip #10: Add a Project Section
LinkedIn has this great feature that allows you to add projects. This section can help to showcase your practice field. The title of the project is turned into a URL, sending viewers to the website where the project is hosted. This feature has not only improved your profile but also created an inbound link for your project’s website, which helps with organic SEO. If you collaborate with a lot of your connections on LinkedIn, you can add them to your project on the social site as team members.
LinkedIn has so much to offer its law-related users that not every attorney understands its power to help other lawyers advance their careers. Review your profile today and make the necessary changes to it so that your profile can begin to show up in searches conducted by law firms and legal recruiters looking to fill open positions.
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