By Victoria Cromwell,
Head of QLTS Prep by BARBRI
For many professionals, LinkedIn has replaced traditional forms of meeting and socialising. Its use by some 500 million professionals globally has made LinkedIn an important and prevalent resource for networking. Whether you use the platform for job opportunities, to attract potential clients, or mainly to stay up with the times, LinkedIn can enhance your efforts. And as with many things, what you put into the social tool will help determine what you get out of it.
To make LinkedIn truly work for you as a lawyer with international career goals, it will serve you well to have a profile that’s rich, accurate, and complete, to ensure the right people find you for the right reasons. Here are some strategies and considerations to help you optimise yourself.
Nurture Brand YOU
Does your profile resemble something you would see from a professional firm or company brand? It should.
It’s good to show your unique traits, but do remember that LinkedIn isn’t the place to post personal updates or sentiments. That means your image, your personality, and your language need to all be in sync.
As you network and engage in various discussions with different people on LinkedIn, your audience and your connections should all receive a consistent experience that makes them want to return. Connect your LinkedIn profile with your Twitter account, personal blog, or other social platforms to widen your audience and demonstrate your competency — while still keeping your personal brand uniform and professional.
Keep Your Profile Relevant
Update your skills as you learn new areas of the law and gain experience. LinkedIn shows you suggested skills to add to your profile based on what’s high in demand by recruiters and employers. According to the social network, people with at least five skills listed on their profile receive up to 17 times more profile views, so it makes a difference.
Of course, it’s important to not only showcase your work experience but your work achievements and recommendations from work colleagues and clients as well. Update achievements as they happen and regularly ask clients and mentors to post on your profile about their experiences with you.
Use Postings to Drive Conversations
When people like, comment and share something you post on your profile, make sure you take the time to engage with them and respond as quickly as possible. Everyone likes a personal acknowledgment. Any content you create can give you context for a personalized one-on-one message with someone who may become an employer, client or other influencer. It can also demonstrate your credibility as a thought-leader or show your interest in an area of law you may want to pursue.
When you request to connect with a new person, replace the default “Hi, I’d like to connect” message with something more personalised. Then, remember to follow up with your connections on a regular basis. If you see someone is celebrating a work anniversary, a new job or promotion, send them a congratulatory message. It’s the details that can really help you build relationships and keep them growing stronger.
Let Search Work for You
You may not realise it, but your LinkedIn profile and all of its data points help power a massive search engine for professionals. This can be an invaluable tool for not only finding people you want to reach, but also for boosting your own presence.
Keep in mind that where you land in the order of a search result on LinkedIn is determined in part by the strength of your profile, activity, and connections. A good measure of your “searchability” is the number of views your profile gets, which you can learn about in the Who’s Viewed Your Profile section on your profile homepage.
The Search Appearances feature of your LinkedIn profile, which can be viewed on both mobile and desktop, can tell you how many people recently found you from a LinkedIn search.Use this information to make updates to your profile to increase your chances of being found by other professionals.
Make the Impression Last
If you haven’t met a connection in person before and are working toward an international presence, your LinkedIn profile will form their first impression of you. We all know how important first impressions are. Managing your profile using the above tips and strategies will help leave new and potential connections with positive thoughts of you.
As you expand your career path, any and all connections are vital. The better you are able to maximise your profile, the higher the likelihood that you will make the connections that matter in your law career.