LinkedIn is considered to be one of the main weapons in a recruiter’s arsenal. It allows them to search through countless qualified professionals for the perfect candidate. Hence, it is essential for every lawyer to spruce up their LinkedIn profiles and optimize it for attracting recruiters. Here are some of the main Do’s and Don’ts for building the perfect profile:
Do keep your profile updated and complete –
Fill in all the information you can including education, year of BAR qualification, practice areas and work experience (which includes your responsibilities and seniority level). Write in exactly what you would tell someone on an interview when they ask you about your responsibilities. Recruiters are looking to find out what kind of work you had to deal with in your previous jobs.
Don’t lie –
It is common knowledge among recruiters that most people have a couple white lies on their CVs and LinkedIn profiles; however, you do not want to get caught stating something that is not true at all. Don’t say you were completely in charge of a certain project/division if you weren’t.
Do make sure to have a professional profile picture –
Nothing turns away recruiters faster than seeing a ‘selfie’ of you at the office Christmas party. Keep it simple: formal wear, plain background, and a confident smile. At the same time, don’t over-do it and take yourself too seriously. Recruiters want to see someone that they themselves would want to work with. Make yourself look approachable and friendly.
Don’t share or post informal pictures –
It is not enough to just have a professional profile picture, make sure not to fill your updates with random photos. Remember: LinkedIn isn’t Facebook – holiday and weekend memories belong to the latter.
Do build up your professional network –
Recruiters love it if you have many connections, especially if they are mostly in your industry. It shows that you actually attempt to network and are working on making a name for yourself in the market. Additionally, recruiters have an easier time finding you if you have shared connections.
Don’t neglect privacy settings –
LinkedIn allows you to choose who gets to see what on your profile. Recruiters can’t even consider you for a position if all they can see is your initials.
Do add your contact information –
How is a recruiter supposed to reach out to you otherwise?
Don’t include only work contact information –
It doesn’t hurt to include both work and personal contact details. Recruiters prefer to contact you through a private e-mail address or phone number.
Do write up an effective short summary to add to the beginning of your profile –
Add a short snippet about yourself. This is the first thing that a recruiter will see and you want to highlight certain important bits of your profile. Recruiters often search for candidates using keywords – think about the words that you would use to describe who you are, what you do, and what you would look for in a future job opportunity.
Don’t write your profile in more than one language –
While it might be impressive that you speak English, Mandarin, Russian, and Hebrew- not many things are more distracting than having every piece of information written out differently three times. A recruiter can appreciate your linguistic dexterity in the section dedicated to highlighting your special skills and proficiencies, so it is strongly recommend keeping your profile and CV all in one language.
Do have recommendations –
Recruiters love seeing other professionals in your industry talk about what it was like to work with you. If you don’t have any yet, don’t be scared to ask for them.
Don’t follow or be part of unprofessional groups –
There is no reason for recruiters (or anyone else in your professional network actually) to see that you are in a group dedicated to “Dogs in tiny teacups”. Instead, try joining groups that indicate your professional interests.
The following LinkedIn groups are recommended for Lawyers:
Leadership for Lawyers
Legal HR, Recruiting, & Professional Development
(You might also find specialized groups for your practice area(s) which will make it easier for the recruiter to find you)
Do keep active –
Take part in discussions that can be found in certain groups. Post articles about your industry that you found interesting or thought-provoking. This shows that you are actually involved in the legal community and are aware of what is going on.
Daniel Shoch is a legal recruiter at Legalis Global where he primarily focuses on the Hungarian and UK market. He also interned at TopTierLawyers where he was doing business development, sales and marketing. Daniel also works as a free-lance writer.