So you graduated law school, and even took the bar. Now what? Tackle your LinkedIn profile with these six tips:
1) Write Your Headline
If you don’t write a headline, the default is your current position. So if you are presently employed or clerking, that is fine to use. Otherwise, the headline is an opportunity to state what you have to offer and identify your unique selling points. For example: “J.D. Graduate with Labor & Employment Experience” or “Juris Doctor Graduate Specializing in Environmental Law” or simply “Juris Doctor; Awaiting Bar Results (CA 2015)”.
2) Update Your Photo
Now may be time to update your photo. Use a head shot that is personable and professional. Make it a good one – a picture says a thousand words.
3) Use Keywords to Get Noticed
Every sentence in the summary and job description is an opportunity for SEO. Use industry key words multiple times in multiple ways. For example, “Recent J.D. graduate with corporate experience pursuing a career in transactional law.” A corporate J.D.'s profile could include words like transactional, mergers and acquisitions, M&A, formation, start-up. The more buzz words, the higher you will be in the recruiter rankings. Make sure it is 100% truthful.
Also edit the Endorsement section to include relevant keywords to your experience and intended area of practice. For example, if you worked on patent law your second year summer, include that as a specific endorsable skill, along with copyright, trademark, and any other special skills you acquired. You may want to change the order of the endorsements based on those you want to see at the top. Look at attorney profiles in your area of practice for examples of endorsable skills.
4) Make it Interactive
You can make your profile more visual by adding links, pictures or video. For example, you can include links to past employers, link to your blog, or embed your published law review article.
5) Use the Alumni Search Feature to Expand Your Network
Use the Alumni Search tool under "Connections" then "Find Alumni". Make sure that you are connected with everyone you know in your class and above and below you.
6) Get Recommendations
If appropriate and you left your law clerk position on good terms, consider requesting a LinkedIn Recommendation. Don’t be afraid to ask for an endorsement from your supervisor or a colleague. It will most definitely lend to your profile’s credibility.
Next week… tips on searching for legal jobs and using your contacts to apply for jobs more effectively!