Using the Power of LinkedIn in Your Job Search
The idea that what you know is not as important as who you know is still very relevant in today’s business world. Your online reputation matters for the potential law employers because they don’t know you yet as you are still a stranger to them. Legal recruiters have started using LinkedIn as one of the primary means to sort candidates for legal employment opportunities. It has become a more of a social bank of professional attorney profiles to conduct business to business searches. The more legal professionals you get connected to, the more exposure you get to the legal industry or also the additional industries or sectors you might be interested in or they might be taking interest in you.
Over 82% of the recruiters are using social media when they are hiring for legal jobs, and 61% of those are using LinkedIn. 96% of the executives found their jobs through social media. 70% to 90% of people who are getting law jobs as a result of networking. The 1st thing that a hiring law firm does is Google that professional that they need, so you need to be where they are looking at. The traditional resume is quickly becoming obsolete. This is about connections. If you have a large connection pool and you are looking for a job, you may not need even to search for a job, the job may come to you.
LinkedIn is a very useful vehicle to develop your online reputation and maintain it professionally for a law professional. If you are an attorney and not already on LinkedIn and you are looking for a job, you definitely need to be. This is a medium that revolves exclusively around professional networking. LinkedIn has over 80 million members in over 150 industries. Most of them are adult, employed and looking to create professional relationships. Most of the high profile attorneys working in reputable law firms have their LinkedIn profiles set up where they mention their resume which makes LinkedIn a great resume bank and a powerful networking media for professionals- both hiring law firms and finding legal jobs. It’s more of a tool for likeminded people getting together for a common reason at the same wave length.
The most important thing on your LinkedIn account is your resume- they call it a profile but it’s really an online resume. Similar to other resume building programs LinkedIn asks you to fill in fields for job title, your experience and education. Most of the online resumes are similar to your offline resume. In order to really maximize your LinkedIn profile there are certain steps that you can follow: post an attractive photo and compose your headline carefully. This is more than just a job title, the employers are searching you by this keyword in that headline i.e. attorney at ABC Law Firm. Another thing that can help you promote your LinkedIn profile is regularly update your status, updating the status once a week is really very important.
Make sure that your profile is set up in a way that makes it easier for legal employment boards to find you. Another important thing is to make your profile public so that hiring law firms can find you when they search, if you make it public, it will also be searchable on Google. So when employers are searching for the legal specialties you have highlighted in your profile, your name with your LinkedIn profile will come up on Google. Also edit the URL and name it after your name instead. Start building your LinkedIn network with the contacts you already know and invite them to join you on LinkedIn; you will be amazed to see that everybody in your physical network is connected to someone that you didn’t know on social network. These 2nd or 3rd degree contacts can be very helpful to you in your job search.
Now once you have a network, the next step is to ask your friend for recommendations. LinkedIn recommendations should come from colleagues, bosses, law professors, associate attorneys, law firms or fellow law students, anyone who can vouch for your work. Recommendations are similar to offline recommendations that you ask people for, the only difference is that they only need to be few lines long. They don’t need to be a huge letter form law firm or an attorney, so it’s not a big of a task for a friend to do. According to LinkedIn, users who have recommendations on their profiles are 3 times more likely to get contacted by employers who do LinkedIn searches. It’s really important that you get these recommendations,
Now that you have your profile all set up, you can really put this in work to be used by LinkedIn in an effective way, the way where a law job finds you before you search for an attorney. There are several different options that can make this happen. Join relevant legal employment groups, participate in relevant law employment discussions, get introduced with friends of friends of friends and expand your legal network. LinkedIn also offers you to connect with the professionals that you don’t know yet but they can be a help to introduce you for a job.
You can also search and find attorney jobs on LinkedIn. The LinkedIn network offers two types of searches: if anyone has posted a job as legal career opportunity and will also search the web. The advantage of searching for jobs on LinkedIn rather than rather than Google or another legal employment job board is that you can see which of your connections have “ins” with those job postings. This reference makes the job search really easy and special; it tells you who do you know at this hiring law firm, this is just an amazing resource.