As part of our Chadwick Nott national programme of solicitor career talks, we recently held a NQ careers event in conjunction with the Manchester Trainee Solicitors group attended by around 50 lawyers. It was an excellent opportunity to meet with trainees coming up to qualification later in the year. Our speakers gave advice on how to prepare in order to maximise your chances of finding exactly the right job on qualification and gave a comprehensive update on the current legal market.
With time being limited at these events, there is always a feeling that you can only cover so much in the allotted time. The day after the talk I was talking to one of the trainee solicitors I had met in a follow-up conversation and we were discussing their LinkedIn profile. I realised that one of the things we hadn’t had time to cover in great detail was how properly using your LinkedIn profile can help you get the job you want. This advice actually applies to all lawyers – NQ solicitors, more senior Associates and even Partners.
The growth and development of LinkedIn has seen it become a key tool for both recruiters and law firms in identifying potentially suitable lawyers for vacancies that they are working to fill. However, like a good CV, your LinkedIn profile is only going to be useful if it contains all the relevant information to highlight all your skills and experience. I’ve put below some basic advice on what you can do to make sure you are being contacted about job opportunities that are relevant to you.
The first thing I would say is detail is important. Specialisation is vital in the legal sector, so in your LinkedIn profile you need to get across what is your area of specialism and what experience you have in this area. A brief profile which just has your job title as solicitor, your current firm and dates you’ve worked there isn’t very helpful. If you don’t include detail, then you are likely to be contacted a lot more about jobs that aren’t relevant to you, or you will get missed for jobs that you are suitable for.
Do use the LinkedIn Skills and Endorsement section where relevant. If you are someone who has written articles for your law firm, remember that you can add them as articles to your profile.
Take the time to fill in your profile completely. The more detailed it is, the better the chances that recruiters and employers will find you.
Secondly make sure you keep your profile updated. If you don’t update your profile then LinkedIn will display you as being at the same firm and in the same job until you do.
Also, make sure your contact details are correct and that the email linked to the profile is one that you regularly check and are happy to receive InMails to.
Crucially make sure you update your location.
3. Use it
One of the things I’ve noticed about using LinkedIn is the amount of times people can come back to me weeks, sometimes months after I’ve sent them an InMail. Sometimes they’ve missed out on a role that could have been the perfect for them. Keeping an eye on your InMails on a regular basis will mean you won’t miss out, and should also ensure your inbox doesn’t get cluttered.
4. Profile Pictures
Remember, LinkedIn isn’t Facebook. It’s a platform for business networking. So, make sure your profile picture is professional. Remember that a prospective employer may look at your LinkedIn profile and it is also something that your law firm’s clients may look at to find out more about you before deciding to meet or instruct you.
LinkedIn uses Boolean search and other filters to identify you in searches. So, if you want to get noticed for a certain sector then it needs to be mentioned throughout your profile. Have a look at this article which goes into some more detail https://www.job-hunt.org/social-networking/LinkedIn-job-search/linkedin-keywords.shtml
The above is by no means comprehensive list but should help you get noticed for roles you are relevant for and reduce the amount of InMails you are receiving about irrelevant job opportunities in the future.
David Carr is a very experienced consultant based in our Manchester office and also Head of Insurance – London/North. For more discussion and/or advice please do contact him on 0161 828 5416 or email@example.com.
For more information on the career events we run at Chadwick Nott please follow us on social media or visit our website https://www.chadwicknott.co.uk/en/about-us/events.