As the world’s leading professional networking site, LinkedIn offers countless opportunities for those who learn how to take advantage of all it offers. From job seeking to connecting with other legal experts or potential clients, the possibilities are extensive.
Making a good first impression is vital. It is worth taking the time to create an outstanding LinkedIn profile, ensuring that every section showcases your ability and demonstrates to your connections what makes you a great lawyer. It’s not just about your cv; an impressive LinkedIn profile will give your connections a sense of who you are as a person and what you bring to your work that makes you unique.
From your education and qualifications to membership of relevant organisations, we take a look at what to include, as well as what not to include, and how to keep up to date to ensure your profile stays looking good. For lawyers with an ambition to take on bigger clients, grow their law firms or move to new positions, a good LinkedIn profile is essential.
A strong LinkedIn profile is a powerful asset in branding yourself as a successful lawyer. Whatever stage of your career you are at, your profile on the world’s biggest professional social media platform should be showcasing your abilities and achievements.
Use your profile to show the reader who you are, what you do and what you are capable of and it will help you connect with the right people to advance your career, find the job you want and demonstrate your expertise.
Creating a standout LinkedIn profile as a lawyer
It will take some time and careful thought to put together an outstanding LinkedIn profile, but as a permanent showcase for yourself as a lawyer, it’s well worth putting in the effort to get it right. Once you’ve perfected it, you can use it to demonstrate your worth and to show your strengths and achievements to potential connections.
Make sure every section is completed to the best of your ability to give a full, in-depth reflection of yourself.
The photo of you should be clear and professional and a good likeness. Aim for a blank or bland office background, ensure that your face is well-lit and make sure that it doesn’t look like a selfie.
The background banner image behind your portrait photo can also be made your own. As a lawyer, you should use an appropriate image that reflects your identity but which is also professional.
You could include a shot that evidences your achievements, such as a picture of you giving a speech, accepting an award or engaged in charitable work.
If you don’t have a suitable personal image, you could simply use a photo of an office space, a court building, a geographical landmark in your region or something related to your area of law or the law firm you currently work for.
Your name will appear below your photo and you should use the name you are commonly known by to help people find you easily.
Underneath your name is space for your headline. This should tell people what you do and you should include any keywords that you want to be known for, for example, if you are a family lawyer who specialises in children matters or a property lawyer who acts for developers.
There is room to add more than just two or three words, so if you have any particular interest that you want to stand out for, you can include that here. For example, if you are a property lawyer, you’re a professional speaker and you have also written a book, your headline could be, ‘Property Lawyer acting for developers | Professional speaker | Author of …’ You have up to 120 characters to use in this section.
The ‘About’ section or summary is your chance to talk about what you do and what your achievements are. The key to this section is not to make it too dry and not to ramble on for too long if you can make your point in fewer words.
Readers have limited time and will start skimming through if it appears to be too lengthy. Try and give a sense of who you are and what is important to you, but don’t feel the need to include absolutely everything.
Start with a brief history of your career, sticking to relevant highlights, and include details of what you do in your current position, if it is something that you want to do more of.
Keep in mind your ideal reader; if you are searching for a job you may be trying to impress the management team at a law firm, or if you are looking to connect with possible clients you will want them to know about one or two of your successes in their field of interest. Ask yourself what they are looking for and what problems they have that you can demonstrate that you can solve.
As with your headline, include the keywords that best reflect who you are and what you do.
This is a more in-depth list of your career moves than the highlights included in the ‘About’ section. Along with information about where and when you’ve worked in the past, add details of your accomplishments there and what and whom you were responsible for.
Try and focus on the aspects of your career that are important to your chosen direction now, rather than areas that you no longer work in. Again, include relevant keywords.
Include the main educational establishments you have attended. This could include your senior school as well as your university. You can also add other relevant courses and qualifications to this section.
Add skills that are relevant to your job to this section and over time you can ask colleagues and clients for endorsements. Make sure you only seek endorsements from people qualified to give them, to ensure that they are worthwhile.
If you don’t wish to include endorsements, you can opt-out of having them appear on your page. As they are not particularly persuasive, it is fine to do this.
Recommendations are a powerful way of illustrating how good you are at your job and showing your connections what you can do for people.
You can ask your connections with whom you work or have worked in the past to write a recommendation for you. Once it has been done, you have the option to accept it or not and you can also ask for it to be amended.
If possible, try and have recommendations from a variety of sources, such as colleagues, former colleagues, clients and someone you have trained or mentored. This will help readers see all aspects of your abilities.
This section is for listing books you have written, awards you have received and any other notable achievements. You could also talk about projects that you have been involved in and credentials you have earned, particularly if they are relevant to your ideal job.
Just a word about your interests and activity sections. Visitors to your profile page will be able to see the individuals and groups you follow and view the comments you have made within the LinkedIn platform. Keep this in mind at all times when using LinkedIn and make sure that everything you post, share and join is appropriate and relevant to the image of yourself that you want to portray.
Having a strong LinkedIn profile that shows you in your best light is a great professional asset. You can direct people you meet to your profile so that they can find out more about you and you can use it as your passport when you want to connect with influential people in your area of law.
Taking the time to make it the best it can be is well worth it. If you start with a stellar profile, then as your career develops over the years you will just need to tweak it to keep it looking good. Get into the habit of adding new accomplishments as they happen as well as new work responsibilities and achievements. This will keep your profile current and avoid the overhaul that would be needed if you let the updates slide.
At Orion Legal Marketing, we are experts in business development and branding. We offer social media advice as well as website design, corporate identity and logo design, copywriting and content marketing, video marketing and advice on taking your legal business to the next level.
If you would like to discuss how we can help you with your social media profiles or promotion and marketing ring us on 0118 380 5980, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our CONTACT FORM. We’ll be happy to offer you an initial free consultation to discuss your needs and the strategy that would be suit your practice.