Put your best foot forward: Linkedin profile tips for lawyers
Anyone who claims to have never Googled someone's name is lying. We know you've done it. Maybe you were trying to find out about their achievements. Or maybe you were hunting for first date conversation starters...
(Source: Google Images)
Either way, that Google search influenced your perception of that person, right? Chances are one of the first things you saw in the Google results was their Linkedin profile. Even if you're not job hunting, your Linkedin profile is a key element of your personal brand as a lawyer. If your profile is sitting dormant, in a state of disrepair, your personal brand is going to reflect that. We'll get into the importance of personal branding for lawyers later, but take note: even the most junior lawyer should be focussing on building a personal brand. One day, when computers are doing all the technical work, your personal brand will be what sets you apart.
We've written these 5 Linkedin profile tips for lawyers as a way for you to make quick and easy upgrades to your Linkedin profile. After you read this article, we want you to go to your profile and action these tips. It shouldn't take more than 10 minutes tops - a small time investment for a huge personal branding boost.
5 Linkedin profile tips for lawyers
1. Update your Linkedin profile photo to something recent, professional and friendly
We know your profile photo is the perfect Blue Steel impression, but it's time for a refresh. Relax your face. Smile. No, not a cheesy grin baring all 32 teeth, but a warm and welcoming smile. People connect with people, so let some of your personality shine through. Can the full-body shot too. A photo cropped to your head and shoulders will put you head and shoulders above the photos that require a magnifying glass. People remember faces better than they remember names, so make yourself memorable.
Maybe you don't even have a profile photo and you've been letting the grey Linkedin man do all the hard work. Sorry, but he's got to go.
If you're going to take a selfie, make sure it doesn't look like a selfie. Straighten the photo. Crop your arm out. Pick a spot with good lighting. And for heavens' sake, please don't use any filters.
2. Update your Linkedin headline
Update my what?! What on earth is a headline?
Your headline is that short snippet that appears next to your name in search results. The thing that makes people decide whether to click through to your profile. You have 120 characters to compel someone to click. No pressure.
For most of us, writing about ourselves is only marginally better than sticking forks in our eyeballs or walking on hot coals. So, what on earth do you write?
First of all, check and see what others in your practice area have as their headlines. You don't want to be yet another “Best banking lawyer in Brisbane”. You want to be the “Brisbane banking lawyer with a special interest in AI & the law. Open to speaking opportunities.” Think about what else you bring to the table, apart from being a lawyer. As much as practice tries to squash it out of you, you are a person first and a lawyer second.
3. Claim your Linkedin vanity URL
Don't stick with the messy URL that Linkedin assigns you when you sign up. You deserve better than being Linkedin user 10283716283. Luckily, Linkedin lets you customise your URL to look like this: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maciekmotylinski/
Linkedin provides step-by-step instructions on how to create your vanity URL here.
4. Update your Linkedin summary
Great, now I have to write even more stuff about myself?! Those hot coals are looking pretty appealing right now.
Don't stress about having to write an essay. Your summary should be short, sharp and sweet - 3 paragraphs with 3 sentences in each. You can do that, right?
Make sure to highlight your achievements, awards, special interests and anything else you couldn't fit in your headline. Avoid superlatives; no one actually believes them and you'll just seem arrogant. Instead, focus on impressive outcomes you have achieved.
5. Update your work experience
Unless your high school babysitting job taught you some serious skills, it doesn't need to be in there. But the rest of your work experience should be; clerkships and all.
Tailor your work experience section to highlight the skills you want to be known for. Trying to get more speaking gigs? Mention that time you hosted an event for your firm. Looking to switch practice areas? Focus on your transferable skills that will be relevant for that area.
You don't need to detail every little task you did at your job. Nobody cares how many documents you photocopied as a first-year lawyer. Instead, focus on the technical expertise and soft skills you have developed. Where possible, back up any skills with results you have achieved, taking care not to breach client confidentiality.
Now, go and update your Linkedin profile and build the personal brand you deserve. Oh, and download our free Linkedin checklist below:
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