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How to Create a LinkedIn Profile That Stands Out To Legal Employers

When it comes to selling your value to a recruitment company like Clayton Legal and the clients we work for, there are a few pivotal documents required to draw attention to yourself. 

The humble CV is one, followed quickly by your LinkedIn profile. 

As LinkedIn is the biggest social business network outside China, with 850 million members listed, it is more crucial than ever to leverage the opportunities your LinkedIn profile provides as a positioning tool for your legal career. 

Your LinkedIn profile has many positive attributes. Unless you share a name with a well-known person, it is highly likely that your profile, if created properly, will appear on the first page of Google. 

Even though your CV/Resume is a standard document that demonstrates your career journey, a LinkedIn profile can deliver even more insight about you as a potential recruit in an interactive and engaging style that a CV alone cannot achieve. 

In today’s post, I want to share why your profile is so important and the easy, quick wins to ensure your legal LinkedIn profile stands out from the crowd. 

Headlines and Pronouns 

Your headline is often the first piece of text a recruiter or potential hiring manager will see, so make it count. Paraphrase what you do, and the good news is LinkedIn now allows 220 characters, including spaces. Here is an example of a legal headline that works.  

“Solicitor at BLM. Working in the Housing Team dealing with insurance litigation, housing disrepairs and property damage in Liverpool” 

With D.E.I. being on most workplace agendas, LinkedIn now allows you to add your preferred pronouns on your profile. The use of pronouns will let hiring managers, colleagues or online connections know how to address you to prevent any misconceptions.  

A Professional Photo 

LinkedIn produces numerous reports that demonstrate the power of imagery and media on your profile. Profiles with a professional photograph can get 14 times more profile views vs those with selfie style images or group pictures. 

Phone technology today means there is no excuse not to have a professional LinkedIn profile picture. Ask a colleague or friend to take a photograph with their smartphone in good lighting where you shoulders and face are visible to give an honest and accurate perception of who you are professionally. 

Head and shoulders are the best shots. Your face, preferably smiling in appropriate business attire, makes the best impact. Remember, recruitment consultants viewing your profile are imagining how you will fit into their client’s organisation, so this is an easy way to make an impact.  

How To Get In Contact  

As a first start, do you have all your contact details visible?  

Make sure you have a mobile number and a Gmail/Hotmail address that is your most active and professional email account. Try to avoid the likes of or something with your birth year in as this can indicate age bias subconsciously.  

A professional url demonstrates your attention to detail, for instance, Gold as opposed to 

It’s also important to include links to your blog where you share knowledge related to your sector which is a great feature a lot of LinkedIn users forget to utilise.  

Featured Section

Have you written papers or presented at a legal industry conference, or recorded any work-related videos?  

If the answer is yes, add them here, and this will certainly make you stand out from the crowd and gives recruiters or potential law firms the chance to see more of what you can do rather than just reading it on a CV. 

Your About Section

Please do not add only your essential skills or paste sections from your CV into your summary section. Use it to catch people’s attention as you share relevant information about who you are and your skills and abilities; you have 2000 characters, so make them count. 

In this section, talk about the value you will add to an organisation alongside your skillset. Be different and stand out by explaining how you might help a potential new employer solve their problems while being genuine and authentic. 

Our experience as recruiters is this attracts our attention, plus it makes it easier for us to ‘sell’ the fact you are a ‘must see’ candidate for our client and pick out your best attributes towards their needs. 

Here are some examples from LinkedIn themselves as to what they see as great profile summaries. 

Add to Profile and Open To

On the right-hand side of your profile, you will see a button that says ‘add to profile’. When you click this, it reveals all the additional sections you can add to your profile.  

From featured items to licenses and certifications, and courses and recommendations the list is endless to really boost your profile against your competitors.  

If you are open to work and currently not employed, you can add this to your profile picture by clicking the relevant button. This lets recruiters know instantly without even clicking on your profile that you are a potential candidate for their client and therefor you are most likely to be seen.  

In the ‘add your profile’ section under background, share details of all your work experience that will communicate your capability. Then list all your education and volunteer activities. Today, organisations have an active CSR programme that they love to promote to new starters; therefore, this area is essential to share too should you have experience in those departments. 

Under accomplishments, you can list publications, certifications, patents, courses, projects, honours and awards, test scores, languages and how you are involved with communities that are important to you. 

This makes it easy for a recruitment organisation to identify your skills and expertise as a potential match for their client. 

The big question is, does your profile: 

  • Help your standout? 
  • Communicate your value, including providing supporting evidence? 
  • List your work achievements? 

Share Useful Content

Depending on your current organisation and their social presence, you can share and like content until your heart is content. This unconsciously communicates to everyone how connected you are and what is important to you. When someone arrives on your profile, it is one of the first sections they can see. 

You can now share an article or even upload a compelling image or create a video on your LinkedIn profile. All of which enable you to communicate your personal brand and show recruiters areas of your work you are particularly interested in the most. 

List The Skills You Know Are Important in Legal

When it comes to legal skills, you can add up to 50, which could help you stand out to a recruitment consultant and your future employer. You don’t have to add all of them as only your top ten will be profiled, so make these the most important. 

The UK is in the grip of a skills shortage. Therefore, if you know you have in-demand skills, communicate them on your profile wherever you can. You would be surprised that this is an area often forgotten by even the best of candidates. 

Endorsements and Recommendations

We all now live and work in the review society. Social proof is a significant influencer in our current community. Who has not viewed Trip Advisor before booking a restaurant or holiday with their significant other? It is the same in the business world. 

Therefore, collecting recommendations and endorsements is crucial for your career. If you have not got any, ask for them from your contacts. All too often, people are shy about asking for validations of their work. The good news, which might surprise you, is that many people are more than willing to give you a recommendation as long as you offer to give one back in return. 

Finally, Complete Your Profile in Full

A question for you? Are you using all the features we have mentioned? 

Do you have a presentation or video on your summary? Have you got a link to a paper you have written? 

It is interesting the impression people get from reading a full LinkedIn profile. It sends a message to recruitment companies that you are a person with attention to detail and take their career and work-life seriously – a great candidate for their clients.  

About Clayton Legal 

Clayton Legal has been partnering with law firms across the country since 1999 and has built up an enviable reputation for trust and reliability during that time. We have made over 5,000 placements from Partners to Legal Executives, Solicitors to Paralegals and Legal I.T. personnel to Practice Managers.  


If you are building your legal team or looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.  

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Posted By

Lynn Sedgwick

Managing Director

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What Makes a Winning LinkedIn Profile?

  • June 5, 2019

In today’s online world, your LinkedIn profile acts as a virtual CV, selling your value to potential employers and recruiters. With over 20 million profiles in the UK alone, its crucial to keep your LinkedIn information up to date, and to know what to include and what to leave out.

How long is it since you updated your profile? If you don’t have a profile, I would advise you to definitely create one now. Your online profile is the place to professionally broadcast your legal knowledge and value as an employee, demonstrate your skills and achievements and make you stand out from the crowd.

To ensure you’re making the most of your LinkedIn profile, it will help to follow the ten steps below. Keep in mind that specialist legal recruiters and employers may well be reading your profile, and set out to demonstrate professionalism, sending a message that conveys your attention to detail and the fact that you take your legal career seriously.

Invest Time

Firstly, you don’t want a partially written profile. One that looks as though you started it but got distracted. That doesn’t say professional, or that you complete things (and employers like completer finishers!) Any recruiter or employer looking at your profile will want to know where you’ve worked, all about your skills, and what co-workers and clients think of you, so make sure you complete the information.

The good news is that LinkedIn will check how complete your profile is as you work on it, and make recommendations as to how you can make it stronger.

Once you’ve written your profile, double-check it’s accurate, complete and up to date, and includes all your recent qualifications, experience, courses and testimonials.

Create an Attention-Grabbing Headline

The headline on your profile is the place to showcase your talents, speciality and value in the legal marketplace. It should be something that sets you above the competition and sparks interest in anyone viewing it. If you’re looking for a change in your legal career, it probably shouldn’t include your current job title and practice name. LinkedIn will automatically default to this, so take time to think of something different, and already you’re placing yourself as an individual with vision. For tips on avoiding terrible headlines, see here.

Are You Easy to Contact?

Contact details should be visible. Recruiters will want to get in touch with you – don’t make them search for your email or phone number. Do you have a professional URL? It’s worth considering this, as it conveys a professional attitude. On a similar note, keep in mind your email address. Is it portraying you as a legal professional? An amusing email address is fine for friends and family, but not for the workplace.

Include Professional Contacts

If you’re currently employed, have you ‘liked’ your legal firm’s website and any other relevant institutions? Include links to a personal work-related blog if you have one (if you don’t have one, why not?) to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in law. If you need advice on writing a professional blog, here are some useful tips.

Showcase Your Accomplishments

Think of a Head of Practice, Senior or Managing Partner, or HR Manager wanting to get to know you – what do you want to tell them? Obviously, you will want to include your qualifications, and remember to include any awards you have, projects you have been involved with or led on, and special events such as conferences you have attended.

Check out descriptions of the legal jobs you are interested in, and then include the keywords that recruiters may be searching for. Use bullet points to break up the text and draw attention to key points.

I’d recommend that you write in the first person to avoid sounding pretentious, and to give readers a flavour of your personality. Do you volunteer? Can you speak Russian? No-one wants to hire a robot, and these added extras will make you sound more attractive to would-be recruiters and employers.

Smile, You’re on Camera

A picture paints a thousand words. It will also give a great first impression of you to anyone viewing your profile, portraying professionalism, charisma and energy. The head and shoulders image should sit at the top of your profile. Heat mapping techniques show that people are drawn to a photograph, and a good one can get up to 14 times more views than an unprofessional or blurry image. Ensure your outfit is appropriate to your legal career aspirations, and try to smile; it’s not a police mug-shot!

Embrace Technology

To stand out and grab attention, consider including short videos and PowerPoints that link to your legal expertise. Photos and videos are a great way to bringing your work to life. Embracing technology in this way is also an indicator that you are open to new information, development and progress.

It’s Not (just) What you Know

Sharing content on your profile will demonstrate your connections. It will demonstrate you are a communicator who likes to stay on top of their game and has a finger on the pulse of the legal profession. Use it to your advantage.

Reviews are Good News

Following on from the last point, capitalise on endorsements from colleagues and clients as these are significant influencers to employers and recruiters. Think of the success of companies such as TripAdvisor. How often do you check out the reviews before buying a product or using a service? Endorsements will give your profile a boost and firmly place you as a professional in the legal world. To see the benefits of testimonials, click here.

Keep it Updated

So, you’ve done the hard work, but it’s not time to sit back and take a long rest. Establish a routine for keeping your status up to date, sharing articles, updating qualifications and experiences regularly.

Follow these ten steps, and you’ll have a powerful LinkedIn profile showcasing your skills, demonstrating your enthusiasm and personality, and cementing your interest in the legal world and its news. For further advice on standing out in the career race, click here.

Next Steps

If you’re reading this article because you are looking for the next move in your legal career, call one of the Clayton Legal team on 01772 259 121 and let’s have a conversation to explore your options. With our help, your transition can be smoother and quicker.

About Clayton Legal

Clayton Legal has been partnering with law firms across the country since 1999 and during that time has built up an enviable reputation for trust and reliability. We have made over 5,000 placements from partners to legal executives, solicitors to paralegals and legal IT personnel to practice managers.

If you are building your legal team or looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

If you would like to know more about recruiting trends in the legal sector this year, download our latest guide here.

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