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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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