LinkedIn functions like a virtual Rolodex – but better! Not only does it ensure that you have the most recent contact information for your connections, it also allows you to see your connections’ connections, depending on privacy settings. We regularly witness how this tool connects people, allows people to find others, impacts how we search for jobs, and drives business.
LinkedIn can be a powerful marketing tool. It is your platform for describing your legal skills and experience, and your particular strengths. Your pro bono work, publications, presentations, as well as any other relevant and professional accomplishments may also be highlighted in your profile. Ideally, you are using your LinkedIn profile to convey to potential employers, recruiters, clients, and industry connections your unique professional value proposition. As such, it should be crafted strategically.
Include a professional-looking photo, as this adds a more personal touch to your profile. Your photo need not be a headshot, but it should still convey a polished feel and, ideally, mirror the photos you see in the profiles of people who are currently at organizations that you are pursuing.
As with your resume, it is imperative that your LinkedIn profile be free of any typos. To that end, you may wish to ask a friend or colleague to proofread your profile. You should also include a Summary section, and in drafting its narrative, identify those topics that you feel are important to your target audience (think: potential employers, business partners, clients), e.g., a summary of your practice experience, any particular areas of expertise, and the types of clients you represent (you may not be in a position to name names, but you can include industries). The Summary section should be relatively short and easy to read, as should the remainder of your profile, and may be enhanced by subheadings.
This post is the first in a series of how to maximize your LinkedIn profile.