LinkedIn is the tool that puts your resume in many potential employers’ hands, as well as serves as your constantly updating Rolodex. Law students, LinkedIn can be your secret tool for networking. Are you utilizing LinkedIn effectively?
First, visit the LinkedIn Help Center. There you will find an array of helpful tips from their blog to frequently asked questions to suggestions for maximizing your profile.
Next, include a photo with your profile. Get a professional headshot, use your school ID if it’s reasonably good or dress professionally and have a friend take your photo.
Update your profile. While you are working on your profile, turnoff the tool that automatically emails updates. Once your profile is perfected, turn it back on. Use the Help Center for ideas about how to promote your profile and watch how your friends and connections promote their profile and follow their lead.
Connect with everyone you meet. Don’t rely on the automatic click onto “people you may know” as LinkedIn then sends a generic request. Instead, take the time to personalize each invitation telling the individual how you know them and adding a line inviting them to connect. You can also use the feature of asking a connection in common to introduce you. Many people are fine with you telling them how you are connected, “your daughter Anne and I attended Meredith together” and then asking to connect.
Use LinkedIn messages to stay in touch with people. Offer congratulations on work anniversaries or job changes. Volunteer to assist when you see someone has been appointed to serve in a volunteer position.
Follow up in person networking by using LinkedIn. Send links to articles of interest, offer messages of thanks for mentorship during the summer. Read the bar publications and reach out when you see your connections have written articles or are mentioned in a news brief.
Join groups. Groups are a great way to stay in touch with your university or law school through an alumni group, to learn more about an industry or to connect with people who are pursuing career opportunities that you are interested in.
Search for jobs. Many individuals, recruiting firms and companies post open jobs. Recruiters and hiring professionals within companies may reach out through LinkedIn if your profile matches a hiring need they have.
There are 300 million LinkedIn users; 3 million of them are students or recent grads. More than 40% use the site daily. Join the ranks of those using LinkedIn as an effective networking tool.
- Craig Smith posting on Digital Marketing Ramblings . . . “By the Numbers: 100 Amazing LinkedIn Statistics”
Camille Stell is Vice President of Client Relations for Lawyers Mutual. Camille has worked as a paralegal, business developer and a law firm recruiter. She loves that the Student Resource Center (visit @LMLNC_SRC) allows her to continue providing career guidance for law students.