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June 4 2020

How to use LinkedIn to boost your legal career

Tips & Tricks

Megan Wright

Megan Wright

How to use LinkedIn to boost your legal career

Yesterday, F-LEX’s Head of Learning and Development, Sophie Gould, chaired another insightful virtual lunch for Paralegals, Junior Lawyers and Trainees in collaboration with  LexisNexis UK and Crafty Counsel

This week we heard from LinkedIn Guru and Professional Services Lead at DLA Ignite, Alex Low. Alex shared with us his three main concepts for successfully building your career on LinkedIn.

1. Creating your own personal brand

First, Alex said that it is important to make sure that anyone who comes across your LinkedIn profile is meeting and seeing you. Alex explained this using the analogy of thinking of your profile like a shop window - if the display is interesting you are more likely to get noticed. Making your profile authentic is crucial as it provides a window to who you are!

Alex recommends having a banner on your profile in order to catch people’s eyes. You can create your own by using the website canva and can access royalty free images on unsplash.

Secondly, your ‘headline’ should not simply be a job title, it should introduce who you are, what you do and your vision - your personal brand. Alex said a useful way of thinking about this is asking yourself, how would a client describe what it is that you do? This is what you should be trying to show, whilst also adding in some personality. 

The ‘about’ section should provide your story - why you are doing what you do and why you are pursuing a career in law. Also the ‘featured’ section is a great way to highlight some content, making it easily accessible from the face of your profile and to demonstrate further what you are about. 

In the ‘experience’ section you should explain what you’ve done, how you do it and why you do it. And make sure to add in your professional skills as these are important from a search perspective.

Finally, remember that everything on your profile is searchable, both on LinkedIn and Google so the richer your profile the greater the opportunity of being found. Ensuring that you have a strong profile and personal brand won’t necessarily get you a job, but it will certainly help!

2. Shaping your network

Alex stressed the importance of connecting with and following pages of businesses that you want to work for as it will ensure that you always are up to date with their latest news and ventures. In addition to being able to see their content, following them also enables you to like and comment on this which likely will have been liked and commented on by their employees - making it a great way to get noticed. This is why it is so important that your profile conveys who you are and what you’re about.

Everything that you see on LinkedIn is based on your own LinkedIn behaviors. Alex recommends starting to train your news feed by using the improve my feed option, in which LinkedIn will provide suggested companies and people to follow. Following hashtags is also a great way to filter content you are interested in into your feed, for example following a hashtag on leadership will tell LinkedIn to generate leadership related content for you!

3. Engaging on LinkedIn

Once you have tailored your feed to suit your interests, the next step is engaging with the content that you now have at your fingertips. Alex says you should find a post you are genuinely interested in and ensure that engagement is both authentic and appropriate. 

You may feel reluctant to connect with a CEO, General Counsel or Partner but instead you have the option to follow them which enables you to view and engage with their content without having to send a connection request.

Alex stressed that LinkedIn rewards authentic engagement rather than ‘clickbait’ material which reinforces the importance of taking a genuine interest in the content you share or engage with. As Alex says make sure to like, comment, share and do!

Top tips from the breakout rooms

Here are some additional top tips crowdsourced from the zoom breakout rooms we held with our attendees after Alex shared his insights:

  • Always make sure to add a message when you make a new connection - it makes you look more personable and shows an interest in their work or career journey.

  • When applying for jobs use LinkedIn to map out legal teams before attending interviews or making applications. By working out exactly who leads each team you can find out much more information and content on the work that team does and better prepare yourself for applications or interviews.

  • Don’t be afraid of sharing your opinion on LinkedIn, adding some authenticity and a viewpoint when you share a post is likely to get more engagement.

  • Reaching out to people in more senior roles doesn’t have to be scary - if your profile is professional and you send an appropriate message they will likely reply! And even if they don’t, don’t worry, they may be busy. 

  • Setting aside some time each week to go through LinkedIn and come up with content is a great way to get involved and engage with what is trending that week.

Resources

Crafty Counsel: Ben White from Crafty Counsel recommends this video which discusses the stress of remote working and how your behaviour (and your colleagues') changes under pressure - definitely worth a watch!

LexisNexis UK: Lexis Nexis is also providing a Covid-19 blog discussing issues affecting both in-house and private practice, with all of the latest breaking news surrounding the pandemic, Q&As and even a Coronavirus Toolkit! You can access the blog using the following link: Lexis Nexis UK Covid-19 Blog

From our guest speaker, Alex Low: Click here to access Alex’s youtube Channel which provides an overview of Alex’s content from across his channels and some further tips for getting the most out of LinkedIn!

Sign up using the button below for the next virtual lunch, where we will be hearing from disruptor law firm Radius Law - you won’t want to miss it!