In today’s world and job landscape, LinkedIn is a vital part of anybody and everybody’s professional career. Your profile tells colleagues, prospective employers, and other network connections exactly who you are professionally and what you do. An incomplete or bad profile can make or break a career, especially at the interview stage. Prospective employers almost always view an interviewee’s profile either before or after the interview. In the legal landscape, it is important to maintain a well-groomed and professional looking LinkedIn page in order to keep and establish your credibility in the legal field.
The first item on your page that almost every viewer will first see is your profile picture. Your LinkedIn page is not your personal Facebook or Instagram, so make sure that your profile picture is nothing short of professional. The appearance of your picture can vary depending on your relevant industry, but for the legal industry you should be dressed in business professional attire with a simple background. Also, make sure that the picture does not appear to have heavy filter usage or edits as it can take away from the professional appearance.
Headline and Summary
After the profile picture, the next important part of your page that appears is your headline. As a default, LinkedIn fills the headline with your current position. This will more than suffice, but it can be improved if you wish. If you wish to change your headline, change it to a brief pitch that introduces yourself and sets you apart from the crowd. Basically, you want your headline to stick out so that if someone sees your profile button on the site, they will read your headline and be interested to know more and click your profile to view it. Your summary is also vital to your profile. It summarizes who you are as a lawyer and should be written to display confidence in yourself. You should make sure that it stresses what you have accomplished as a lawyer, along with your values and what you care about related to the law. The summary should be brief and to the point, since if you go over a certain amount of characters the reader will have to click “see more” in order to read the rest.
If you have a variety of experience outside of the legal industry or with different practice areas, make sure to include, or at least only highlight, those that relate to your current practice or those that have led to your current practice area. When writing your professional experience descriptions, it is best to avoid paragraphs and convey your experience concisely, like on your résumé. Make sure that your descriptions highlight growth as a lawyer as well. It is extremely important not to call yourself a “specialist” in a particular field, as it could violate ethical guidelines. Finally, make sure to include links on your page to anything you have ever published.
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