by Catherine Schutz
LinkedIn is quickly becoming one of the most powerful online tools for job searches and professional networking. Using LinkedIn, there are plenty of opportunities for showing off your experience and skills, and connecting with colleagues. But how can you make your profile competitive, and is there any specific advice for law students? Here are some of the best tips and tricks from around the web:
How to write your profile:
- Make your profile public! Since one of the main reasons for joining LinkedIn is to connect with others, now is not the time to hide your profile.
- Include a photo of yourself – but make sure it is professional looking. The same picture you use on Facebook or Instagram may not be suitable for LinkedIn. If necessary, get together with a fellow law student and take pictures in suits in front of a plain background.
- Create a personalized URL – your default URL in LinkedIn will be a string of numbers. But you can change your URL under Public Profile in LinkedIn. Most suggest changing it to linkedin.com/in/FirstnameLastname.
- Using the short introductory summary can be a powerful way of introducing yourself and explaining your career goals.
- Your LinkedIn profile should not be exactly like your resume. It’s OK to use more colloquial and friendly language on LinkedIn than you would in your resume.
How to connect with others:
- Send personalized contact requests. Don’t use LinkedIn’s generic language of “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” Instead change it to specifics of how you know this person.
- Connecting with people on LinkedIn is important, and it’s good to extend your connections to 2nd and 3rd degree connections. Using the “People You May Know” can be helpful with this. But quality is always more important than quantity, and beware of accepting (or sending) connection requests from people you don’t know.
- You can also use LinkedIn to search for GSU College of Law alumni. Use the “Advanced People Search” and type in “Georgia State University College of Law” into the “School” box.
- As a law student, beware of conflicts of interest. By connecting with judges, experts or opposing counsel, you may be creating a conflict of interest for a firm that wants to hire you.
- Consider asking for recommendations from people you’ve worked with through LinkedIn.
How to make the most of groups:
- Using groups on LinkedIn can be a good way of connecting with contacts and learning about legal news.
- Some particularly good groups to check out as a law student:
- ABA Young Lawyers Division
- Law Student Career Network
- LAW Jobs
For more tips and tricks, see these articles: