Using LinkedIn to Optimize Your Legal Job Search (Part 1)
I recently sat on a recruiter’s panel talking with candidates here in Calgary. Some candidates were new to the job market and others had been searching for a time. The regular topics were addressed: skillsets that are in demand, how best to write a resume (it as an undervalued art!), how best to work with recruiters, and job search strategies. When we came to discuss LinkedIn, there were many questions around how to use it and if it is even necessary at all.
A lot of hardworking professionals may find it to be a distracting social media platform. And as statistics show, 85% of all jobs are still found by networking. The hiring process, however, has seen significant change in recent years and employers and candidates feel the need and see the benefits of going digital.
As a legal recruiter, I can safely say any recruiter worth their salt will use LinkedIn as a tool to find top quality talent. While I’m fully aware not everyone is online, if you are open to new opportunities now or in the future, I encourage you to have a LinkedIn profile. Career goals often change with time and having a presence on LinkedIn can pay off even four or five years down the line.
So, in this article I’d like to share and address two common questions:
Q: How active do I need to be on LinkedIn?
Honestly, I encourage candidates to check LinkedIn at least twice a week, but discourage them from being overly active. There are valuable insights posted on the platform but like all social media, I acknowledge that clickbait still finds its way onto the site. I always keep a LinkedIn tab open as I’m cross-checking resumes and headhunting associates, but if I see that someone has been posting content, sharing articles and commenting on posts daily, I begin to wonder how much time they are spending at their job!
Thankfully, LinkedIn does offer email notifications, so you don’t need to be active on the site should someone reach out to you about an opportunity. Keep in mind that timelines for coveted roles can be tight, so if you’re not keeping an eye on LinkedIn, do keep an eye on your emails. Make sure one way or another that you do respond in a timely manner to ensure your candidacy.
Q: Should I post my whole resume on LinkedIn or just the job titles?
Job titles are the first thing that a legal recruiter will check, so make sure that they are at least given on your profile. In some cases, that’s all I need. However, job titles can be ambiguous at times and there are a lot of different types of associate lawyers! Two or three additional lines outlining your practice areas does help. You can also adjust your title if you work solely in one area (e.g. “Commercial Litigation Associate”, “Securities Lawyer”, etc.). Admittedly, this is an art and I encourage candidates to reach out to a recruiter to discuss. Keep in mind that while a resume should be adjusted for each individual role you are applying for, your LinkedIn profile shouldn’t change too often, which ensures an image of consistency.
If you’re interested in exploring your legal career options, contact us for a confidential discussion today.
Jeremiah Hunter, Recruitment Associate