LinkedIn is a social media site for professionals, including lawyers used for career development, job searching, client development, and more. As of November 2010, LinkedIn had over 85 million users with executive representation from every Fortune 500 company. If you aren’t LinkedIn yet – you should be. Build your professional reputation and personal brand now by creating and maintaining your LinkedIn profile.
Here’s how in three easy steps:
1. Create a strong profile that highlights key skills and uses keywords relevant to the industry that you want to be in. Use the summary section to create your personal brand that lets employers know quickly what you bring to the table.
2. Start connecting! Some sources of people to connect with are other law students, individuals you meet at networking events, undergraduate classmates, family, friends, former co-workers, etc. Send a personalized message, not the default invitation, when you ask someone to connect. While you should try to connect with as many individuals as you can, you also want to be selective on who you include within your professional network.
3. Establish a presence by updating the status bar on your home page with your accomplishments. Join groups (such as the Rutgers Law School – Newark Career Development group) and participate in discussions by posting questions, commenting on questions posted by others, or posting articles or events of interest to the group. Use the update tool to stay current with your connections and comment on their postings.
Always remember that LinkedIn is a site for professionals that employers are increasingly utilizing to learn information about applicants. Behave on LinkedIn as you would on an interview with a potential employer.
Be honest. Be professional. Be responsible.