How to get noticed on LinkedIn

It’s no secret that recruiters use a variety of methods to find new candidates. While it is always preferable to rely on your own network of legal talent, we never underestimate the value of “fresh” talent. LinkedIn is a resource many recruiters turn to in order to find new candidates to present to clients. Keeping an up-to-date, recruiter friendly LinkedIn profile is a great way to ensure you stay informed of jobs going in your industry, without necessarily being active on the market.

You are your profile

Don’t underestimate the impact of your online presence. Your LinkedIn profile should reflect the professionalism with which you approach your job. That means a professional headshot and a well-written summary or role description. In many instances these days, your online presence replaces face-to-face meetings as far as first impressions go. What is off-putting for a recruiter is equally (if not more) troubling for a future employer.

Let LinkedIn be your digital CV

Would you limit your CV to simply listing your company and job title? Likewise, don’t make this mistake on LinkedIn. Give details about your role – what team do you sit in? What does your work look like on a day-to-day basis? What do you enjoy in your role?

Similarly, take the time to fill in extra information such as your education or volunteer work. Perhaps a recruiter is looking for lawyers to join a firm with a strong pro bono program – your volunteer work will make you stand out. Including this sort of information will also mean recruiters call you with better quality, more suited roles as they understand your career goals.

Having a complete LinkedIn profile (“expert” or above) also means yours will appear first in searches, maximising your impact.

Describe your role with recruiters in mind

The main mistake I see on LinkedIn is people prioritising the wrong “buzzwords”: a summary describing yourself as a “driven, hard-working solicitor who thinks outside the box to provide creative, client-driven solutions” sounds great, but won’t do anything to get you noticed.

When recruiters search LinkedIn, they are not using behavioural based search terms. Rather, they’ll use terms related to your area of practice. For example, if you’re an M&A lawyer, key words and terms to include in your profile would be M&A, ECM, mergers, acquisitions, equity capital markets, joint ventures, corporate. The more words like this that are repeated throughout your profile, the higher you will appear in the search.

Try to think of terms recruiters would use to describe your role or area of practice, and include these in your profile. You can use this knowledge to your advantage. When describing your experience, tailor your list to those areas of law you are interested in continuing to practice in.

Put yourself out there

Make sure your profile has contact details listed so recruiters can get in contact with you. Understandably, many professionals are unwilling to put more personal details such as a mobile number on their public profile. But it is a good idea to include an email address or direct work number, so recruiters have a way of making contact outside LinkedIn.

Of course, if you are active in the market don’t overlook the value of approaching a recruiter yourself. Having a frank discussion with a consultant about your career goals often leads to opportunities; even if the market is slow, making the effort to have that conversation will mean you are the first person they will ring when the right role comes up.

If you’re thinking seriously about a career change, or are curious about the current legal market, head over to our jobs page:

Lisa Gazis is the Managing Director of Mahlab (NSW). Lisa manages the NSW recruitment operations and is also actively involved in the strategic recruitment of legal professionals, partner and legal team recruitment.  In addition she works closely on senior corporate and partner level search and recruitment campaigns. Lisa provides strategic consulting services to corporations and law firms in Australia and abroad. Lisa writes and is a key regular speaker on recruitment issues such as industry trends, recruitment and retention strategies, staff remuneration and career management.