What is the Purpose of a Linkedin Profile?
One of the primary purposes for a Linkedin profile is to advertise your success and to network with professional peers. Your Linkedin profile is a self-marketing advertisement, and it should be as accurate and polished as your resume. While you may not be in the market for new employment you never know when the right opportunity will come along.
A Linkedin profile should mimic as closely as possible whatever is on your resume. While you may not want to include all the details you have on your resume, the basic outline should match. It is tempting to omit information on Linkedin but if there are gaps on one and not the other you will make a haphazard impression at best.
Eye catching headline
Your headline is like a tag line. In my case I have three words that describe my function: Legal Recruiter, Career Coach and Resume Writer. It is brief but provides enough of a description for the reader to decide if they want to read further. Your tag line can be a specific job title, or it can be a broad descriptor. If your job title does not include the word paralegal you may not be located during a recruiting search.
What about you?
The About section is the key to your future employment. This is where you can expound on your skills and desires aiming them directly where you want to be. Your areas of specialty should be as clear as a bell in this section. You have 2600 letters so use as many of them as you need to attract the right opportunity.
If you are serious about being noticed, and you want recruiters to call you, the descriptions under in your employment section should highlight what you do at your job. You can be as descriptive as you want. If you are getting a lot of traffic directed at skills you don’t have you may want to tighten this area up.
Broadcast your skills
Linkedin allows recruiters to filter skills, so make sure you check off the skills that you make you valuable. It is tempting to check off skills that you only use peripherally, but it will not help recruiters determine whether you have the qualifications they are looking for. Doing so is like trying to oversell yourself and it can backfire.
Your photograph is an opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism. If your photo is anything but a professional headshot you are defeating the purpose of your profile. You should look exactly as you will when you arrive at an interview.
Recommendations should be treated like references. The best choices are employers, supervisors and peers who have witnessed you in a work environment and clients you have served well. While employers do not want to know that you are looking for a new job, they do want their employees to represent themselves in a professional manner.
On another note, if you have not Googled yourself lately you should spend a couple of hours doing so. You should know exactly what a future employer will find if they vet you. Whatever you publish on social networking is fair game so choose your privacy settings wisely.
Linda S. Jevahirian is the Founder and President of Legal Search & Management, Inc. She provides recruiting, career planning, self-marketing strategies, personal branding, resume and other portfolio document writing services. Linda has served the Paralegal/Legal Assistant Section of the State Bar of Michigan since its inception as a council member and committee chair. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally published by the State Bar of Michigan Paralegal Section in The Michigan Paralegal Spring 2022.