The international borders have been open in New Zealand for just under a year, and we are through the thick of the Covid-19 Pandemic. With discussions of a possible recession looming, and a lingering concern from people as to how they might be affected in an employment sense, we have decided to look at how legal candidates might be affected by the job market through their online presence.
In short – the legal market is a candidates’ one. The market is hot with jobs, and there are ultimately not enough lawyers to fill these roles. This means that it is more important than ever to ensure that your online presence is the best it can be. Below, we have set out our reasons why you need to keep your profile up to date.
Why have an online presence?
When employers are looking for possible new talent, their usual first port of call is LinkedIn. A snapshot of your current and past work experience is a great way to see if you are a right fit for the role. Long gone are the days of paper CVs - having an up-to-date career profile online is important not only for prospective career moves, but also from a business development perspective and linking up with relevant people in the legal market.
Even if you are not actively looking, you never know when your next great opportunity is on the horizon. Ensuring that you are accessible to recruiters and law firms headhunting means that these potential opportunities won’t pass you by. You could also connect other lawyers that you know are looking for roles to new opportunities. In addition, keeping up to date with relevant articles and movements happening in the market ensures that you don’t miss out on updates, such as market salary increases and new partnerships.
Keeping your information up to date
Just as you should keep a copy of your CV up to date, your LinkedIn should be reflective of your current employment situation. In many cases, recruiters and employers will reach out to possible candidates specifically before advertising online for new roles. To ensure that you get noticed in that initial search it is important that people can see what role you are in, and at which company.
LinkedIn and other professional online platforms such as Seek are also great for exposing yourself to new opportunities. These might include hearing about networking events, relevant headlines around your industry, and possible personal career development opportunities, such as being asked to speak at an event or join a panel. It is a great way to get your business’ name out there, as well as to advertise your professional skill set.
The more information you can provide on your profile and in your bio the better. We recommend that you include your area of expertise and team within your company where applicable. In addition to this, be sure to include a summary of your role, what it entails as well as the skills it requires. For example, outlining that you are a commercial lawyer would ensure that you are not approached for family law roles.
The more specific you are, the more likely you are to avoid getting inaccurate messages from recruiters who tell you about opportunities that are not relevant to your role, or that you are generally not interested in.
How to make your profile stand out
It is easy to have an online presence by just creating a LinkedIn account, or uploading your CV to Seek, but without putting some effort into the finer details, your profile won’t stand out against the millions of other online profiles.
There are many great ways you can make yourself stand out amongst others in your industry. To start with, having a professional headshot and banner, with a plain background is a simple but effective way to uphold a professional image.
In your work experience, add a brief summary about your previous roles and what you achieved in those roles. This is a great way to exhibit your skill set, or your specialty area of the law. The best way to do this is to list the main responsibilities of your role, as well as any notable cases or deals you have worked on, if you are able to disclose them. Make sure to use formal language, as you would in a work environment to uphold the right image. Don’t forget to include dates for duration of employment as well.
If you have received a promotion, or progressed internally, update your network and ensure that your bio reflects this. If you have received an award, or if you are part of a committee outside of work, make sure to include that so that employers and recruiters can receive the full picture. You can also include information on cases you have worked or clients you have represented.
Making the most of your network
Actively commenting and engaging with other content means that you can ensure that your timeline becomes more personal to you and what you want to see when scrolling and building your network.
When you meet someone at a networking event, or through work or friends, be sure to add them on LinkedIn – you never know when your paths may cross again, or when they may know of new job opportunities that are relevant to you. This also applies to pages and companies you can follow, so that you can stay up to date with current events and business developments that are happening in your professional area.
Actively looking for a new role?
If you are actively looking for a new job, by having your CV up to date, as well as your LinkedIn job situation, you are more likely to appear in candidate searches for both employers and recruiters. As well as this, you can change your profile to being “Open to Work”. This only allows relevant accounts to see this, and your current employer will not be able to see that you have it on. Ensuring that your CV remains up to date also means that when you are ready to take the step and apply for roles, you will be organised and not let any opportunities pass you by.
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