As we progress through the technological age, different elements of our daily lives progress with it. Procedures that were once traditional and mechanical have become modified, reconstructed and updated, and processes that took days, even weeks, can happen in a matter of seconds. The world of employment has not been immune to this evolution and continues to be significantly affected by the ongoing expansion of the modern age. It is important that we, as members of the 21st century, keep up to date with any changes in communication that may affect us so that we don’t miss any valuable opportunities. Professionals seeking employment, making connections, initiating introductions and carrying out referrals is nothing new in business. However, with the advent of social networking, the methods we use to make these connections has changed. LinkedIn is a website that is part of that change.
Differing from other social networking sites, LinkedIn is purely a professional platform. In the right hands, it can become a multi-dimensional tool, allowing the user to utilise the wealth of impressive information it holds. It can be a jobseeker’s best friend. Within it, an individual can showcase their professional skills, employment history, status, affiliations and ambitions for the future. A significant proportion of companies are now represented through LinkedIn profiles, either through their own company pages or through employees who work for them. Jobseekers should be aware that 93% of companies surveyed stated that they first look for a prospective candidate’s online presence before offering them an interview. Your LinkedIn profile should act as the ultimate professional marketing tool, with the realisation that it may bring you the career of your dreams.
Whilst writing a LinkedIn profile, Legal Secretaries should keep in mind that when it comes to written content, your secretarial skills will speak for themselves. Proficient Secretaries need to have impeccable typing skills: accurate spelling, consistent formatting and correct grammar. One of LinkedIn’s most beneficial features is the ability to upload examples of work you have completed, which act as a tangible testimony to your written pitch. If you have produced an exemplary word document or given a stellar presentation, then upload evidence of it to your page. Projecting success and enthusiasm for your work whilst providing hard evidence of your accomplishments acts as an affirmation of your talents. You should ensure that you complete all sections of your profile, just as you would answer every question in an interview. Showing that you’ve made an effort on your profile shows that you are likely to make an effort in your job.
We advise following any companies that attract your interest during your job search. Following a company ensures that you keep up to date with their news and any developments they may have, for example a new branch opening or a new position becoming available. You can also research what your selected companies have followed and consider following them yourself. Carrying out research like this can give you valuable insight into the qualities that companies admire, what drives them and what their passions are. You can then tailor your own profile to match their needs specifically and use the same keywords that they use. From doing this, they may even contact you first.
One of the most advantageous features of LinkedIn is the ability to gain both introductions and referrals quickly and conveniently. In the past an individual would have to spend numerous hours researching different companies to find out who’s who and scanning both their minds and phonebooks to see whether they had any contacts in common. Now, with the simple click of a button, professional contacts are transparent, and manoeuvring up the career ladder through mutual associates becomes an easy practice. If you already know the company that you would like to work for, search for current or previous employees to check whether you have any connections in common that you could use to make an introduction for you; this is called a “second degree connection”. LinkedIn enables you to see whom your contacts are connected with, who’s worked where, what interests both professionals and prominent companies share and who the most influential members of a company are. Making your own professional connections transparent can also attract an employer to you by showing both your prominence within the field and also how proactive you are about making links with others. This valuable feature highlights LinkedIn’s capacity as a highly strategic tool in job seeking: making doors that were once closed now open.
To ensure that you get the most out of LinkedIn, you have to be consistent in your interactions on the site: comment on relevant content, create a blog if you are good at writing and update your profile regularly with any developments. Ensuring that you stay active on the site encourages other members to follow you and seeds new connections which could potentially lead to very lucrative areas. Employers want to see passion both in and outside of work, and an active member who keeps up to date with any developments in the field can make a very attractive candidate.
So, if you are serious about your legal career, we highly recommend you get started with LinkedIn today.