In an ever-competitive legal market, students must do all they can to ensure they stand out and they get the role or job applied for. Joining LinkedIn for many students can seem ‘premature’ until they have graduated or have a role in the legal workplace, but that is far from the truth. I have devised a list of the four most important reasons why you should join LinkedIn today.
1. LinkedIn ensures those you network with remember your name
Aspiring lawyers meet potential connections constantly; on work experience placements and vacation schemes to networking events and skills sessions. As well as coming away with a business card, track down the individual on LinkedIn and connect with them. Your name will be visible on their news page and they will be able to see every update you make which means they are periodically reminded about your achievements. University lecturers and fellow students are also good individuals to connect with, both for opportunities they may be able to offer now and those available to you in the future.
2. It allows you to determine and maintain your own ‘brand’
Employers and recruiters will often search an applicant’s name. A LinkedIn profile will immediately allow you to influence what they find on the internet and may potentially reverse any other damage they find via search engines! Furthermore, if you have only been afforded a small word count on an application form you can ensure they find out more about you by including lots of other achievements in your profile.
3. A profile shows you care about your professional self and your career
Connected to the point above, more than anything, having a LinkedIn profile will ensure that employers know you care about how you are perceived and shows your dedication and interest in the career and profession you wish to pursue.
4. LinkedIn can assist you in making important connections
LinkedIn allows you to connect with individuals who already may have a place on a scheme you have applied for and provides you with an opportunity to ask questions. Personally, I spoke to two individuals on a scheme I applied for and whilst one wasn’t able to answer any questions due to his role in the recruitment process, I was praised for using my initiative in tracking him down. The other was very happy to answer my questions and was very helpful. LinkedIn also lets you to connect with people whose names have been suggested as good connections – however, be aware LinkedIn discourages connecting with lots of people you have no prior ‘third party’ connection with!
With many vacation scheme and training contract deadlines having just passed or arriving in the near future, there really is no better time to create a profile!