In the cut throat competitive world of Law schools, “connections” is the most valuable asset. Whether on the real world, or on social networks. While law students spend a decent amount of time (in some cases a majority of their time) on Facebook, very few have tapped into the unlimited potential of LinkedIn. There is a popular saying which goes, “Facebook, is how you want your friends to see you. LinkedIn in how you want your potential employers to see you.”
All of us are leaving behind a digital footprint whenever we go online, whether we like it or not. Hence, instead of trying to control our footprint, we can make it more prominent. It would be like impressive breadcrumbs for interested employers who might carry out a background check. And the industry lore is that background check online is a common thing these days. HR departments of high end firms and companies, all Google you and check your Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media pages before they hire you. So, yes, anything you have said, can and will be held against you.
It is alright if you don’t have a LinkedIn page yet. It’s never too late. The advantage LinkedIn provides over any other network is that it’s strictly professional structure and features allow you to briefly highlight your core competencies and your professional
interests. You get to list your skill set, fill in the courses you have attended, add your achievements and you have your basic profile ready. Remember, LinkedIn is not Facebook. You can’t, and should not randomly add anyone and everyone you wish.
Now, first things first, if you want potential employees to treat you like a professional and not like children, always remember that first impression counts a lot. Hence, the following Do’s;
1) Use your real professional photo as a display picture. No cheesy, cheeky quotes or pictures.
2) Do not add stuff in your profile which you never achieved. Don’t say you took part in stuff or won stuff you never did. Only keep the most relevant stuff. People don’t have all day to look at your profile.
3) Add relevant skill set. Things you know and other know that you are good at doing.
4) Recommend other people for their skills. This way they will recommend you back on your skills and your skill sets would look more impressive.
5) Join relevant groups. Again, no point joining any and every group. Join the ones which are relevant to your line of work.
6) Last, but not the least important, write a good introduction about yourself. Keep it short, simple and to the point. Most importantly, keep it original.
Contrary to how it may sound, the art to getting anywhere lies in selling your skills properly. You may be the most intelligent law student to graduate this year, but if your presentation isn’t good enough, no one would care about what’s inside.
About The Author: Sourya Banerjee, Editor in Chief, Off Campus Law.