Are you searching for a legal job? If so, you might wonder if using social media is a tool you want to use. Whether it is your first legal job out of law school or a change to improve your career path, social media can help you find the employment you want.
Before you jump into social media for a legal job search, consider the following issues:
You Cannot Afford to Ignore Social Media
Social media has become a regular part of our lives. We receive news, keep up with friends and family, and search for items of interest on our social media accounts. So it makes sense that many people would turn to social media to search for a job.
Whether you are searching for a job at a law firm, government agency, big legal markets, or corporate legal department, you cannot overlook social media in your job search. However, using social media to find legal jobs has its drawbacks. Social media could hurt your job hunt depending on the type of legal job you desire.
Before reaching out through social media, consider your audience. For example, if a law firm does not have a solid social media presence, it is unlikely to use or check those sources for job applicants.
Clean Up Your Social Media Profiles
Even though you might not use your social media accounts to search for a job, you can bet that a potential employer is likely to run a Google search to review your online presence.
Clean up your personal social media profiles. Set your Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and other accounts to private.
View your posts through the eyes of a law office manager, legal recruiter, or senior partner in a law firm. You might want to delete specific posts that share your strong opinions regarding politics, religion, social issues, and current events. You may also want to delete humorous posts that could be interpreted in the wrong context.
However, you want your social media accounts to reflect your personality. The key is to balance professionalism with posts that highlight and reflect your personality and interpersonal skills.
If you do not have a LinkedIn account, create one and post your resume. It is one of the top professional social media websites in the country. Millions of professionals are members, including law firms and legal recruiters.
LinkedIn can be beneficial for networking and searching for legal jobs. However, comments can get out of hand between members just as they do on other social media websites. Therefore, keep your profile and posts professional as you search for a legal job.
LinkedIn is a social media website you want to set to public or open. You need other legal professionals to connect with you. They cannot do that if they can’t find or see your profile.
Make sure your profile is complete. List your recent legal roles, but also include key expertise and skills so that you appear in keyword searches.
Also, it can help to join groups, participate in discussions, and answer questions whenever possible. Building relationships is excellent for networking, but it also puts you in the minds of the people who might be searching to fill an open position. Also, the people you connect with may provide leads to open legal positions.
Think About Your Initial Visual Impact
A headshot is the best choice for social media accounts when you want to find a legal job. Do not use pictures of your children, pets, or favorite cartoon character. Choose images for your social media profiles that are professional.
Research Potential Employers
Use social media to research potential employers. You can gain a lot of information by reading law firm websites, client reviews, and posts on social media feeds. Your research helps you identify the law firm’s culture, which can give you an edge as you prepare for an interview.
Follow Legal Recruiters
Network through social media with legal recruiters and headhunters. Follow their social media accounts and send requests to connect on LinkedIn and other professional websites. Social media connections might give you an advantage when they have a legal job to fill.
Provide Valuable Content
Content shows your interests, but it also creates followers. Provide valuable and interesting legal content. If possible, write blogs, articles, and other content and post it on social media. You could catch the eye of a partner or office manager searching for candidates to fill a legal job.
Do not forget to Google yourself. You need to see what information is public. Unfortunately, you might be unable to remove some information or “pull back” posts that have been shared in public. However, you will be prepared to address any questions regarding information about you that a potential employer could find online if you know what is out there.
Use All Available Resources to Find a Legal Job
Social media accounts are just one resource for finding a legal job. Do not forget to check off traditional job search steps, such as looking at job postings on legal job search websites and local postings for job openings.
You can also check with friends and associates working for law firms, court offices, and other legal positions. Ask if they know of any legal jobs and pass along that you are searching for employment. Remember, it takes work to find the right job for you. Social media can make the process easier and quicker when used to your advantage.