Managing Your Legal Job Search Online - Create Your Personal Brand

Let's face it- the economy today is still not at its best and law firms continue to manage headcount carefully. This fact means that there are many qualified legal professionals competing for few rewarding legal job oportunities that are available in the job market. There are some promising signs on the horizon, but many employees continue to suffer from layoffs and job loss. The bottom line here is that it is difficult to find any job right now let alone the right job. You may have found a legal job that is a perfect match for your skills, interests and background, and you may have an unbeatable resume, but is that sufficient? The answer is no; because every legal professional in the market is doing the same thing. So what more can you do to give yourself an edge over your competition?
Today is the day where you need to think like a marketer and sell yourself in the legal jobs market. Like every marketer, one must consider himself as a brand, and do his best to build his personal brand on various legal job search engines online. During the Social Media Conference 2011 it was said that the Internet is now considered to be the de facto venue for your fist interview. What they meant by that is it's not just important but it is actually vital for you to have an online presence and the RIGHT online presence at that!
If you view your legal job search as a marketing campaign, you will see that there are many other communication channels besides your "resume," which contributes a great deal to your personal brand. You must be proactively managing your personal brand online if you want to give it your best shot during a job search, especially in the current job market.

Here are few tips for promoting your personal brand during a job search online:
1) Email Address: Lawyers and attorneys are said to be the most professional people of all, and if they use their personal email address during their job search, which sounds like coolady@ or cris007@, they will give a false impression to the employer. You may engage in fascinating hobbies but showing them in your email ID is not a professional approach. Be sure that the email address that appears on your resume is professional and contains some combination of your first and last names or your birth year. Your email address is your identity so choose it well.
2) Online Image: It is now commonplace for law firms and corporate legal departments to search your background online before inviting a potential employee for an interview. So be sure you have the right online image. You cannot control what others say about you, but you can definitely control what employers see first when they type your name on Google. The first thing you should do is to type your name in quotes and search it on Google, and delete any profiles that you have maintained or are public which can give a wrong impression about your abilities and skills. Also, you can ask your family and friends to remove anything unprofessional that can harm your image.
3) Social Media Presence: The next step is to create social profiles on various social networks and connect to your professional references. Below is a list of social media sites where you should have your profile:

  • Facebook: Facebook is the biggest social network at present and your public profile on Facebook is easily accessible by people; you can use this profile to your advantage and you can also connect to all your references and ask them to suggest you as a friend to any potential employer. Be sure though to use the privacy features intelligently to maintain your identity.
  • Twitter: Twitter is a micro blogging platform where you can send a message that is limited to 140 characters. A Twitter profile may help you a great deal in your job search as virtually every job portal has a profile on twitter. This allows you to follow their job updates; also you can share your experiences with other people. Hence, if you are good at consistently communicating you have a great opportunity to gain a large number of followers, including gaining popularity among your colleagues and potential employers.
  • LinkedIn: the most important of all is it is vital to have a profile on LinkedIn because it's a professional network which works like any job site. Since 2007 LinkedIn has been popular with top law firms and corporate legal departments for hiring competent professionals. If you have a LinkedIn account, make sure your profile is up-to-date and ask some of your colleagues to contribute recommendations to your LinkedIn profile.

  • Google+: Though it's new to the social media market, Google+ has some great features and having a profile on Google+ is vital for you to have a strong presence on Google's search engine since Google is now showing posts that are shared by friends (on Google+) in the top results on the Google search engine.

  • 4) Google Alerts: Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. It is a very handy and free tool that can assist you in monitoring the latest updates related to any keyword. You can set up Google alerts to know when your name has been searched on the internet. Similarly you can also set up email alerts to track posts about potential employers of interest.
    5) Blogging: Creating and maintaining a personal blog about your work is not required but it is important while building up a brand online. Through your blog you can display your knowledge and skills associated with your expertise. This also enables you to showcase your talents and impressing would be employers who may land on your blog. However, keep in mind while a blog can enhance your reputation, it can also harm your reputation at the same time if not maintained up to quality standards. We will soon post a separate article about creating a blog to display your skills in the legal sector.
    6) References: Maintain regular contact with your professional references during your legal job search to keep them updated on your present professional status. The more they know about your professional and career search, the better they can respond to queries from potential employers about you. Also, there is a chance that when you apply for a position in a particular law firm or corporate legal department your professional reference may have a contact in that legal firm or corporate legal department.
    In sum, a modern job search begins with a strong and comprehensive online presence in the form of branding yourself for success.

    1 comment:

    Alvin Bruce said...

    Really an excellent recommendation ! These tips mentioned over managing your online job search (recherches d'emploi) and getting your desired job seems like great. With the introduction of job searching websites, finding for your desired job which may build up your career in an efficient manner, has become a easy task.

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