This Q&A is an encore from the questions the speakers, Allison Shields and Dennis Kennedy, were not able to address during the webinar, Power Up Your LinkedIn Profile.
LinkedIn Content and Strategies
Q: I have an extensive bio on my firm website. Is LinkedIn redundant? What should I add to LinkedIn beyond my firm bio?
A: No, LinkedIn isn’t redundant – and if someone searches for you on the internet, there is a good chance that your LinkedIn profile will come up higher in the search results than your law firm website or bio (try out the search and see), so your LinkedIn Profile may be the first thing that they see. You can use your law firm bio as a basis for your LinkedIn Profile, but there’s a lot more that you can do with your Profile that may or may not be included in your firm bio, including adding multi-media elements, publishing long form posts through Publisher, and more. The Summary section of your Profile is an opportunity to speak directly to potential clients and referral sources in a way that your law firm bio does not. You have a lot more “real estate” on LinkedIn than you do in a single law firm bio. We like to think of LinkedIn as being an amplifier or a “range extender” for your bio. How much traffic does your firm website actually get, especially as compared to LinkedIn?
Q: How do you handle a job promotion at the same company or firm?
A: You have a couple of options for how to handle this – you could make a separate entry under experience for each position you held at the company or firm, so that they stand apart on your Profile, or you could list your current position and then, if you think it’s relevant to your purpose on LinkedIn and your audience, you could make a note in the description of that position that you held previous positions at the same company. In some cases, it might be relevant or valuable for others to know, for example, that you started at the firm as an intern or paralegal while going to school, then moved up to an associate position upon admission to the Bar, and now you have become a partner. We see people taking both approaches and don’t think one is preferred over the other. The real question is what story do you want to tell your target audience?
Q: “Keywords” is a somewhat newer term of art. Is there a list of the most powerful keywords?
A: When we talk about including keywords in your LinkedIn Profile, we simply mean terms that would most often be associate with what you do and who you do it for. They’re simply descriptive words that others might expect to see when looking for someone who does what you do, or words that they might use in a search for an attorney that practices in your area. There is no one list of “most powerful keywords,” because those may change over time, and because they would be different for everyone, depending on the purpose for which you’re using LinkedIn, the audience you want to attract, and your individual skills, knowledge and experience. For example, if you are a real estate lawyer with shopping center clients, you will want your summary and other LinkedIn descriptions to include terms like “shopping center” and other phrases people searching for an experienced attorney in that area will use when searching.
Q: As a lawyer, the audience on LinkedIn for “posts” and “likes” would almost inevitably be other attorneys; is LinkedIn a worthwhile resource to post about your practice, topics in your practice area, etc… to gain potential referrals? Or is your time better spent posting to other social media platforms?
A: We’re not sure that we would agree that just because you are a lawyer, your audience on LinkedIn is also comprised of lawyers. Do you only connect with other lawyers in your “real life”? LinkedIn is an extension of real-life networking, so you should be connecting with people from all kinds of industries and professions on LinkedIn, just as you would in real life. Those connections can be potential clients or referral sources. Many of them may be lawyers, who could also be referral sources, whether they are lawyers who practice in different areas of the law or in different jurisdictions, but we would recommend that you expand your network beyond just lawyers to make a richer network. For example, an estate planning lawyer might have an audience of tax accountants, financial planners, life insurance agents, trust officers, bankers, nursing home owners and many others. If your posts are helpful to those groups, you might get much more benefit out of LinkedIn than if you think only of lawyers as your target. If you’re already posting on other social networks, it’s easy to post the same content, links, etc. on LinkedIn at the same time, either cutting and pasting or using tools like Buffer, HootSuite and others that will allow you to post on multiple networks at the same time.
Q: How much information is too much information for a LinkedIn profile? For instance, Rick has worked in the defense industry for several years, and may have acquired certain security credential(s). On one hand, those credential(s) may be of professional value, to Rick’s benefit. On the other hand, they may result in making Rick a potential target for social engineering. So, how can Rick build/ refine his LinkedIn profile without making himself personally and professionally vulnerable?
A: As a general rule, you need to be comfortable with anything you post on the internet being accessible to anyone in the world. If there is certain information that you don’t want to be made public, you shouldn’t post it on your LinkedIn Profile or anywhere else on the internet. If there are specific credentials or information that might be of value to a potential employer, client or referral source, but that you don’t necessarily want made public, you could reference the fact that you have high level security credentials but not specifically indicate what they are, saving that information for personal conversations or in person meetings.
Q: How does a law student set themselves apart from others with just the content in their header of the profile?
A: Make your professional headline as distinctive as possible, depending on what you want to get out of LinkedIn; your headline can include that you are a student (and perhaps even your year), the school you attend, the positions you’re seeking or area of law you’re interested in. Here’s a tip: look at a lot of law student profiles from your school and elsewhere. Which ones do you like the best? Which ones would you like the best if you were a hiring partner or a recruiter? Make your headline look like the ones that you like best.
Q: What tips do you have for someone in law school coming from a different career into the law?
A: With respect to your LinkedIn Profile, I’d list your previous career and then use the summary as a way to highlight the ways in which the knowledge, skills and experience that you gained in your previous career will stand you in good stead in your legal career, how they might help you to understand your clients better or help them in ways that others who don’t have that experience might not be able to do. Or use the summary to talk about why you made the change and how your previous experience informed your decision to go into law. Many law firms really do value prior business or work experience, especially in some of the more specialized areas of law. Evidence of leadership, management experience, awards, successful projects and other experience can be helpful in getting interviews and distinguishing yourself from other candidates.
Q: Will you cover the question of an existing LinkedIn profile “before” you start your legal career as a lawyer?
We’re not exactly sure what you’re asking here, but we do think it is helpful to create your LinkedIn Profile even before you start your legal career – after all, LinkedIn can be a great tool to help you to find a job or to make connections and network, as well as a way to build your reputation. You can include your education, any internships, summer jobs or part time positions you’ve held while you’re in school, and showcase any special projects or writing you’ve done while you’re in law school. You might also be asking about what to do about a profile that you built for your work before law school. You have a great opportunity to revamp and restructure your profile and focus on the highlights of your pre-lawyer clear, as we mentioned in the previous answer.
Q: I would like to make a career change, from the legal practice to focus more on compliance. What strategies can I use to re-brand my profile without appearing inexperienced?
A: Without more information about you and your specific experience, it’s difficult to give focused advice. Your existing experience is likely to be helpful even if it isn’t exactly the same as what you want to do going forward. You may just want to change the way you talk about your previous experience to highlight the knowledge, skills and abilities that are most important in the compliance field, and to demonstrate your interest in compliance and how your previous experience brought you to where you are now and the decision to focus more on compliance. This is a great time to enlist the help of a friend or two to help you take an objective (and/or creative) look at your bio to identify those transferable skills. Two other tips: join a few important compliance groups on LinkedIn and gradually try to build out a broader range of connections in the compliance field. As we’ve said before, take a look at the profiles of others in the compliance world and see how they talk about their experience and what keywords they use.
Q: Do you think LinkedIn is useful for all generations of attorneys? Our senior partners claim they do not have connections on LinkedIn because their clients are not part of the social media generation.
A: Yes, yes, yes. Senior citizens are huge users of all forms of social media. There are professionals of all ages using LinkedIn. As we mentioned in the beginning of the webinar, there are executives in Fortune 500 companies, high ranking in-house counsel, and other very experienced professionals using LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a business network and many who do not use any of the other social networks use LinkedIn, both for networking purposes and to research other professionals. We would be willing to bet that many of the clients of your firm’s senior partners are, in fact, on LinkedIn, and others in their companies are likely to be on LinkedIn. It can also be a great source of information about your clients, their businesses and their employees. Not using LinkedIn as a research tool and business development tool is a missed opportunity for lawyers of any generation. We’re joking a bit, but you might check whether their clients are on LinkedIn, invite them to connect, and then they will know you when your senior partners are ready to transfer the clients’ work over to you.
Q: Can I “hide” or not have “Previous” section show in profile? (My prior positions/jobs are a little scattered and do not represent what I am doing now.)
A: We’re not quite sure why you would want to put prior positions on your LinkedIn Profile only to hide them. We believe that all past experience teaches you something of value and that there are good reasons for including your previous work experience on your Profile, even if it is different from what you’re currently doing or seeking. Hiding past positions might make it look like you weren’t working during that time or might present what appears to be a gap in your employment history. But if you really don’t want others to see previous experience, we would recommend just removing it from your LinkedIn Profile. Another option is to “bundle” experiences, which can be a good thing for students. You might not want to list every fast food restaurant you worked at, but you can be effective by listing them as a “bundle” – “various jobs with increasing responsibility in the food services and restaurant industry” – and list some key skills, especially if you’ve managed people, had to meet deadlines or the like. You’d be surprised what the person looking at your Profile and you might have in common or how a hiring partner might value someone who met deadlines and worked under pressure in any job.
Q: I regularly post updates — is there any reason for me to have photos under my individual job listings?
Part of the answer to your question depends on what your purpose is for using LinkedIn, who the audience is that you’re trying to reach, and what photos you would consider posting. Images that are relevant to what you have done in those jobs might be relevant. For example, if you have a photo of you receiving an award, working with a client (keeping ethical and confidentiality rules in mind), or participating in your firm’s charity event, those might be relevant images to post on LinkedIn. You need to ask yourself whether the images (or video, documents, presentations, etc.) adds value to your Profile or provides information or insight to your audience. That said, the use of photos is much more common these days than it used to be and many people think that a good photo will draw more readers to your post. LinkedIn will also pull in screenshots of websites from links you post, so you automatically get a photo for your post. Your approach is a little unusual at the moment, but tastefully done, it might be an interesting approach. Use good judgment.
Q: Can you edit the profile to show the summary right after the initial title window?
A: If you click on “View Profile As,” you will see how your Profile appears to others – the Summary section generally does appear right after the initial tile window, unless you’ve created posts using LinkedIn Publisher – in that case, your posts will appear between the tile window and your Summary section. As of now, you can’t change that to move the Summary above Posts. LinkedIn makes changes on a regular basis, so check back on that from time to time if that’s something you want to do. You might be surprised one day and find that you can do that.
Q: Is there an area where you can add past positions over 15 years ago that were significant, but which you may not want to date because of possible age discrimination?
A: Generally, past positions are going to be listed in the Experience section, but LinkedIn does not allow you to omit the dates of employment from those listings. If you want to discuss older positions but don’t want the dates to show, your best bet is probably to talk about them in your Summary section. The “bundling” of older experiences into one entry might also be an option. The issue you raise is a difficult one. If you leave dates off, people can simply Google you and probably will find the dates from another source anyway. Sometimes people leave dates off and readers assume that they are older than they are. You might also ask yourself whether listing the dates will screen out the people who want to screen out people on the basis of age and you won’t have to waste your time with them. It all comes back to your story – how do you present your experience and skills in the best way for your audience to understand.
Q: How do you tie together your LinkedIn profile and your website?
A: First, you’ll want to include your website URL as one of the websites listed on your LinkedIn Profile as we showed during the webinar. You could also link to your website in network updates or in other parts of your Profile. You will most likely want to include a link to your LinkedIn profile on your website and/or in your website bio. We don’t recommend posting exactly the same content in the same way in both places; you may want to re-phrase or re-frame some of the information. Many law firm websites, including attorney bios, are written in the third person; you may prefer to write your LinkedIn Profile in the first person, speaking directly to potential contacts, clients, referral sources and other professionals. It can also be a good idea to put links to your profile in your personal email signature or other biographical materials.
Q: If you change your LinkedIn profile, are there groups who can go back and see earlier versions of your profile at a later time?
A:Not on LinkedIn itself, as far as we know – they’ll only be able to see your current Profile, but if someone really wanted to find an earlier version, they might be able to find a cached version. Keep in mind that someone who wants that type of information about has many resources (including Google in many cases) that will be easier for them to use than trying to locate old versions of your profile.
Q: How often should we revise our Headline & Summary (or profile more generally)?
A: It’s like revising your will, as often as you need to. Certain key events (getting a job, losing a job, promotions, etc.) will trigger the need to revise. However, we don’t think there’s a hard and fast rule, and much depends on your purpose and audience, and how fast those things change. We recommend updating your Profile whenever there’s a change – a new publication, significant new project, new lines of business or new services you provide, a new award, etc. Dennis recently took advantage of the need to change references to “Mastercard” because of a brand name change (lower case “c”) to make other small revisions. If nothing significant has changed, you may want to take a look at your profile every 6 months to a year to see if there’s any updates that need to be made, any changes in language or new ways of phrasing that you might want to incorporate based on what’s happening in your practice and in the marketplace. Dennis has a calendar entry to remind him to update his profile on a six-month basis.
Q: I’m currently a law student so I have a quick question re publishing. When publishing papers, do we publish the entire paper (even if it’s 20 pages) or just a sample?
The answer depends on the paper and what you intend to accomplish by posting it. If the paper is one that demonstrates a high level of knowledge or expertise in a specific area, and that area is one in which you are seeking employment, it might be worthwhile to publish the entire paper. Just because you post it doesn’t mean that anyone is going to read the entire paper, but there might be advantages to seeing that you’ve published something that substantial. If you’re posting it as an example of your writing ability or style, you might want to ask yourself whether you’d provide the entire paper or just a portion as a writing sample to accompany a job application or resume. If you have another website, you might post the first part of the article on LinkedIn and the rest on your website to drive traffic to the website. However, if you split the article, you make it harder for someone to print your whole article and use it as a writing sample. We like the idea of posting papers on LinkedIn because of the analytics you get on views and information you might obtain about who has looked at it.
Q: Should I include a middle initial in my name? Should I just include it as part of my first name?
A: It’s a matter of personal preference. If you usually use your middle initial when signing your name, on your business card, on your law firm website, etc., it probably makes sense to use it on LinkedIn. Since LinkedIn doesn’t have a separate field for middle initial or middle name, if you want to use it, you would include it as part of your first name. Using a middle initial might also be useful if you have a common name. How will someone looking for you be best able to find you?
Q: How do I add Ph.D. after my name?
A: There are only two “name” fields currently in LinkedIn – First name and Last name. If you want Ph.D. to appear after your name on your Profile, you would need to include it in the last name field. From the edit profile screen, click on the pencil icon next to your name to edit it.
Q: Would you suggest deleting old profile or use existing profile and tweak it to your new legal career as a lawyer?
There’s no need to delete an existing LinkedIn Profile – your education information is still relevant, and your prior experience may also be relevant. We would recommend just updating the Profile with your new experience and writing a summary that reflects where you are now and what you do (or want to do). Why reinvent the wheel? Use what you have as the base and then build a new profile based on the principles and tips we talked about on the webinar.
Q: If you had another career with connections all over the world and these connections probably won’t help my lawyer LinkedIn profile, would you recommend starting a new lawyer career specific LinkedIn profile over adding to existing?
Q: Is there a way to reorganize the professional experience to show the most important places of business first, as opposed to chronically ordered?
A: LinkedIn allows you to re-order current positions, but not past positions. As of right now, LinkedIn will always show past positions in chronological order, but it’s always worth checking because LinkedIn adds and changes features on a regular basis.
Q: How do you insert the symbols that many are now using in their headers of the profile?
A: Our question for you – why do you want to do that? What professional message does that send? You might disagree and, in our current emoticon world, might see how they make sense for your audience. Brynne Tillman’s post at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140423001152-22901019-symbols-to-spice-up-your-linkedin-profile is definitely the place to start. Copy and paste away from her list.
Q: What are the dimensions for the image used in Publisher? What size image should I use on my LinkedIn Profile?
A: According to LinkedIn, the optimal dimensions for a cover image for a Publisher post is 744 x 400 pixels, but in our experience, images of different sizes can also work. As of this writing, LinkedIn seems to be having some problems with image sizes, both for some images on personal Profiles and for those used on Company Pages. It appears that LinkedIn is working on the problem, but that it has not been completely resolved yet. The best information we have is as follows:
LinkedIn profile “background” photo: 1400 x 425
Linked in profile picture: 500 x 500
LinkedIn status update image size: 700 x 400
For information on images for your LinkedIn Company Page (which we didn’t cover in this webinar), you might want to visit this link: https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/70781.
You might also do a little testing, especially on how the image looks in the mobile app or on a smartphone screen.
Q: Is LinkedIn a good place to make a first contact in job searching? Or should I rather use LinkedIn as a follow up after applying for a job in a traditional setting?
A: This goes a bit beyond the webinar topic of LinkedIn Profiles, but LinkedIn can be a good job search tool. In fact, LinkedIn has a new Job Search app. Many recruiters advertise positions on LinkedIn. And you can certainly use LinkedIn’s job search functions or apply for jobs through LinkedIn that are advertised on LinkedIn. You can use it to research companies or firms that are seeking to hire, find out how you might be connected to that firm or company and who you might know who is also employed there, see what groups they’re following or what they find of interest on LinkedIn. You can follow the company or firm’s Company Page to get their updates. As for connecting with an individual on LinkedIn as your first contact, that’s a complex topic, and one we have somewhat different views. Allison wouldn’t recommend it if you’re seeking a position with that firm, although if you are simply seeking information and not actively seeking employment from a particular individual, connecting on LinkedIn might be OK. Dennis thinks that, while it has long been the accepted etiquette not to connect with someone interviewing you until after the job decision has been made, it is more common to receive connection invitations from job applicants during the hiring and interview process in the last year or so. There is going to be some risk of awkwardness or even a negative reaction, so you want to give some thought to the approach. It’s an interesting strategy and one you might consider if you see that someone who is interviewing has looked at your profile.
Q: As a new attorney searching for a job would you recommend that I request to connect with employers?
A: See our answer to the question above. A few other thoughts on that topic. It does make sense to following the employers company page. Try to find the in-between connections that make sense. Look at the employer contact’s list of contacts and see if there are people you know. Connect to them. Then when the employer looks at your profile, they’ll notice that you have shared connections and that might give you something to talk about in an interview. Or the shared connection might be able to put in a good word for you.
Q: Can your current employer see you are a job seeker?
A: No – they may see that you have a premium account but there is no logo or alert that would indicate that you have a job seeker account. If you don’t want your network to know that you’re looking for a job, you may want to check your settings. If you’re in a job seeker group, you may want to choose settings so that group does not appear on your Profile. No updates will go to your network if you apply for a job through LinkedIn. Do you really think your employer will be looking at your profile?
Q: If you want to use LinkedIn for job search, doesn’t that have negative implications with your current employer?
A: If you don’t want your current employer to know you’re looking for a new job, you wouldn’t want to advertise that fact by putting that information in your professional headline or elsewhere on your LinkedIn Profile where your employer – or someone they know – might see it. But you can still use LinkedIn’s job search and apply for jobs listed on LinkedIn, and you can make sure that your professional headline and your summary reflects the knowledge, skills and experience that would be attractive to a new potential employer or for the new position that you are seeking. Go back to the earlier question about senior partners who don’t use LinkedIn. You can probably say or do anything you want when looking for a job if you are at that firm.
Q: What if you have a current job like a liability adjuster but want to advertise you are looking to switch to your role as an attorney?
A: See our answer to the question above if you don’t want your current employer to find out you’re looking for a new position. If your employer knows that you are now seeking a position as an attorney rather than an adjuster, you can put that information into your professional headline and your summary, and you may want to emphasize on your Profile how your experience as a liability adjuster will help you in your legal career. If you are a licensed lawyer who is working as a liability adjust or in a “non-lawyer,” considering put your “solo law practice” on your experience, if that makes sense for the story you are trying to tell.
Q: Could you put what you’re seeking in the summary? Mentioning what your skills in a paragraph and then the position you are seeking?
A: Your summary is a good place to describe your interests and what you’re seeking in a position, as well as what would qualify you as a good candidate for that position, just as your cover letter would when sending out a resume. We like to think of the Summary as an online form of cover letter.
Q: I am currently looking for a position as an in-house counsel. Should I make this clear and express in my headline? Or is that too direct?
A: You can certainly make it clear in your headline if you would like and if you’re sure that’s the kind of position that you are seeking. There is no one “right” answer to this, depending upon what you’re looking for and what you think your audience will respond to, and how much attention you want to call to it. If you want to let as many people as possible know that you’re seeking an in-house position, putting it right up front in your headline is likely to attract attention. Think of it this way: if you don’t say that, people will assume that you are happily employed at a law firm or looking for another law firm role. The direct statement of what you want is a good way to go in this situation.
Q: How can you say you’re job seeking in your profile?
A: You can include it in your professional headline and/or in your summary. For example, your headline might read, “Recent XYZ Law Grad Seeking Associate Position in Commercial Real Estate.” Your summary might talk about your interests in the legal field and what kind of position you’re looking for. Some job hunters have also created a “position” under experience that describes what they’re looking for in a job. This is another example of how spending some time in the “People You May Know” menu on LinkedIn might be helpful. Try to find people with headlines that indicate that they are looking for a job, decide which ones you like best and use them as a model.
Features and Settings
Q: Can you change around the order of, for example, education entries, without having to redo every single one? i.e. can you control the order, or does what you put in most recently always go to the top?
A: You can change the order of education entries, publications and current positions from the Edit Profile page, using the up and down arrows to drag and drop as we showed in the webinar, but you cannot rearrange the order of past positions, which will always be displayed in reverse chronological order. This is one of the best of the relatively new LinkedIn features.
Q: I have my profile set to as private as possible settings. Could that be blocking me from being discovered by contacts or potential employers?
A: In a word, yes. If your Profile settings are as private as possible, you are absolutely limiting who can see your Profile, and that includes contacts and potential employers. If your purpose for creating a LinkedIn account and Profile is for purposes of networking, business development, marketing, job seeking, reputation building, etc., making it private or hiding information works against you. Compare this to networking in real life – would you go to a networking event or look for a job and not tell anyone who you are, what you’re looking for, or what your experience is? And hide in a corner and not wear a name badge? You have to be visible for people to find you.
Q: Should you limit access to your connections to shared connections only?
A: See our answer to the question above. It depends on your purpose, but for the most part, we’d say no – doing so will limit the ability of others to find and connect with you, which will make expanding your network harder. This question touches on the idea of “weak connections” that we talk a bit about when we present on LinkedIn Connections. Some research indicates that the people you have limited or somewhat indirect connections to can be valuable connections in certain instances. Here’s the classic example: you interview at a firm and find that someone you are talking to went to the same college you did, although at a completely different time. There’s a good chance that they will become an advocate for you in the hiring process. A similar thing can happen on LinkedIn if you make yourself more accessible to connections. In another aspect of this, if you provide the route that someone can reach one of your connections, that person might be grateful to you.
Q: Can we upload our resume in the feature that allows us to upload documents in the “summary” section of the profile?
A: Yes, you certainly could.
Q: How do I stop LinkedIn from sending out incorrect information (e.g., it sends a work anniversary based on last promotion not how long at company)
A: Without seeing a specific example, it’s hard to give a complete response. LinkedIn only sends out notifications based on what you put on your Profile and on your Settings. If a notification went out based on your last promotion, it may be because you have two separate entries for the same company for those different positions, so LinkedIn treats them as different jobs, with different starting dates. If you don’t want those notifications to go out, you may want to check your Settings. This is another place where LinkedIn Help pages might, well, help you.
Q: Background Photos – Do most lawyers use them? How do I determine whether I should use one?
A: It’s a matter of personal preference. We’re generally not big fans of making a decision about whether to do something or not – particularly when it comes to marketing, networking and business development – based on whether “most lawyers” are doing it. All that does is create a situation in which everyone looks the same, and your purpose for using LinkedIn is most likely the opposite – to stand out from the crowd and show others why they should be working with you, connecting with you, or referring business to you. If you have an image that you think makes sense and you like the way it looks, it’s another way your Profile can stand out. You definitely want to do some testing with friends and colleagues to get their reactions.
Q: How do I find my LinkedIn number?
A: This is something that has changed relatively recently on LinkedIn. It used to be that when you viewed your profile, the URL for the page was very long and contained a string “ID=******” The ****** was your member account number and you could get an idea of how long you had been on LinkedIn or how you compared to someone else. Now, the URL for your profile has a number in it that we assume is your member number.
Q: Do attorneys use LinkedIn for searching for expert witnesses for use in their cases?
A: We don’t personally know of any attorneys specifically using LinkedIn for this purpose, but with LinkedIn’s robust search features, it is certainly a tool you could employ for identifying experts. Hint to expert witnesses: mention expert witnessing in your Headline and Summary.
Q: A great plug-in I use for Gmail & Chrome is called Rapportive, which shows LinkedIn profiles in a side bar based on the email addresses in the email. Do either of the presenters recommend any additional plugins or tools that enhance LinkedIn?
A: Neither of us have made much use of plug-ins. Dennis primarily accesses LinkedIn through the mobile app. Your question does bring up an interesting point about the impact of Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn and possible integrations of LinkedIn and Outlook.
Q: What are the advantages to premium accounts and what do you get with a job seeker account?
A: This is a bit beyond the webinar topic of Profiles, and might be the subject of a future presentation or publication, where it can be covered more thoroughly. Briefly, for most lawyers, most of the time, the free LinkedIn account has more than enough functionality. But if you’re looking for a job or seeking to make a large number of connections in a short period of time, you might want to consider a premium or job seeker account, even if it’s only for a few months. Generally, premium accounts give you more search filters, provide additional contact opportunities with more InMail, and provide more information about those who have viewed your profile. Depending on which premium account you purchase, you may be able to post or apply for jobs, and with job seeker accounts you can direct message recruiters and your job application can be featured so it moves to the top of the list. You can get more information about job seeker accounts here: https://www.linkedin.com/premium/products?family=jss. Each account has benefits for certain use cases. If your use case fits a premium account, it might be worth a try. You can get 30-day trials or try the premium account for a short time and then cancel it.
Q: Is volume of connections important? Or quality of connections?
A: This is a bit beyond the scope of this webinar, which focused just on the LinkedIn Profile itself. There are two schools of thought with regard to quality vs. quantity of connections on LinkedIn. We’d refer you to our book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers, for a more in-depth discussion on this topic, or you can look at our recent two part post about connections that appears on our
LinkedIn Profiles. Dennis is more of a quantity advocate than Allison is. There is probably a certain level of quantity that you need to exceed to make LinkedIn interesting. It’s hard to imagine the benefit of LinkedIn if you have only ten connections. The number of contacts in your Outlook or other contacts list is probably a good rule of thumb for you on the quantity that makes sense for you. That said, keeping a high level of quality as you increase quantity is also advisable. It comes back to what job you are hiring LinkedIn to do for you.
Q: Is LinkedIn for One Hour for Lawyers useful for Law Students?
A: Yes! All of the concepts in the book also apply to law students, and we’ve personally done many presentations at law schools helping law students get a jump on their LinkedIn profiles to help them get jobs, internships or externships, or in preparation for their own foray into starting a law practice. For students, who often have a good understanding of how to use LinkedIn’s basic features, it will be the strategy and tactics portions of the book that will provide the most value.
Q: When I request to connect, for example, you and it asks how do I know you? Which one should I pick?
A: Again, this goes beyond the scope of a webinar focused on your LinkedIn Profile and gets into the topic of Connections, which we cover in LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers, but as a general rule, you should pick the one that most accurately describes how you actually know the person you’re trying to connect with, and provides the best chance that your invitation will be accepted. Dennis just uses the “friend” choice and writes a personal message for the invitation. People understand that you have to choose something there. An even better idea – if you use the app, you can send the invitation without making that “how do you know” selection. You do lose the opportunity to personalize the message, but, if you already know someone, it can save you the trouble of going through the selection process.
Q: How specifically can I connect with the “help” personnel at LinkedIn if my present email address is not recognized and I don’t know my password? Is there a phone help line? I set up a LinkedIn account many years ago and then didn’t use it and forgot my password. Now I am at another firm with a different email address and can’t update my profile because the system doesn’t recognize me and I don’t know my password. How can I access the profile to update it? Is there a help line that I can call? Or should I just set up another account?
A: These are good examples of why you should add a secondary email address to your LinkedIn account, particularly if your account is linked to a work email address. Adding the secondary email address ensures that you won’t get locked out of your account if you change jobs and no longer have access to your old email account. You can log in to LinkedIn with any email address associated with your account. If you had a secondary email associated with your account, you could go to the login screen, enter your email address and then click on the Forgot password link to reset your password and gain access to your account. If that doesn’t work or you don’t have a secondary email address associated with your LinkedIn account, LinkedIn has a process to verify your identity to gain access to your Profile. You can go here to start the identity verification process: https://linkedin.netverify.com/v2. If all else fails, you can set up a completely new account, but we wouldn’t recommend that unless you’re absolutely certain that there is no way to access or eliminate the old account – having two accounts in your name with partial information will only serve to cause confusion.
Dennis M. Kennedy