Most lawyers join the LinkedIn network to gain visibility, build their network, demonstrate their expertise, or all of the above.
The more complete your Profile is on LinkedIn, the more likely it is that you will be able to reach those objectives; a more complete Profile will be more likely to be returned in search results, will do a better job of representing you and your 'brand' and demonstrating your expertise, will make it easier to be found, and will make it more likely that potential connections will invite you to connect or accept your invitations to connect.
If your Profile contains only bare bones information, it may be even worse than having no Profile at all.
According to LinkedIn, users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn.
What makes your Profile complete? LinkedIn says that in order to be complete, your Profile should include at least:
- Your current position, with a description
- Your industry and location
- At least two past positions
- Your education
- At least 3 skills
- A profile photo (a must! - look for an upcoming post on this issue)
- At least 50 connections
In addition to what LinkedIn considers complete, I recommend that lawyers complete the Summary section that usually appears above your Experience on your Profile (if it is filled out). (See LinkedIn Tip #4: Supercharge Your Summary), and including any disclaimers which might be required by your jurisdiction.
Disclaimers can be contained either within the body of your Summary or Experience Sections, or in your instructions for how people may contact you through LinkedIn (you can get to these by going to your Communications settings).
You may also want to ensure that your Profile includes the list of courts where you are admitted and/or the jurisdictions where you practice. Advanced users should consider incorporating images, video, presentations and/or documents into their LinkedIn Profiles as well.
Check the Profile Strength Meter (in the right sidebar on your LinkedIn Home page - pictured above) to see how strong and complete your Profile is. If you’re not at “All Star” level yet, keep improving. Use the suggestions LinkedIn provides when you visit your LinkedIn.
To see the specific numerical percentage completeness of your Profile, click on the Jobs link in the top navigation bar on each page and find the “Job Seeker Toolkit.”
For more tips on using LinkedIn, keep following this blog, and look out for the second edition of LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers, due out this Fall.