In the legal industry, having a distinct personal brand has become increasingly popular in recent years. In addition to increasing your chances of being contacted (and hired!) by law firms and recruiters, a compelling personal brand can enhance your competitive advantage and establish your professional reputation.
While many legal professionals want to create or maintain their brand, busy schedules and other obligations may prevent them from taking on another project. The good news is that with some time, consistency, and a strategic approach, nurturing your brand is both doable and incredibly rewarding.
What is a personal brand?
Simply put, a personal brand is your unique way of promoting yourself professionally. Ideally, your brand should accurately represent your career aspirations by highlighting your skills and personality in the best possible light. When building your brand, remember that people do not hire law firms – they hire people!
Did you know that your LinkedIn profile is one of the most essential tools for building your brand presence? A solid online, professional presence can set you apart from the competition by creating a strong first impression with a recruiter or hiring manager. Below, we asked our Private Sector Legal Team to share their tips and tricks for building a personal brand.
8 tips to stand out on LinkedIn
1) Invest extra time in your Summary section by summarizing your expertise and sharing insights into your personality.
2) Outline the type of law you have experience in – if you have limited experience, indicate which areas of law you would like to expand your knowledge.
3) Be sure to mention your file handling expertise in your skills and experience section.
4) Use a specific headline, like Real Estate Law Clerk instead of Law Clerk so that recrutiers can easily find you.
5) Ask your current or previous employer, colleagues, professors, etc., for endorsements.
6) Include a comprehensive list of special projects, awards, and volunteer work.
7) Attend networking events and share your successes as part of your unique story and identity.
8) Include a specific call-to-action in your Summary section to encourage users to contact you. For example, “email me” or “call me.”
You might be surprised to learn that many organizations (including law firms!) prefer to hire different personalities to create a more dynamic and diverse team. By tweaking your LinkedIn to reflect your personality, you will increase your chances of getting contacted by recruiters and hiring managers.
Use Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as an opportunity to post on social media
As you attend CPD programs throughout your professional career, we highly recommend posting to social media, as this is an excellent opportunity to share key learnings about various areas of law, such as real estate, human rights, civil litigation, and much more. Through these transformative learning experiences, engaging with others in your field will enable you to share your passion for the law and establish yourself as a thought leader in your field. Pro tip: for maximum engagement, LinkedIn recommends using between 3-5 hashtags per post.
Network as often as possible
Another fantastic strategy for building your brand is to network both in person and virtually. Talking to like-minded professionals can provide you with valuable information about the legal industry and open doors for new opportunities both immediately and in the future. Plus, the more connections you make, the more likely your personal brand will be recognized. Pro tip: did you know that the Law Society of Ontario regularly posts virtual and in-person events?
When networking, remember that authenticity is an essential part of your unique story and identity – every organization (including law firms!) prefers to hire various types of personalities, as this helps to build a dynamic and diverse team.
Building a compelling personal brand isn’t easy. It takes time and a strategic approach to craft the things that define you. The payoff, however, is clear – the better your ability to communicate your unique qualities, the greater your chances of getting hired by your dream firm and advancing in your career.
Thank you to our contributor Kenny Alfonso, Recruitment Consultant.