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4 Things Legal Recruiters Look For On Your LinkedIn Profile

A specialist legal recruiter can put you in front of dream opportunities. This is especially true for niche and more senior roles because there are legal teams who prefer not to advertise their vacancies. Some organisations cannot do it for political reasons, for example government companies in the UAE who are under public pressure to rely on local talent.

Recruiters are paid by employers, so it is in their direct interest to find the best qualified candidate for the role. You may well be that person, but in order to get noticed, you have to show that you meet the qualification requirements for such roles.

Here are four things legal recruiters are looking at on your LinkedIn profile:

Headline

The Headline on LinkedIn is the description of you as a professional that accompanies your name on the list of search results when recruiters look for candidates on LinkedIn.

By default the Headline is set to your current job title including company name, for example “Legal Counsel at Aveng”. This is the first piece of information that determines whether or not recruiters will look into your profile.

What you can do

Make it as specialist as possible. When legal recruiters look for candidates on LinkedIn, they usually look for niche specialisms and for the right geographic experience. So for example you could write “Renewable Energy Project Lawyer Middle East and Africa” and the LinkedIn will add “at Aveng” – which is good to keep as niche legal recruiters will know their target companies they want to take candidates from.

Summary

The LinkedIn profile summary visible by default is currently limited to 300 characters which is approximately three lines of text. Its function is to succinctly inform a potential employer or recruiter on your key skills and experience.

What you can do

Open a new Word document and describe your core skills and accomplishments that your target employer will find of highest value. Include industry keywords e.g. FIDIC, NEC3, project finance, GDPR, CIPP, IAPP etc. Recruiters use keywords to search for specialists. Do not worry about the word count for now. Once you have listed them all, go through the text and reduce the copy to 300 symbols (including spaces). You can and should write more than that – but that information will only be visible if the reader clicks on “Show More”, so it’s important to capture their attention in the first three lines.

Experience

Legal recruiters want to know that you have experience with the tasks and projects of the role they are handling.

What you can do

Detail the projects your worked on and your responsibilities. If it is not confidential, include clients, names of projects and numbers. Make sure to keep using keywords. Apart from convincing the recruiter that you are the right person for the role, the keywords will take your profile right to the top of search results for your specialisms.

Recommendations

Recommendations on LinkedIn are important but not critical. Recruiters know that busy professionals do not need to collect endorsements. However there is an important role the recommendations can play, and that is to depict you as a likeable colleague who is great to work with. This is something you can’t write yourself really but your good friends at work and happy past or current managers will do a good job at.

What you can do

Ask your current and past contacts if they would be willing to write a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile (it is quick and easy to do it via messages on LinkedIn – first ask informally and then click on “Request recommendation”). If you have a good relationship with them, people are usually more than willing to do that.

Once you rework your LinkedIn profile following these suggestions, you should notice an increase in attention from legal recruiters with unadvertised opportunities suited to your skills and experience.