Do you cringe every time you hear about LinkedIn? I used to too until I began to learn how I could use it as a law student. Yes, having a LinkedIn profile is important for professionalism purposes, but I believe it’s much more than that. It’s a tool I use to hone different skills, but I also use it to deeply connect with other like-minded people, both in and out of the legal profession.
The best thing is that there’s no one “right” way to use LinkedIn, which leaves great room for creativity. You surely don’t have to be robotic and only talk about law school or only engage with attorneys. Don’t be afraid to show your personality and interests either. The rest of this post will give you specific ideas on how you can get started on LinkedIn:
1. To create
Share something you created and why someone would find it valuable. This can be anything from a journal note, to a podcast, or a graphic design you created. Everything you share on LinkedIn does not have to be related to law just because you’re in law school. You were a whole human with a personality and different interests before school, so don’t hide those aspects from the world.
2. To anticipate
Share something you’re looking forward to and why. This could be continuing a project you’ve been on, a new position or internship, or a trend in a specific industry you’re interested in exploring. This helps those in your network see where your head is at and allows them to share any similar experiences they may have.
3. To reflect
Share something from the past, whether it was 2 days ago or 20 years ago. You can talk about what you learned from that situation, why it’s meaningful to you, or how it’s helped you on your journey so far. Don’t be afraid to invite people to reflect as well.
4. To appreciate
Share something you’re thankful for and why. It could be an event you attended, a mentor, or an experience you had that made a special impact on you. This is a great place to use hashtags (but no more than 3) and add pictures or videos.
5. To celebrate
Share something you’re proud of and why. This could be a new opportunity, a breakthrough, a position, or even one of your peers or classmates. I know most of us see many “I’d like to announce” posts, but celebrating an accomplishment goes past this. I’m guilty of making those posts too, but I’ve found that sharing a piece of advice and thanking someone who helped you accomplish that goal makes the post sound less boastful.
6. To engage
Share something you’ve learned, find insightful, or that interests you and why. Tag others or ask a question to spark a conversation around the topic. Don’t be afraid to include a link to an article that sparked your insight and quote the portion that most resonated with you. Engagement is especially high for topics that directly concern individuals in your network who are involved in that type of work.
7. To learn
LinkedIn has a wealth of knowledge that many people miss out on. LinkedIn Learning is literally a course platform within the app that has topics on everything from photography to creative writing.
You can also join groups more specific to an industry, affinity group, or program. These groups usually include more directed information and resources for their members. Furthermore, LinkedIn has a great search function where you can search for specific content using keywords. This search helps me to see the content people are posting about the topic, which I then learn from in preparation for an event or interview. Sometimes I take a step further and reach out to the individual if I want to learn more about the information they posted.
Lastly, LinkedIn also has a news portion usually related to business and current events. You can read through this news on the right side of your screen for more insight into what industry professionals are saying about certain trends and events.
See, don’t you feel more equipped to use LinkedIn? It’s a really great resource, and you should take full advantage of it as a law student. You have access to people that you may not have access to after graduation, so don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.
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