Saturday, April 11, 2009

Paralegal Students “Using LinkedIn: It’s a No Brainer”

Kevin O’Keefe, CEO of LexBlog, social media expert and blogger at Real Lawyers Have Blogs has posted a terrific article, “Law students using LinkedIn: It’s a no brainer”. It is a must read for all legal professionals, including paralegals and paralegal students. I’m always surprised when I unsuccessfully try to look up colleagues on LinkedIn, even if it's only to congratulate them for achievements I read about in the news. I wonder why everyone is not using this free and effective form of networking.

I recently blogged about creating your virtual resume on LinkedIn, but I love Mr. O’Keefe’s term “live resume”. It makes me think of a LinkedIn profile as a dynamic, charismatic and intelligent being that invites interaction, second looks, and most important, professional invitations and recommendations.

Like Mr. O’Keefe, I check to see if applicants are using LinkedIn. Not only does it demonstrate the ability to network, but it also demonstrates knowledge of current social media technology, which is crucial to market yourself or your employer. To tell the truth, I look up almost everyone on LinkedIn who contacts me professionally. It’s a quick way to get to know people much better, and in a few cases, has helped me steer clear of individuals with questionable credentials.

It’s a “no brainer” to use LinkedIn because you can:
  • Create an easily updated online resume (include the link on your print resume)
  • Connect with other professionals (and have a convenient online rolodex).
  • Obtain recommendations (get them from instructors before you graduate).
  • Join groups of professionals who can answer questions.
  • Network (and then actually know some people before you go to conferences. Instead of introducing yourself to many strangers, you’re happily greeting some friends.)

Here’s a motivational quote from Mr. O’Keefe to hang over your computer: “I'm looking for innovative go-getters. PhD's as I call them. Folks that are poor, hungry, and driven.”

Paralegals and paralegal students, educate yourself regarding internet networking and use it - starting now.

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Previous Practical Paralegalism posts about Internet networking:
LinkedIn Profile: Maximize Your Virtual Presence and Making the Case for Internet Networking Sites: LinkedIn and Facebook

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing my post with your readers Lynne. Seeing that you think I'm inspiring a few folks has got me fired to post to my blog a little more often.

    You've got a great blog - wonderful inspiration and inforamtion for paralegals.

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  2. Thank you for the "blogograph" -- it's my newbie blogger hobby, to get a comment from the subject(s) of my blogs. :) You've taken blogging and legal marketing to a whole new level, so this is a bit like a good review from Roger Ebert!

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  3. I'm glad to have seen this post - I've had a LinkedIn profile for a couple of years, but I haven't connected with anyone (much less completed my profile).

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  4. Nichole, using LinkedIn really is a "no brainer", plus you never know when you might need it. It's a great way to get recommended while people still remember you. I actually use it for many purposes, none of which are a job search at this time in my life (I've been at the same job for 14 years). You can practice by inviting me to connect. ;)

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  5. Lynne as always you are a great source of information and I love sending your info to my students.

    Lana

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  6. Thanks for the positive feedback, Lana. I think you do a great job of utilizing social media yourself! Your students are very lucky.

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