Kevin OKeefe, CEO of LexBlog, social media expert and blogger at Real Lawyers Have Blogs has posted a terrific article, Law students using LinkedIn: Its a no brainer. It is a must read for all legal professionals, including paralegals and paralegal students. Im 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. OKeefes 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. OKeefe, 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. Its 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.
Its 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, youre happily greeting some friends.)
Heres a motivational quote from Mr. OKeefe 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.