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Posts Tagged: Lawyers

May 13

Sample Personalized LinkedIn Invitations

As I wrote in When You Can’t Send a Personalized LinkedIn Invitation, the default LinkedIn invitation (“I’d like to add you to my LinkedIn network …”) annoys many legal professionals.  When I spoke at the Chicago Bar Association last week, I shared several templates that lawyers and law students can use to personalize LinkedIn invitations.  Try one of the following templates the next time you connect with someone on LinkedIn.

  • Event: “It was nice meeting you at ______.  I’d love to stay in touch.”  OR “I enjoyed hearing you speak at _____.  I’d love to stay in touch.”
  • Group/Organization: “I am a fellow member of the ____ LinkedIn group and I saw your comments about ____. I’d love to stay in touch so we can talk more about it.”
  • Reconnect: “It’s been a long time since we talked.  I hope you are doing well. How are the kids? I see you are now working at ____ company.  How is that going? Let’s be sure to stay in touch.”
  • Alumni: “I noticed that you are also a __________ alumni.  Perhaps we’ll meet in person at an upcoming alumni event!”
  • Blog/Article: “I recently enjoyed reading your article/post about ____.  I’d love to stay in touch.”
  • Congratulations: “Congratulations on your new position with ____!  I’d love to stay in touch.”

Apr 13

Dos & Don’ts of LinkedIn’s Mention Feature

LinkedIn recently introduced a new feature—mentions—that is similar to tagging connections in a post on Facebook or mentioning someone in a tweet.  I encourage you to view the slides in this post to learn how the feature works.  The feature is not available to all users at this time; according to this tweet from @LinkedInHelp, LinkedIn is “slowly rolling it out to everyone.”

Overall, I think the mentions feature will be effective, but I also think there’s potential for spam.  I’ve outlined several dos and don’ts on how lawyers and law students can use the mentions feature once it’s available.


  • Thank a LinkedIn connection for inviting you to speak or a company for sponsoring the event:
    • I enjoyed speaking at XYZ Symposium yesterday – a big thanks to Sally Smith for inviting me to participate!
    • I enjoyed speaking at XYZ Symposium yesterday – a big thanks to the host sponsors:  Smith Jones LLP, Hunter Thomas LLP and Perkins Cox LLP.
  • Acknowledge your LinkedIn connections who are speaking at an upcoming event:
    • This seminar on salary negotiations looks like a great event for women lawyers – speakers include Sally Smith, Jane Doe and Molly Jones.
    • My colleague, Paul Hunter, is speaking at the HNBA Annual Conference.  If you are attending, he’s speaking on April 1 at 11am.
  • Share a link to an article, post or video that’s by or about one of your connections:
    • Such an important topic for all lawyers – great piece (or interview) by Mike Smith.
    • Congratulations to Tom Moore on his promotion!


  • Don’t share links (especially links to your own content) and mentioning people just so they will see/read the article, post or video. A private message is more appropriate to send this type of content.
    • Sally Smith, Jane Doe and Molly Jones – I think you’ll love this article!
  • Don’t mention LinkedIn connections who are attending an event unless you know (with 100% certainty) they don’t mind your mentioning them.
    • I loved the session on how to find a job in the current legal market and enjoyed visiting with Tom Moore and Mike Smith.
  • Don’t list companies or firms where you’d like to work.
    • I’d love to work at Smith Jones LLP, Hunter Thomas LLP and Perkins Cox LLP.

Dec 12

You Can’t Hide on Facebook

When I speak at law schools, I’m always impressed with the number of students who have removed themselves from Facebook search so that potential employers can’t find the students simply by entering the students’ names in the Facebook search bar.  However, with the privacy changes Facebook introduced earlier this month, Facebook is removing the ability of members to hide themselves from Facebook search.

You may still have the option to hide yourself from Facebook search because the change is being rolled out to members gradually.  However, you should start planning for the change now, and I recommend considering the following:

  1. Does it belong on Facebook? Before posting an update or photo, ask yourself whether the information should be shared on Facebook.  As we’ve been reminded by the recent Randi Zuckerberg photo privacy breach, your information can still be shared by your friends who have access to the information—no matter how private you try to make the information by applying the most stringent privacy settings.  So, before posting anything, ask yourself, “Would I mind if the entire world saw this information?”
  2. Use your privacy settings. The bright side of the recent Facebook privacy changes is that the settings are more user friendly.  Spend 10 minutes today reviewing your settings to make sure your information is protected.
  3. Apply the Office Desk Photo Rule. No matter which privacy settings you choose, your profile picture is public to everyone.  Now, that you can’t hide from a Facebook search, more people will find you and see your profile picture.  It’s even more critical that you choose an appropriate Facebook profile picture.  In my book, I recommend applying the Office Desk Photo Rule when choosing your profile picture:  choose a picture that you would display on your office desk.  The picture can be casual, just not too casual.  Avoid the pictures of you taking shots or posing in a bikini.

Nov 12

LinkedIn’s Work Anniversary Feature

A few weeks ago, I noticed the “work anniversary” of one of my contacts in my LinkedIn news feed.

The work anniversary feature is yet another way to use LinkedIn to keep in touch with your network and remain visible—-especially if you don’t actively share content on LinkedIn.  When you “like” or comment on the work anniversary update, your contact is notified so you are able to remain on that contact’s radar.

LinkedIn makes it easy to sort updates to find the work anniversary notices:

  1. From your LinkedIn home page, place your mouse on the All Updates drop down menu and select Jobs.

  2. Scroll through the news feed with updates related to your contacts’ jobs until you see work anniversary updates.  Note:  other job related updates include endorsements, job postings, and your contacts’ new jobs or titles.
  3. Like or comment on the update!

Sep 12

Hide Your Job Search from Your Employer on LinkedIn

The Contact Preferences section on LinkedIn (where you indicate why you want someone to contact you) troubles many attorneys because they don’t want to state that they are interested in “career opportunities” or “job inquiries” if they are currently employed.  The attorneys are concerned that their employers will see that they are looking for a new job.

A new site,, recently launched with the purpose of hiding a job seeker’s job search preferences from the job seeker’s employer but sharing the job seeker’s preferences with recruiters.  Here’s how it works:

  • Job seekers would not list “career opportunities” or “job inquiries” as their Contact Preferences on LinkedIn; rather they would use to convey their job search status to recruiters.
  • Third party recruiters and job seekers create an account on which syncs to their LinkedIn accounts.
  • Recruiters must log in using a company email address (and this email address must match the primary email account on their LinkedIn profile).
  • screens the recruiters who join, and the recruiters must agree to a strict code of conduct.
  • Job seekers choose one of four options as their job search status:
    • Actively networking
    • Passively networking
    • Not networking (but open to seeing the market)
    • Not networking (do not contact)
  • Job seekers enter guidelines for recruiters, such as desired salary.
  • Job seekers can indicate the domain name of companies they don’t want to see their job search status (e.g. domain name of current employer).
  • When recruiters perform a search on LinkedIn to look for people with certain requirements, the job seekers using HireSignals will appear with a shaded background in one of four colors.  The four colors correspond to the job seeker’s status and can alert that the job seeker is looking for opportunities even though his LinkedIn Contact Preferences does not list “career opportunities.”
  • Recruiters can then see the job seeker’s salary and other guidelines and contact the job seeker through the LinkedIn platform.
  • Click here to view a short video that walks you through using HireSignals.

I’ve signed up for a HireSignals account and am waiting for approval.  I like the purpose behind the site because I think most attorney job seekers are concerned about their current employer learning of their job search.  Any platform that helps to preserve confidentiality is a step in the right direction.

In addition to using HireSignals, here are my other two recommendations to job seekers who are employed and don’t want their employers to learn they are looking:

  1. Turn off activity broadcasts so your employer and others do not see when you connect to recruiters on LinkedIn. Go to Settings, Turn on/off activity broadcast, and make sure the box is unchecked.
  2. Hide your connections. Go to Settings, Select who can see your connections, and select Only You.  By hiding your connections, your prevent your employer from being able to go to your page to see how many recruiters are among your connections.

Thus, by using HireSignals, turning off activity broadcasts and hiding your connections, you can conduct your job search without the fear that your employer will learn that you are looking.

Jul 12

Jackalope Jobs: Essential Tool for Job-Seeking Law Students & Lawyers

A new website, Jackalope Jobs, combines certain features of LinkedIn, BranchOut and Indeed to allow job seekers to simultaneously search for jobs and their social connections who work at the hiring companies.

You log into Jackalope Jobs with either LinkedIn or Facebook, thus all of your LinkedIn or Facebook connections sync with the site.  Then, you search for jobs by keywords and location—e.g., “lawyer OR counsel” and “Dallas, TX.”  Like Indeed, Jackalope Jobs aggregates job postings from various sites.   Like LinkedIn and BranchOut, Jackalope Jobs identifies your social connections (on LinkedIn or Facebook) who work at the company that is hiring or previously worked at the company.  Depending on how well you know your connection, you may want to ask that connection for more information about the company or position.

Bottom line:  Jackalope Jobs saves you the time of having to go to LinkedIn and search for who you know at the firm or company that is hiring; rather, the site identifies the jobs and your connections simultaneously … brilliant!

Apr 12

Job-Seeking Lawyers/Law Students: Follow #NALP12

The National Association for Law Placement (NALP) is hosting its Annual Education Conference this week in Austin, Texas.  There is a Twitter hashtag, #NALP12, that anyone may follow to receive updates from or about the conference.  I highly recommend that job-seeking lawyers and law students follow this hashtag for the following reasons:

  1. Meet the players. Many law firm recruiting/hiring contacts will appear in the #NALP12 Twitter stream as they tweet from the conference.  By following #NALP12, you can identify these contacts and follow up with questions or comments.  Don’t ask them for a job immediately; but, get to know them and what their firms have to offer.  Begin to build relationships with them.
  2. Raise your profile. If you tweet thoughtful questions in response to the #NALP12 tweets, attendees at the conference will notice you.  Perhaps the panelists/speakers will even monitor the tweets for their sessions and respond to your questions during the sessions.
  3. Receive job search tips and market intelligence. The substantive content of the sessions is incredible for job-seekers.   You have the opportunity to receive job search tips and market intelligence directly from the employers making hiring decisions.  Keep your eyes open for tweets from the following sessions:
  • “Rocket Docketeers” – Judicial Clerkships for the IP Student
  • Alternative Careers:  The Upside Down Pyramid
  • Assessment Tools and Innovative Interview Techniques:  What Are They and How Are They Used?
  • Beyond the Beltway:  Opportunities in Federal, State and Local Government
  • Landing a Job with the United Nations
  • Launching an Immigration Law Career at the Courthouse
  • Navigating U.S. Bar Exam Requirements for Foreign Trained Lawyers
  • NALP Update on the Legal Employment Market
  • Understanding the Current Legal Economy
  • Skills-Based Hiring for Effective Post-Recession Lateral Associate Recruitment
  • Careers in the Military

Mar 12

Job Hopping: Turn A High Number to Your Advantage (#SXSWi 2012)

The SXSW session on job hopping, Job Hopping: Turn A High Number to Your Advantage, offered some interesting facts about job hopping:

  • As a general rule, 18 months is the magic timeframe – you must stay in a job longer than 18 months to avoid the label of job hopper.
  • However, the larger the company, the longer the magic timeframe.  Many larger companies view 3 years as the minimum amount of time you must stay in a job to avoid the label of job hopper.

Since the legal profession is not as forgiving of job hopping, many ideas shared in this session regarding overcoming the job hopping stigma would not work for lawyers.  However, I managed to find three takeaways for lawyers who have job hopped:

  1. Timebox your achievements. You resume should timebox your achievements in a particular position–quantify what you did in a specific timeframe to illustrate your accomplishments in a short period of time.  For example, “In my first 60 days at Miller Smith, LLP, I drafted a motion for summary judgment regarding ____  issue, argued the motion and obtained  ____ for my client. “
  2. Don’t say, “I was recruited away.” If you left a job to take a new job that a recruiter brought to your attention, don’t say that you were “recruited away.”  Recruited away is a red flag that you took a new position for more money.  Instead, discuss the challenges and opportunities that you are seeking and would make you stay in a position for the long term.
  3. You need outstanding references. Choose your references wisely.  If you left a position because of a bad experience, choose former colleagues who have first-hand knowledge of your experience and can speak about it.  Consider your mentors as well — especially if they have mentored you over a long period of time and witnessed your various career moves.

Feb 12

Evaluate LinkedIn Groups with Statistics Dashboards

LinkedIn added a statistics dashboard to each LinkedIn group in November 2011.  The dashboards show the demographics, growth and activity of a group.  Since you can only join 50 groups, job seekers should evaluate the statistics dashboard for a group to determine if a group is worth joining.  Specifically, job seekers should evaluate the following:

  1. Seniority. Is the group comprised of partners or senior level attorneys who are likely the decision makers with respect to hiring decisions?  Or, is the group comprised of entry-level associates?
  2. Jobs. How many jobs were recently posted in the group?
  3. Comments. How many comments were left in the past week?  A group with low comments is probably not very interactive.
  4. Location. If you are looking for a job in Dallas and 90% of the attorneys in a group are in New York, you may want to consider how effective that group will be in your job search.

To access the statistics dashboard, go to the home page for the group you are contemplating joining.  The dashboard is on the far right side of the page, below the “About this Group” section as shown below.

Dec 11

I ♥ Flipboard!

I received an iPad for Christmas and immediately fell in love with the Flipboard app.  The app, also available for iPhones (as of Dec. 2011), aggregates all web links shared by your contacts on various social networking sites and displays the content in magazine-like format, as shown below.   You flip through the pages of content by sliding your finger across the screen.

Now, I prefer reading social networking updates on Flipboard rather than each social networking site or app for the following reasons:

  1. Scan updates. Flipboard displays enough content for each web link so you can determine if the link is worth reading (or saving to read later – see #2).  If you touch the screen and slide your finger across, you flip to the next page of updates.  The magazine-like display and touch to flip function allow you to quickly scan the information shared by your networks rather than scrolling down pages to read updates and clicking on links.
  2. Save and read later. The Flipboard app syncs with Instapaper and Read It Later.  Choose one for your Flipboard account (you can create either account for free) and you can save links to read later.
  3. Comment, like or share. Finally, you can interact on your social networking sites from the Flipboard app.  If you enjoyed an article shared on Facebook, you can “like” the link.  You can also comment or share links.