Personal Branding

Enhancing Your Online Presence Q&A

Mark Weber
Employer choosing employee sticking out from a crowd.

Employer choosing employee sticking out from a crowd.

Mark Weber (mweber@law.harvard.edu) is Assistant Dean for Career Services at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Mass. This article is a follow-up to our webinar, “How to Enhance Your Online Presence." Watch the video here.

What is the best way/place to share your bar memberships on your LinkedIn profile?

The best spot to include bar admissions on your LinkedIn profile is in the “Summary.” Many LinkedIn users don’t take the time to create a summary, but it is arguably the most important part of your profile given its prominence on the page. The Summary is a great place to include “buzz words” that recruiters might search for (such as practice area or industries) in a profile and also any information you want known but cannot fit elsewhere. Generally, summaries read like a bio one might use on a firm website.

Is it better to use your own name as your brand or use something that identifies your expertise? For instance is it better to be @tomsmith or @patentguy? Is there any evidence on this one way or another?

The answer is really that it will depend. If your name is likely to be misspelled or confused with others that can be an issue. Similarly, if your specialty or expertise is something that could be confused, then that can be a problem (“was it @employmentlawyer or @laborlawyer?”). The most important thing is to choose one and use it consistently in all of your social media interactions. There are websites, like Namechekr.com, that allow you to search for your desired username/handle and see if it is available on numerous social media sites.

In regards to LinkedIn ‐ should a job seeker post that they are actively looking (if they can while not jeopardizing current position)?

This one is a bit controversial. Some will say to make the most of LinkedIn, users should make it clear they are seeking new opportunities. However, there are also many recruiters who won’t source positions with those who list “in transition” or “seeking opportunities”, particularly in the Headline on LinkedIn. Most will agree to not mention unemployment in the Headline because many times recruiters skim only headlines and can view “seeking opportunities” as desperate. The best advice for job seekers is to make sure your profile is full and robust. Try using job descriptions for the positions you are targeting to complete your own profile by making sure key words from those descriptions are included in your profile.

All the discussions re: building relationships and becoming popular are upbeat, but how does an experienced attorney showcase special talents and skills on social media in order to attract attention, primarily from potentially high fee paying clients (as distinguished from the low end bargain hunting clients who may happen to share her personal and social interests)?

While it’s impossible to hit only the clients one wants with social media, the overall feel and substance of one’s social media content can help signal to prospective clients that one’s services are not a bargain. Be thoughtful about who you follow on Twitter, for example, and whose posts and content you share across social media. Find your ideal client on Twitter and see who he or she follows and what he or she retweets or posts. Do the same for other attorneys you regard highly. When posting original content, focus on complex issues that really show your expertise and talents and avoid fluff and filler. By being thoughtful about your personal brand across social media, you should be able to attract your desired clientele.