5 personal branding tips for lawyers that aren’t rocket science

To stand out in the increasingly competitive legal jobs market means that you need to be different, or at the very least present what can be viewed as the same, differently. That means knowing what you are about and understanding how what you have to offer will give you the edge.

Sounds simple enough, right? Actually yes, it is – providing you know how best to maximise your stock.

  1. Tailoring your personal brand to ‘fit’ the firm you wish to join

Personal branding has to be flexible. You cannot afford to be a ‘one skillset fits all’ candidate in this legal market. The best candidates align their personal brand to their prospective employer; they research the culture of the firm, they understand the requirements of the role and they accentuate their skills that best suit that job.

It’s about flexing your skillset to demonstrate that you have got what it takes and demonstrating that you have an active interest in the current legal landscape, the key changes taking place and the challenges facing the industry.

More important is having an opinion on all these things and it is this proactive and informed approach that will set you apart from the 1000’s of graduates and lawyers seeking out their next role.

  1. Perfecting your presentation

We’re not talking about the way you dress, which is of course important; as the saying goes – Dress for the role you want, not the one you have. Twitter and LinkedIn can provide lawyers with a great way to promote ‘brand me’.

By posting content that is interesting, relevant and valuable across your social media profiles position you as having your finger in the pulse of what is happening in your field. Perhaps the most effective way to build your profile is by writing too.

Indeed, as we said in this article a few months ago, lawyer-authored blogs and LinkedIn articles are read just as often as those written by industry journalists in the likes of The Law Society Gazette or Legal Week. So if you truly know your stuff, write about it!

  1. Monitoring your digital footprint

Always be mindful that you have a digital footprint – anything you put out there can potentially come back to a prospective employer. We’re not saying don’t show your personality or don’t have a personal life; quite the contrary, being you is your differentiator – just be mindful of what you post when you post it!

Remember, you wouldn’t want a prospective employer to know about it, simply don’t put it out there! Your personal brand can be elevated or destroyed by social media in just few posts.

  1. Turning to specialist legal recruiters to brand you in the right way

We recognise that creating a brand and presenting someone in the best light possible is key to cut through the hundreds of CV’s reaching the desks of law firms each day. But we have to be honest and ensure that credibility is maintained both for the candidate and for us too.

As both Solicitors ourselves and recruiters we understand our overriding duty to the legal profession. There is no doubt that individual brands come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, we are here to guide and advise the merits and of course the dangers/issues that may arise in ‘brand me’.

Of course, whether you chose to heed our advice is up to you. But the key is that you understand the potential consequences of the brand you are creating, both positive and less so. Remember, you are a personal brand and you are your best and worst PR.

Holding fire before clicking ‘Send’

There is no doubt that many lawyers have died by the sword of social media when seeking a new job opportunity, and the key is to educate practitioners on what the potential impact what they post online could be for their personal brand.

Law firms’ first port of call – rightly or wrongly – is often Facebook. Culture and fit matters, consequently if what they see on Facebook or any other social media platform doesn’t ‘fit’ then the brightest of candidates may fall at this junction.

These same individuals often comment on the behaviour of Big Brother and Love Island contestants, social media is no different; it’s there for the masses to see and to draw their own conclusions.