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How to increase your chance of being headhunted for a legal job
Most job seekers rely on their own CV writing efforts to gain employment, which is completely understandable – it’s how things have been done for years. The usual process is responding to a job advert either online through a recruitment agency, or walking into the premises and personally handing over a CV. The latter is a popular method for retail employment and administrative legal jobs, rather than fee earning positions. But is there another method of gaining employment?
Headhunting is not something most job seekers consider, but it is a viable route to full time employment and an exciting career, particularly in the legal sector. But how do you make prospective employers know you are available?
Here are 3 of the best methods to increase your chances of being headhunted for a job.
Think past your legal CV : immerse yourself in your career
If you want to stand a chance of being headhunted you need to immerse yourself in your chosen career. You have to live, eat, sleep, and breathe your profession. It’s the only way you can stand out and make yourself known to the industry.
From an employer’s perspective, headhunting is a fantastic way of narrowing down the field and saving a lot of time on expensive recruitment processes. But they are only going to look for and choose the very best in the industry. The employer will class ‘the best’ as someone who immerses themselves in their career, and clearly shows it.
There are various ways to do this in the legal industry such as:
- Creating your own legal blog – see Venables’ list of blogs for inspiration
- Providing legal commentary for other blogs and publications
- Attending legal events (and/or speaking at them, if you are at this stage)
- Sharing and commenting on legal matters on social media
- Joining a reference group and assisting with new legal developments
- Providing feedback on changes in the law, for example to Law Commission Consultations
Connect with social media
If you’re going to be head hunted anywhere, it’s going to be online. It may be possible that an employer hears about you from a friend or acquaintance, but in most cases, making your presence known online is the way to go if you want to be found.
Connecting with other like-minded individuals and industry professionals through social media is a proven way of creating more opportunities. Not only are you more likely to be headhunted, you are also going to open doors and reveal more avenues for career progression. You may hear about a new job through social media or even be recommended by someone.
Keep up to date with your industry and share and comment on the latest news, markets and trends. Immersing yourself in a career is all about contributing to it. That can be done very quickly and easily online through the right channels.
Without some kind of online profile you are going to be dramatically reducing your chances of being headhunted. And although you shouldn’t completely rely on this method and forget all about your CV, creating more roads to travel on is far better than sticking with just one.
Create a comprehensive LinkedIn profile to complement your legal CV
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are recognised platforms for connecting and sharing with other professionals. However, LinkedIn is considered the number one site for legal professionals to connect and create an online portfolio.
LinkedIn has been specifically designed to allow anyone to connect, share, comment, like, dislike, contribute, and much more. This social media platform is widely recognised by employers as a digital CV that offers another dimension to the traditional paper CV.
One of the first places a legal practice will go when searching for a potential hire is LinkedIn. So if you want to give serious consideration to the possibility of being headhunted, this is the place to start. However, you must realise that you cannot take a half-hearted approach when creating your profile. The more time you put into your profile the more likely you are to be recognised.
A comprehensive LinkedIn profile that clearly demonstrates your talents and knowledge in the industry is a must. Anything less will give off the wrong impression and no employer will take you seriously. As a matter of fact, most employers will actually search for you online when they receive your CV. They are always keen to find out as much as they can before they consider who makes it through to the interview stage.
In addition to creating opportunities, a LinkedIn profile can also be referred to on your legal CV. So if you have created and continue to maintain a comprehensive profile, you can add this to your CV and increase your chances of success further.