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Social Media Resumes For Lawyers

Whether you are a new attorney just starting to look for a job or whether you’re a seasoned pro getting ready to launch an all out campaign to raise your digital profile, you need a website with your marketing name on it as your base camp.

If you’re job hunting, this site is the perfect place to plant your resume.  I describe the process in detail below.

Later, you can consolidate the pages you created for your resume site to one “about” page, and start building up your digital content with the rest of your site.

Why set up a site dedicated to a resume only?  A couple of reasons come immediately to mind.

First, you need to acquire a domain name with your professional name now, while it’s available, and start “seasoning” the name.  “Seasoning” is using the name in connection with content related to the name over a period of time to signal to the search engines that you’re not putting up a fly by night spam site.  Think “fine wine.”

Later, when you want to start building your professional online reputation as a thought leader, the search engines will already “trust” your site because it’s been around for a period of time with content that makes sense with the domain name.

Second, it is much easier to share your resume through social networking web platforms if you have a link, rather than a pdf of your usual written resume.

So, how do you get started?  Read on.

Picking a Domain Name

The first thing you want to do is pick and register a domain name.  I highly recommend Go Daddy for domain name registration.  They are rock solid and their administrative interface is pretty intuitive.  Most importantly, they have excellent – and patient – support staff.

I also recommend that you set up your email accounts with Go Daddy or Google Apps for Business.

For your domain name, you must, must, must register your professional name.  For instance, I own www.tracythrowerconyers.com.  I also own www.tracytc.com, which I use for more casual projects (a personal blog).  You can own other domain names and point them to this same site, but for purposes of starting to build your digital reputation with the search engines, use your professional name as the primary domain name on your primary site.

What if your personal name isn’t available to register?  Google your name and find out who else has the same name and what they are doing with it.  If you have a common name or somebody else just happens to have your same name, you’re going to have to take extra steps to set yourself apart on the web so your intended audience doesn’t confuse you with that “other” person.

As alternative domain names, consider something with “esq” or “attorney” on the end.  You definitely want the .com version of your chosen name and you want the name to make sense to your audience.  Contact me, if you want help choosing an alternative name.

Do not choose nicknames, if your professional audience doesn’t know you by that nickname.  Conversely, don’t use a formal name, if your audience only knows your by your nickname and you don’t intend to “re-brand” yourself to that formal name.

Setting Up Email

Once you register your domain name, set up an email address that is firstname@yourdomainname.com.  This is going to be your professional networking and reputation building email of choice, and you’ll look way more pulled together than the gmail attorneys out there (don’t even get me started on the Yahoo! and Hotmail attorneys).

The support team at Go Daddy is very helpful and they can help you set up your email address.  It’s a little more complicated when you are keeping email with Go Daddy and pointing the domain name to another host, which is what I’m going to recommend below, so get the support team at Go Daddy involved.

Setting Up Your Website – Choosing A Host

I highly, highly, highly recommend that you set up your site at WordPress.com (“WP.com”).  This is a completely free place to set up a site and the functionality you get for the price is not to be believed.  I have four sites set up on that platform:  PluggedInLawyer.com, AttorneysOnTheMove.com, TracyTC.com and TracyThrowerConyers.com (my resume site).

WP.com sites allow you to do almost anything you can do on other sites where you pay somebody to host the site, with the exception being that you can’t set up your WP.com sites to make money (ie, you can’t include pay-per-click advertising).  This makes them perfect for resume sites.

Another beautiful thing about WP.com is that the founders treat the platform as a labor of love and “giving back.”  They are on a mission to bring web publishing to the masses and have added all kinds of functionality in an easy to use way that we used to have to pay expensive programmers to create not that many years ago.

The instructions below assume that you are using WP.com.

Setting Up Your Website – The Backend

Let me start by saying the guys at WP.com have made website creation braindead simple.  I figured it out and you can, too.  It’s almost as simple as using wordprocessing software.  I outlined a long laundry list of helpful training videos for setting up these sites in WordPress Sites So Easy That Even A Lawyer Can Set Them Up.

Don’t stress over design.  Start with one theme to work with to get your content up and running.  Then WP.com has 150 other designs that you can “try on” with the preview button on the themes page, once you have content to better help you visualize the right look for your resume.

I created my resume site using the Manifest theme.  I liked it because it’s very clean and keeps the visitor focused on the information I want them focused on.  Other themes that you can start with are Comet, Structure, Grid Focus, Rusty Grunge, Quintus, Piano Black, Pilcrow, Twenty Ten and Twenty Eleven.  All of these themes are clean and elegant for lawyer resumes.

In addition to the training videos in the post I referenced above, let me say a couple of words about settings in the backend that will have you up and running with a resume site in a matter of hours.

On the General Settings page, definitely upload a “Blog Picture/Icon.”  Ideally this is a version of your professional headshot that you upload on your welcome page.  This photo appears in lots of cool places, including the internet browser tab.  The site title should be your professional name.  You can play around with potential taglines.  Not all theme designs support a tagline.

Be sure and set up the Sharing Settings.  These settings allow visitors to print pages on your site, email pages and share pages through their networks.  Make it easy for somebody to recommend you.

These are the most important settings for our simple resume site.

Setting Up Your Website – Pages

As you can see from my resume site, I set up five pages – a welcome page, a CV page, a personal page, a writing samples page and a contact me page.  Actually you can’t tell as a casual observer, but I set up the welcome page and chose to have that page as my “static home page.”  Set up your own welcome page and define it as the static front page display under the Reading Settings (on the menu at the left, toward the bottom).  The page has to be set up before you can elect to make it your static front page.

I highly recommend that you include a photo on your welcome page.  The web is less formal than typical written lawyer resumes.  Website visitors connect with photos and appreciate that they aren’t looking at a page full of text.

Also in keeping with the less formal nature of the web, I chose to add a personal page.  I didn’t put much on this page, and a visitor doesn’t have to click on that page, if s/he isn’t interested.

Regarding your writing samples, if you want to keep these private for any reason, you have the ability to set up any page as a password-protected page.  On the page where you draft your content, there is a visibility option in the upper right-hand area (near the “publish” button).  You can choose the password-protected visibility option.

You can also put up a school transcripts page and keep it password-protected, also.  I didn’t add this to my site because I don’t get many people asking for my transcripts since I stopped practicing law.

I also put up a contact page.  I’m leery about posting my personal contact information on the web, so I am using a web contact form.  Submissions through the form come right to my email inbox and my email address is not shared with people I don’t know.

To set up this contact form, open a “New Page,” give your page a title and then underneath the title box and the permalink address, you’ll find a row of icons next to the words “upload/insert.”  Click on the last icon (“custom form”).  The form builder is very straightforward.

Take a second and click on the “email notifications” tab at the top of the formbuilder.  There you can define the subject line for the form submissions when they come to your email inbox.  Be sure and define something that will catch your eye.  =)

On your CV page, simply paste your written resume there.  Preview the page to make sure you didn’t bring over any funky formatting.  I clipboarded my resume from LinkedIn and it looked fine with a little formatting clean-up.

Attaching Your Domain Name To Your Site

Up until this point, you’ve set up your site as a subdomain of wordpress.com.  For instance, my resume site is (as of today) only accessible through the URL of http://tracythrowerconyers.wordpress.com.  The next step for me is to “point” my domain name (sitting in my Go Daddy account) to WP.com and have them “map” the domain name to my site.

You start this process on the Settings/Domains page in your backend.  Get your instructions from WP.com from this page, and then call Go Daddy support and explain that you need help “pointing” your name to WP.com, but that you want email to stay at Go Daddy.

Bumping Your Site Up A Notch Or Two

Simple as that, you now have a digital resume and you’re one of the cool kids.  If you want to be REALLY cool, make yourself a business card with a QR Code that takes people to your homepage.  That will make you so cool, you might scare people.  Don’t forget to use your branded email account on that business card, too.

Add your resume website to your LinkedIn profile under websites.  Title it, “My Digital Resume.”

You can also get bonus “cool” points by adding multimedia to your site.  Do you have photos of you doing charity work or attending an industry event?  Create a page.  Do you have video or audio of you doing something lawyer-like?  Add it.

It’s also very easy to create simple video of you introducing yourself with a smartphone and then uploading it to youtube.com.  In fact, that’s on my list of things to do and maybe you’ll see a shining example on my resume site by the time you read this post.

Be sure and add your social network profiles.  Surprisingly, WP.com doesn’t make this super easy yet.  If you look at the blogroll on my site (on the bottom, if I’m still using the Manifest theme when you see the site), you’ll see that’s where I put links to my profiles.  I also invite visitors on my welcome page to connect with me through links provided in the welcome message.

There you go!  You now have the “ultimate social media resume.”

Need Help?

Are you stuck or have more money than time?  I have people I can recommend who can help you get one of these things set up.  Contact me for more information.

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Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and some are not.  All recommendations are for resources that I use and proudly recommend.

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