Delivering Bad News

In the job search context, bad news can come in many forms. While news that may seem bad is often just a statement of reality, it still can sting. The key is to understand how it will be perceived by the audience so the delivery can tempered appropriately.

Always Be Prepared.

In addition to being the Boy Scout motto, being prepared is incredibly important to any attorney who may, unknowingly, find themselves in the job market. Even if you are not looking for a job, having an updated resume is incredibly important.

Two Simple Steps to Success

I am convinced that two simple things can make you more successful at nearly everything you do: effective communication and managing expectations.

Does your resume match your online resume?

Consistency is the hallmark of good pitching in baseball, a golfer’s short game and a good resume. Employers are not just looking at the document you submit to them, but are looking at other information, what can be considered your “other resume,” and inconsistencies are going to be scrutinized.

An example of a seemingly innocuous discrepancy is the “gap” that is explained in one place, and addressed in another. In the past, we’ve addressed gaps in resumes. Deciding how to explain gaps in your resume is a difficult (and important) decision. The wrong way to deal with a gap is to leave it blank on your resume but explain it elsewhere (i.e., online).

The bottom line is that you must remain consistent. If there is a gap in your resume from when you stayed home to watch your children, but your LinkedIn profile shows that you weren’t actually home, but instead bounced between a couple of jobs, that is a significant issue.

Similarly, if you claim to have incredible litigation experience on your resume, but your LinkedIn profile shows pretty pedestrian litigation tasks, you can expect to be called out for the inconsistency.

The bottom line is that employers are going to initially rely on the resume you submit, but they are undoubtedly going to verify the information through various means including a background and reference check, a Google search and a review of your LinkedIn profile. If there are inconsistencies, you are going to be digging yourself out of a hole instead of negotiating a start date. Make sure that you are in control of your online presence and that you remove outdated, incorrect or old accounts (see, here for help).

Play Ball!

This warmer weather has a lot people thinking about our national pastime. Some would say the national pastime over the past few years has been finding employment, but historically we are talking about the country’s passion for baseball! In fact, there are similarities between the two.

You Need a Plan To Stand Out

When applying for a legal job, undoubtedly there will be a lot of other attorneys who are also applying for the same position. There are several ways to stand out.

You're Welcome

This was a post from several years ago, but in reviewing the old posts,  the exact same thing holds true – that I’ve received only four messages of thanks from people who I have met with or helped. 

Give Yourself an Advantage: Use Your Resume as a Marketing Tool

The vast majority of resumes we see are consistent with the way most of us were taught to write a resume – provide a chronological summary of your employment history and education. There is nothing incorrect about this format but is it really your best tool for marketing yourself to a potential employer?

You’re Doing It Wrong.

There really is no “right way” to hire someone or get hired. That said, there are plenty of ways that are clearly wrong. 

Keep it Positive!

Every law firm or company has aspects that are less than desirable for some people. In fact, this may be the reason that someone is considering a move. However, it is never a good to dwell on this too much in an interview.

A Higher Level of Understanding

It seems like such a simple concept but it is one that frequently gets lost in the hiring process: understanding the other side’s needs. Whether it is the employer or job candidate, both sides tend to focus a little too much on their own needs and not addressing what the other side wants.

Three Keys to Improving Your Interview Skills

Do you have an upcoming interview?  If so, make sure take a common sense approach to making a good impression by utilizing three essential P’s: preparedness, positive attitude and professionalism. There won’t be much you can add to your skills and experience prior to the interview but you can control how prepared you are coming into the interview, the attitude you convey, and your appearance and demeanor.

A Resume By Any Other Name….

When you submit a resume to a potential employer (or to a recruiter) it is important to put your best foot forward. While the resume may be perfect, the title of the resume may tell the recipient more than you want them to know.

Work Culture can be Just as Important as the Actual Work

While finding a firm or company that fits well with your actual legal practice is no doubt important, it is no more important than cultural fit or management style. In fact, the majority of attorneys that contact us are not interested in leaving their current job due to the actual work. Most often, it is the interaction with others, long-term direction, or decision-making of the firm or company that has people considering other options.

Update Your Information on LinkedIn – People Can’t Call If They Can’t Find You!

Whether searching for a job or just trying to stay in contact with current and/or potential clients in the legal field, having a LinkedIn profile should be a priority. Just as important as having the profile is keeping it up to date. Showing that you are still at an old position or, a much more common fault, failing to update your contact information so someone can get a hold of you, is a poor reflection on you.

Don’t Let Modesty Get In The Way

Attorneys are generally conservative by nature when it comes describing their practice. Whether it is the idea of promoting your skills and abilities or the potential value of your practice, most attorneys will take a modest approach. Yes, managing expectations is important but being too conservative can really be to your detriment.

What You Do Today Can Affect Your Job Search Tomorrow!

I was reminded today of the importance of protecting your reputation as a lawyer.  I was contacted by someone who wanted to apply for an attorney opportunity at a firm where she was a summer associate many years ago.