The Positive Spin

I recently received a cover letter from a candidate that reminded me of one of my daughter’s favorite characters from Winnie the Pooh – Eeyore. After a few pleasantries, the letter proceeded to state that the candidate had a “very poor” first year of law school and that his GPA was “less than desirable”. I could almost hear the sad trombone sounds in the background as I read the letter.

Don’t Burn Bridges When Giving Your Notice

Tendering your resignation is awkward at best and can get downright ugly in some situations. Whether you are leaving for money, career advancement or personality differences – offering a polite, professional resignation is always the best course of action.

The dog days of summer

The dog days of summer are a perfect time of year to assess your current employment situation. For many, late summer offers a chance to take a breathe from a hectic work year – whether you find yourself with some free time in the office or are out vacationing. Yes, loyalty is an admirable trait but if you are not willing to at least consider other jobs, you might be missing a real chance for career advancement.

Of course the grass is not always greener elsewhere, but you will never know unless you are willing explore other options from time to time. There may not be such thing as the absolute perfect job, but you might be able to improve certain aspects of your career that are particularly important to you.

So after some self-reflection, ask yourself if you are content with your current job or is it less than what you had hoped at this point in your career? If you hoped for more, now is an excellent time to consider a change because you may actually have time to update your resume, start networking, and perhaps test the market. Even if you are waiting for a year-end bonus, it is not too soon to start the process.

Trashing Your Firm in an Interview Could Cost You

Although sometimes a move is necessary solely for career advancement, it is more common for people to consider new employment due to some negative experience with their current employer. However, it is never a good idea to dwell on this too much in an interview.

The first 90 days after a job transition: a game plan.

One of the better (non-Seth Godin) business books that I’ve read in a long time is Michael Watkins’ The First 90 Days.  Watkins is a Harvard Business School professor and a job transition expert.  

Attitude Is Key When Interviewing

Going into an interview there are some things you can control and others you cannot. You cannot control how much or what type of experience you have. You cannot control your prior educational background or work history.

Working with a recruiter: Be honest (to the recruiter and yourself)

There are few phrases that are as over-used as “less is more.”  It ranks right up there with  “thinking outside of the box.”  In some instances, less might be more, but when working with a recruiter, less is definitely NOT more – at least when it comes to the information given to the recruiter.

The Best Time To Consider A New Firm

When is the best time to switch firms if you are a practicing attorney considering a move? Although there is no hard and fast rule, the window of opportunity for associates to move typically falls in the range of 3-6 years of practice.

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?