Winning the Job Search Game as a Legal Professional

- Richard Brock

Yes, the number of open positions is climbing. Yes, it’s easier today than five years ago to secure your dream law job. And Yes, it still takes dedicated, intentional choices to win at the job search game. If you want to secure your dream job, follow these tips.

The most important action you can take is to perform your very best in your current position. Do not make the mistake of “leaving” your current position prematurely. Additionally, you should:
• Be a participator in Bar organizations and groups.
• Volunteer your services whenever possible. Aside from its altruistic aspects, pro bono work can provide great experience.
• Show your expertise, whether by publishing papers, giving presentations or even blogging.

Stay “in the loop” on law issues
• Pay attention to which practices are in-demand and how they match your interests.
• Consider nontraditional-track positions.
• Be aware of current issues, which may develop into new practice areas.
• Gain an understanding of pertinent information for law candidates, such as typical salaries and billable hour expectations.

Never stop networking
• Don’t just connect – build relationships.
• Reveal the real you – your interests, skills, experience, etc.
• Give more than you take.
• Participate in online and in-person events, professional groups, associations, discussions, forums, etc.
• Establish a reputation of being positive, passionate, and committed.
• Be easy to contact.

Strategize, set goals and stay active in your search. Don’t lose track of job search essentials. For example:
Make the most of your resume
• Customize your resume to each position for which you apply.
• Highlight pertinent skills.
• Don’t hesitate to seek professional help with resume construction.
• Submit your resume to specifically chosen companies/positions, rather than randomly throwing it out there.

Learn the keys to a successful interview
• Thoroughly research the company.
• Know yourself – study common questions, prepare answers accordingly
• Dress for the occasion and arrive a few minutes early.
• Know your competencies and deliver the evidence to show, not tell.
• Be ready for the tough questions.
• Be pleasant, specific, and relaxed in your answers.
• Prepare your own questions.

Follow up after every resume submission and interview
• Email immediately – reiterating your main skills and your desire to work for the company
• Follow with a written thank you – again reiterating the connection inquiring when you can expect feedback

Searching for a position in the legal field can be overwhelming. That’s why Onboard Search and Staffing was established. We connect legal talent with law firms and corporations with legal departments. From help with your resume and interview preparation to connection with the best-fit positions and salary negotiation, we offer strict confidentiality, a deep knowledge of available opportunities, market experience, and sound advice. Whether you’re seeking contract or permanent placement, we are your best source. Contact us today.