Beginning a job search can be an arduous task that can be made easier by taking action early in the process. I have outlined a list of suggestions you should be prepared to put into motion to make for an efficient, and more successful, job search to start your 2018 year.
Review and Update Relevant Documents
My first suggestion is hardly groundbreaking information but is important nonetheless. Documents including your resume, cover letter, references (more on this later) and writing samples all should be updated and ready to send out in the event you see an opportunity that interests you. In addition to updating your documents, make sure you have a law school transcript at your disposal as most employees will require one. Many law schools have a simple online system to retrieve your transcript, however there are schools that take longer to process the request and deliver the transcript. Be sure to have all items updated and ready to send out when needed.
Set Up Job Alerts
Law firms and companies post new opportunities on their websites daily and it is near impossible to consistently navigate each one. In order to make this process as efficient as you can, set up job alerts that are sent to you daily. There are a number of job sites that allow you to receive newly posted legal opportunities in the market that interests you.
Be Conscious of Social Media
Employers have more ways than ever of accessing information about you and they will use LinkedIn as much as any other tool for finding potential candidates. Your LinkedIn page is essentially an electronic copy of your resume, maintain and keep it updated just the same. Be aware that employers will look on other social media platforms as well. I suggest doing a quick google search of yourself. You may feel the need to clean up your personal pages or make your social media accounts private. Employers hire people who will be a good representation of their firm or company and you should make sure your social media is a favorable reflection of yourself.
Re-engage your Network and Contacts
Reconnecting with classmates, former colleagues, and other attorneys you have crossed paths with is always a good idea but even more so when beginning your job search. Members of your network have likely been in similar situations and picking their brains for advice on the process could prove valuable. It is very possible that someone inside your networking tree knows, or at some point will learn about, potential opportunities.
Manage Professional References
References can be a deciding factor between you receiving an offer and a similar credentialed candidate receiving the offer. Maintain at least 3 references and make sure their contact information, title, and place of employment is all up to date. Prior to handing out your references’ contact information, reach out and discuss your situation and always preserve a relationship with anyone you feel could be a future reference. Keep in mind employers typically prefer to speak with references who have directly supervised your work.
Contact a Legal Recruiter
Being in contact with a legal recruiter can be one of the most important parts of your job search. We can speak confidentially with you about your background, your career goals, and what your expectations should be. Our knowledge of the industry can help steer you in the right direction. We often hear about job openings before they are posted on-line and our relationships with firms and companies will often help your cause.
Making a change in your professional career is never easy. Don’t make it more difficult by waiting until an opportunity arises before springing into action. Jumpstart your job search for the new year now by utilizing the tips listed above.