Editor’s Note: This post is the third of a three-part series that focuses on resume writing and job searching for attorneys.
If you’ve implemented our recommendations that were discussed in the first two parts of this series, Resume Writing for Attorneys and How Attorneys Should Communicate their Accomplishments, you now have an updated résumé in hand – one that clearly and effectively communicates your experience, accomplishments and value proposition for future employers. In this post, we recommend specific steps to take in your job search process.
It is well worth re-emphasizing the importance of professional networking sites, particularly LinkedIn. With over 467 million members, it is the go-to gateway for prospective employers. Your profile will literally always be looked at by a potential employer, recruiter or networking interlocutor, so you must update your electronic brand and ensure that it is optimized.
- On the matter of synchronizing your marketing materials, do not neglect to scan all of your social networking sites (g. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) to ensure that they do not contain any potentially embarrassing material and that they do not conflict with your résumé. Employers now routinely search the Internet to surface information about potential candidates.
- After you complete your résumé draft, you must then update to your LinkedIn profile. They must be harmonized and then, don’t forget to look at your Bio on the firm website. Any recruiter or law firm hiring partner will automatically check both your LinkedIn profile as well as your firm’s website to make sure that your résumé, your LinkedIn profile and your firm bio are synchronized!
- First – rewrite your headline. You will need a compelling and unique branding statement, as this will always be read first.
- Curate your groups – join your University & Law School alumni groups. Delete specious groups.
- Re-focus your Current Responsibilities to reflect that you are marketing yourself – remember that LinkedIn is an electronic marketing document not a firm bio or c.v.
- Edit and filter your Skills & Endorsements – make sure you emphasize the right ones.
- You must have a professional looking photo on your LinkedIn profile – research shows photos dramatically improve dwell time on your profile, and affect what people think of you when they see your photo!
- Ask for recommendations as they can serve as proxy for references as you move forward.
As a penultimate point, remember that the résumé is not the sole key component of a successful job search. As you search for a new position you must also master the related skills which will help you to present your candidacy in the best possible light. For example, you need to acquire solid networking, interviewing and campaign management skills to underpin a successful search. The great résumé will only make you a candidate for an interview – the rest is up to you! You must also stay current on general legal matters and trends in the profession – we highly recommend some of the following sites:
- The Careerist: Regular updates on trends
- The Lawyerist: Numerous podcasts, tips and articles
- American Bar Association: Job boards, resources, networking and news
- Vault Careers: Not just for legal
- Glassdoor: Company reviews, salary info, job postings, market info.
- Above the Law: Lots of articles, job listings, directories & firm gossip.
- And finally, for a little current legal humor, Lowering the Bar
Finally, do not neglect your colleagues at your current firm. They can be very helpful in forging networking contacts, job leads and the all-important reference.
Robert S. Wilson is the Founder & Chairman of High Potential, Inc. a talent management and leadership development firm, with offices in Chicago, Illinois. Bob is a former practicing trial lawyer, and HPi provides a range of Career Coaching, Outplacement, Leadership Assessment and Executive Coaching services to a number of law firms and corporations in the Upper Midwest. Bob and his colleagues can be reached at 312-252-8200; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.hpi-inc.com and via LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bobhpiShare this post: