Getting an interview and getting a job, Part 2

To follow up on my last blog post, I promised to provide advice from Shauna Bryce of Bryce Legal Career Counsel regarding tips to get an interview (and get a job).   In addition, I spoke with Nichole Velasquez from the Career Development Office of the University of Maryland School of Law (two heads are better than one, right?).  So hopefully some of this information will help you to get the interview and get the job. Here are some of Shauna Bryce's top tips to successfully navigate the legal job market in today's current economy. Have someone familiar with legal hiring critique your resume - too often candidates will have their spouse, significant other, or partner look over their resume for their perfect legal job, but the reviewer has little or no background on legal hiring.  Find one of your law school buddies that interviews for her firm look over your resume.  They will be able to point out the strengths and weaknesses of your resume, with an eye towards legal hiring. Grammar, grammar, grammar - not everyone is perfect, but most interviewers are looking for perfection.  So make sure that your resume does not contain any typos and it is grammatically correct. Don't hide your weaknesses, explain them. There was once a time when a gap in your resume was unforgivable, but that time is no longer.  Resumes with gaps of time no longer stigmatize the applicant; however, applicants should do their best to explain the gap.  For example, if you graduated in the spring of 2010 and, after the bar, have been diligently looking for a job, fill your resume with what you have been doing during your period of unemployment.  Have you volunteered for an organization, taken classes to better yourself, or offered assistance for a legal organization?  Fill in your resume to ensure the hiring committee doesn't fill it in for you. Nichole Valesquez's advice deals with three distinct aspects of job hunting: interviews, cover letters, and resumes.

One comment

  1. Aloofness and arrogance often are just an interviewee’s clumsy attempts to look confident and self-assured (following another piece of hackneyed career guidance advice). Very few out of work lawyers are arrogant about their situation. The bigger problems are looking like you are begging for a job (it makes interviewers nervous – the best candidates are the ones they have to chase), or looking like you’ve been beaten down by the process and already have given up. Such people are no fun to work with, particularly on difficult projects. It is hard to remain upbeat in the face of rejection, no doubt, but it is a necessary lawyer skill; wallowing in rejection will produce only more of the same.

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