Summer is upon us! Whether you’re looking for your first job, a lateral move or a position in a new practice area, the summer is the best time to get a jump start. All of the recent grads will be searching for jobs starting August 1st (give or take), so starting your search in June is a great move!
As you know, simply checking websites and job posting sites isn’t enough to get the job of your dreams. Think about it – everyone answers those ads. The competition is fierce. So, why not start your search in less obvious places and get a leg-up on the competition. Here are our top eight ideas to get your legal job search off to a great start this summer.
- Join a bar association in your city. Joining the local bar association and getting actively involved is a great way to mix and mingle with other attorneys. The more “face time” you have with other attorneys, the more opportunity to let them know that you’re searching for a new position.
- Get social. Social media is here to stay, and you should be a part of the trend! Sign up for a LinkedIn account and a Facebook account. Make sure to update your profile with relevant information and a professional picture. Start posting relevant information about the legal community you’d like to join. Interested in an entertainment law job in Century City? Start finding relevant and interesting information about entertainment law in the Los Angeles area. You’ll find that people interested in the same area of law will start “following” you or inviting you to be connections/friends. What a great way to meet other people with the same interests!
- Clean up the legal resume. No time like the present to review your resume and make sure that it’s in tip top shape. Is all of your experience listed in a clear, concise manner? Is your contact information current? Be sure that anyone who glances at your resume for 30-45 seconds (the average time someone actually reviews a resume) will be able to accurately sum up your experience and achievements.
- Contact your friends and family. I know, I know. You don’t have any lawyer friends the only attorney your family knows is you. Hogwash. You and your friends and family know many more people than you think you do. Write a friendly email stating what you’d like to have (I’m looking for a senior associate position in a defense firm in Fresno) and your qualifications. You’ll be amazed what happens when you get the word out to others.
- Take a meeting. Contact a lawyer who has your dream job and ask for an informational interview. Even if it’s just on the phone, you will gather useful information for your job search and (more importantly) you will make another connection within your desired legal field/firm/city. (It goes without saying that you need to be extremely mindful of the interviewee’s time. Also, please follow up the meeting with a handwritten thank you note.)
- Volunteer. You’d be amazed how connected you can get simply by volunteering your time. Join a program that makes you feel good, and make sure that you connect with other volunteers. Let them know that you’re looking for a position in______ city in_______ firm in________ practice area. Maybe the volunteer position actually has a connection to this dream job, or maybe the person knows someone who knows someone…. Either way, getting out in the community to help someone else and also get to know others is a key to getting the position you’ve always wanted.
- Bring your book of business. If you have a book of business, you’re irresistible to employers. If you have a book of business – good for you! You shouldn’t have a problem finding a fabulous position. If not, work on building a book of business. Even a case or two will help your chances immensely. Spend your summer trying to get one case. You’ll be amazed how quickly you will change from the hunter to the hunted.
Good luck this summer! If you need help, we’re only an email away.