Each and every day, there are hundreds of attorneys asking themselves the same question: Why wasn't I hired?...I thought I was well-qualified and answered all of their questions. Maybe so, however, there lies a plethora of reasons why one may not be the right candidate. Other candidates, for example, could have more experience and successfully demonstrated to the firm that he/she was the best fit for the position. While that may be so, you should take note of the following red flags that can hinder your job search.
While this cannot be stressed enough, a flawless resume and cover letter
are must in your pursuit of landing that ideal position. All of your contact information should be current. In most cases, this document should rarely exceed one page. Most importantly, there should be as little or no employment gaps within your work history. This will inevitably catch the hiring authority’s eye and prompt you to explain the reasons for this. Moreover, having five different positions in seven years will also do the same. If these were clerkships, etc this is understood; however, if you have jumped from firm to firm, be prepared to answer why.
The interviewing process is not just an hour or two of your time; you need to research the firm thoroughly, be well-prepared with detailed questions and, in turn, have well-thought out answers. Your answers should be consistent and reflected within your resume. It is also important to demonstrate some of your noteworthy qualities (i.e., strong work ethic, pay close attention to detail) during the interview. Furthermore, always have a list of several references on hand, as this will ultimately be asked from you. For the most part, these should include professional relationships, preferably from your most recent employers.
While you may find it hard to resist saying negative things about your previous employer, don’t! This will only reflect negatively on you. Of course, there were flaws at your last position; this is why you are currently interviewing. By turning these negatives into positives, this will only make you a stronger candidate in the long run. There are several ways to communicate these circumstances during the interviewing process and this will ultimately shed positive light into the depth of your character and desire to succeed. One’s ability to convey difficult situations as a stepping stone and not an obstacle, will allow the employer to gain a much deeper perspective into your ambition and willingness to overcome any impediment along the way.
Finding your ideal position is certainly not an easy task. Being well-prepared cannot be over-emphasized enough. One’s job search
can be overwhelming at times, and you must continue to have confidence in yourself first and foremost. By doing so, this will inevitably make you a stronger candidate. From a flawless resume to a firm handshake, one must cover all the bases to make sure you’ll hit that homerun!