We have all read the stories in the news about how disappointing the market for legal jobs is right now for recent law school graduates. Well, no matter the market, you can make yourself stand out from the rest of the crowd by employing the following tips for your legal job search. These tips are very simple to put into action but they are effective enough to help you land a job in the legal industry.
Create Resumes and Cover Letters for Each Job Application
This is a tip that can be used when searching for jobs in any industry but is vital in the legal industry. Thousands of legal job applicants send out mass resumes and cover letters to prospective employers simply by changing the address on the paperwork and who the cover letter is written for from job-to-job. An excellent way to get noticed is to tailor each resume and cover letter specifically for each job you submit them so you come across with a personal touch. This method could be much more effective than mass-mailing 50 sets of resume/cover letters each week because the ones you send out are centered more on the job(s) in which you applied.
Keep Record of All Applications Submitted
When applying for a legal job, it is in your best interest to keep a record of all the applications you have submitted from day one following graduation. This will help you prevent sending duplicate applications in, which takes up your precious time, and helps you remember which employers you have heard from via phone, email or letter. Keep a spreadsheet of the applications you have submitted and update the spreadsheet whenever you contact the company/firm or when they contact you.
Network, Network, Network
This category must be important since we repeated it three times in the headline. Many young attorneys do not enjoy networking but this is one of the most important aspects of a legal job search that you can use today. Join local bar associations and specialty associations in your area aside from the state bar association to meet lawyers and potential employers.
Another aspect of networking is the informational interview. You should schedule as many informational interviews as possible in your locale or within your practice area. These interviews will provide you with not only the opportunity to meet lawyers in the field but also information about the specific job you would like to work in at some point. Then, when the time comes, you will know exactly what is needed when applying for the position.
A job search does not always yield results immediately, which is why it is important to set various goals along the way. These goals should include a set number of resume/cover letter combos you would like to submit each week, a set number of informational interviews to attend each month or what time of day and for how long you will be searching for jobs. For example, send out 10 resume/cover letter combos per week, attend five interviews per month and search for jobs every evening from 5-7 PM.
If you are able to use all of these methods, your legal job search will be much more effective and you will be more organized in your search as well.