By Gordon K. Sattro, Esq.
It is official, we are currently in the middle of the holiday season and many of us have our minds elsewhere. Whether we are enjoying the presents we received during Hanukkah, buying presents for loved ones this Christmas, or merely planning a New Year’s vacation, there is a lot to concern ourselves with at this time. There is also something else that you may not be thinking about, the upcoming hiring season.
It is well-known that firms, corporations, and non-profits begin acting on their plans for the New Year at the beginning of the year. With this in mind, it also means that hiring is going to ramp-up at this time of the year too. This should act as your cue to start preparing your application materials to secure that new role.
If you are simply locked in a job that you are no longer enjoying or if you are still on the job hunt, now is the time to get your house in order and solidify your plan for securing the employment you WANT in 2014. But how do you do this? Where to start? Well, here’s a helpful list of tasks to get your 2014 job search started on the right foot:
- REFINE THAT RESUME:You have gained more experience over the course of the past year, and you need to make sure that all your experience from this year is included in your resume. Here are a few overlooked portions of your resume that you should include as well:
a. CLE Classes:These classes are especially helpful to put on your resume when you are transitioning between practice areas. By highlighting your “Entertainment Law” CLE class when you are trying to transition into entertainment law, you are showing that you are committed to the field of law and are looking to pursue a position in it. It’s all about marketing yourself.
b. Volunteering/Law Clinics: Have you volunteered somewhere and provided legal services to those you were working with? Then include it! It is quality experience that shows your dedication towards your community. Stability and personal investment in the community are two things employers are always looking for.
- NETWORK NOW:You have been out of the networking world for a while now, and as the holidays are upon us there aren’t many opportunities to kick into high gear, but January is just around the corner. So schedule those coffees, lunches, and cocktail hours for January! There is no better way to secure a job than through a great networking connection. Here are a couple of sources to look toward for networking:
a. Local Bar Associations:Only you know if you have actually networked consistently. In order to network properly you don’t merely show up once, you attend the meetings consistently and make an impact. Be charismatic, confident, and ready to mingle.
b. Your Law Fraternity: Speaking from personal experience, Phi Alpha Delta (PAD) has been one of the best networking tools in my arsenal. PAD has a list of attorneys on their site that are open to networking with other alums and I am certain the other fraternities do as well. Be sure you are putting that investment to good use. Not a part of a law fraternity? It might not be too late! Look into it now.
- FIND A MENTOR: Beyond networking, and above all else, you need a mentor. A great mentor is someone who can provide you with the right guidance required to navigate the legal employment market. If you cannot find an attorney who is in practice, refer to a professor. If you can’t find a professor, turn to a professional.
- UTILIZE LinkedIn: You are marketing yourself and you don’t even know it. LinkedIn® is a great way to introduce yourself to other professionals online. If you have been neglecting your profile then check back next week, as I will be speaking directly about your LinkedIn profile.
- KEEP APPLYING: I know what you are thinking. Among the hundreds of submissions you’ve made, you have only heard back from a handful. This is frustrating and at times deeply upsetting, but you have to keep at it. If you continue to apply at least you are putting your name out there, and you never know if the next submission might be your last. Even though postings are slower, there are still great opportunities out there if your materials are well prepared.
- ENJOY THE NEW YEAR: Most importantly, this is a time of celebration NOT remorse. If you feel that your job search did not give you the expected results last year, then it’s the perfect time of the year to move on as you come to a new year. You need to enjoy your New Year’s celebration and hit the ground running come January 1.
So there you have it, a brief overview of what you need to work on over the course of the next 15 days. If you haven’t started already, don’t worry, it’s never too late to start. If you need any further guidance on your job search or you want to speak with me about your2014 job search agenda, schedule an appointment with me at www.legalauthority.com and I will help you find the right approach to kick-start your career in 2014.