How to Get the Law Job You Want – The Attorney Job Hunting System
We call it – The Attorney Job Hunting System
Why Consider Reading This?
Bottom line: Many employers do not want to pay expensive recruiter fees to hire you. They would rather pay you, pocket the savings and have you approach them directly. That is why this Job Hunting System is so important!
This is a tested and proven process for job hunters. It’s counter-intuitive and challenging. How do I know this? I practice these techniques and tricks everyday. It’s how I feed my beautiful family. It’s my business to help people like you. I talk to employers everyday. It’s what I train other recruiters and job hunters to do.
What Others Have Said About This System
(I pulled this feedback from e-mails I have received.)
“Dear Chris, I consider myself an amazing networker and marketeer, but that was really helpful to even me. Thank you.” – Job Hunter
“Just read through this quickly! Wow! I will have to read it slowly and take all these great steps in. Thanks for sharing it, and thanks for your time and investment in me.” – Job Hunter
“As you stated, it certainly is counter-intuitive. I’m willing to try the method.” – Job Hunter
“Thanks Chris these resources were great! I’m mailing Starbucks gift cards to some contacts I met with last week.” – Job Hunter
“I appreciate your candor and your forwarding the blog links. I have previously read each of the blogs and find them to be very helpful and informative. In fact, I keep re-reading them every couple of weeks, as they are inspiring in addition to being helpful. Thanks for writing these and making them available. Keep up the good work. I appreciate what you do. – Job Hunter
The Goal: Setting Yourself Apart
How do you do this? Understand what every job hunter is doing and don’t do it! Nearly every job hunter does the same thing and goes the path of least resistance. Employers take note and place their resumes in a never-ending pile.
What do they do?
- Send a resume via e-mail
- Post a resume on a job board
- Submits a resume via employer job site
- Waits till the employer calls them
- Click, click, click… sends resume
- Get depressed and gives up
If this gets you results and a job, then great. Stop reading this. If not, listen up.
To achieve results, the job hunter must make an impression on the employer in a way that sets him/herself apart. This is easier than you think! A great resume may do this. A personal introduction may do this. But what greatly increases your prospects with employers is Your Attitude and Your Actions. If you do what every job hunter does, you will not be noticed. And if you give up like a lot of job hunters then… well, you know.
What is needed to differentiate yourself from other job hunters?
Focus – puts first things first. Focus removes unproductivity, rationalization and fruitless distraction.
Diligence – is the way in which we follow through. Diligence is careful, continual hard work. Diligence gets results.
Persistence – is not giving up. Persistence is the application of focus and diligence until you achieve your expected goals.
Courage – separates those with jobs and those who are still on the hamster wheel. Courage pushes through excuses, but it is not the absence of fear.
Creativity – allows you to put personality and fun into the process. Creativity empowers you to think outside the box.
*Disclaimer – This document is not a silver bullet & a work in progress. You may glean one great idea or several. This does not guarantee you a job but if applied, these concepts will greatly increase your chances of finding the job you want.
2 Important Counter-Intuitive Reminders in the Job Hunting System:
Never send your resume via email without it being requested. Your resume is the most important passport for your next job. It should not be peddled around town. Always have the employer ask for it. Again every job hunter sends their resume first.
Call the Employer
Every job hunter approaches the employer via email and avoids the phone. Don’t do this! Your voice is 100 times more impressionable than an email.
Objective: #1 Create your action plan
Most people are aimless in a job search and do not create a plan first.
When answering the next several questions, the smaller the list and applied focus, the greater the chances you will find what you are looking for.
- Identify which area of law you want to practice in.
- Identify which geographical location(s) you would like to get a job.
- Identify the type of employers you want to land with andcreate an exhaustive employer “Wish List.”
- Create a system or document using a CRM, Microsoft Excel, Evernote or notepad to track all conversations and employer information you gather.
See Firm-ranking sites:
Google: Law firm directory
See Company list sites:
Google: Companies in “city name”
Objective: #2 Speak with the Employer
Getting the employer on the phone will set you apart. Most job hunters avoid this or do not think of it. They choose the path of least resistance.
Find the Decision Makers – Once you have created your employer “Wish List,” go to their website or LinkedIn.com and find the decision makers. In your documentation, note them and their contact info.Typically, in law firms, those are the managing partner, hiring partner and the practice group Leader. For companies or corporations, those are the general counsel or divisional general counsel.
Start making calls – You call with the goal of getting the right person on the phone. See the two approaches below when they are on the phone. If you leave a voicemail, you follow up immediately with an email. You do this a minimum of three (3) times per working week. Bam, bam, bam. You work through your entire list of contacts, either getting voicemail or getting the person on the phone.
Points to Remember
- Calling three (3) times a week will get their attention. It will not annoy them. It will communicate to them that you mean business. (Trust me I know) This is one of the hardest concepts for people to consider. Persistence is a rainmaker skill. Employers will notice and take note.
- The voicemail goal is to get them to call you back so that you can speak to someone on the phone.Short and sweet.
Once you get them on the Phone
There are two approaches when talking to employers. Both work but the goal is baby steps. (The first step is getting them on the phone. The next step is meeting face to face).
The first approach is: Identify attorneys you want to emulate. Then start introducing yourself and networking with them by asking questions about their journey and their practice. Attorneys love talking about themselves. Tell them you want to be where they are later in your career and want to glean from them. Have 10 questions for them. Make an impression. Ask for more referrals to get to know other lawyers. This process alone exposes you to the market players and open doors.
The second approach is: Directly ask the employer what their plans are for hiring. Again most job hunters do not call. Your assertiveness can impress employers because they are looking for assertive, confident attorneys. It’s just a matter of when they are hiring. Take note and ask for referrals to other employer introductions.
Your need-to-know questions:
- Would he or she be available to meet over (drinks or meal)?
You are treating and wanting to learn more about their story and journey as a (insert practice area) lawyer.
- Are they hiring?
If not, when are they hiring?
Would they consider interviewing you if you are willing to work hard and commit to their team and the lawyer training process?
* Take notes and always follow up within 7 business days.
* What you bring to the table is…. x,y,z experience or skills.
The follow up e-mail should be brief and should summarize the brief voicemail you left. In the e-mail subject line: write, “We spoke today” or “Left you a voicemail”. This will give the employer a point of reference.
E-mail should NEVER be replaced for a phone call when beginning a relationship with a potential employer. E-mail should never be sent first. It’s a one-two punch. Always call, leave a voicemail, and then follow it up with an email. The voicemail is powerful because no job hunters call and when an employer hears your voice it re-enforces the e-mail you send. Again the idea is to Stand Apart.
Document, document, document. For every call whether spoken with or left a voicemail, you note in your tracking document. Also write copious notes. Details get you jobs. Things you remembered from the conversation get you noticed. Document what you learn about the employer, the person you are speaking with, availability etc. Use shorthand like LVM (left voicemail) or LEM (left email).
How the process could look:
- Talk to the right person on the phone
- Phone or face-to-face interview
- 2nd interview
From now on…Your Job is to get a job.
You need to contact every employer on your wish list and spend at least 24-40 hours a week working on this.
Objective: #3 Meeting the Employers
Get a face-to-face meeting with the employer.
Treat him/her to a meal, coffee, drinks etc. This must be on you. True job hunting is an investment. If you are not willing to invest in the process, why would an employer be willing to invest in you?
- Have a list of 10 questions and a legal pad; employers will take you seriously when you are taking their time seriously. Do some homework on the person you are meeting. Know a little about them: schools, prior experience, etc. Check out their LinkedIn profile and Google them. Then ask them questions about them like:
- What would they have done differently looking back in their career?
- What skills have meant the most to them while practicing law?
- What do they now wish they had known when they first started?
- Who are their heroes and/or mentors?
- What goals do they have for the next 12-months or the remainder of the year?
- Is there anyone you can connect them with to help them complete their goals?
- What are their career aspirations?
- Do they recommend any authors?
- What do they look for when hiring future attorneys?
- What do they do outside of practicing law?
- Do they have any people they can introduce to you, either who are connectors (people who are walking rolodexes) or employers looking to hire
- The Follow Up #1
When attending an interview, be sure to send a follow-up, hand-written note thanking them for their time. Be courteous and to the point. Mail it within 24-hours of your meeting. Don’t delay.
- The Follow Up #2
Consider including a $5 gift card from Starbucks. No one does it and it will make an impression. When they are drinking their cup of coffee they will be thinking of you. That’s standing out.
- You are interviewing them too.
Remember you are interviewing them as much as they are seeing who you are. Don’t settle. Don’t over look red flags. Take lots of notes.
Qualities you should exhibit:
- Confidence but not arrogance
- Knowing what you want but not knowing it all
- Pro-active but not entitled
- Willing to work hard but not an annoying ass-kisser
- Smart but not socially awkward
- Hungry to learn but not eating your last meal
- Sharp business attire, but not making a fashion statement
Here are 9 Key Takeaways
- Always have the Employer ask for your resume.
- Think in baby steps.
- Get the Employer on the phone, then face-to-face.
- Don’t replace phone for e-mail.
- Have a plan and track it.
- Write down details; they get you a job.
- Take initiative. Follow through and follow up.
- Your job is to get a job.
- Be creative, have fun, make an impression.
What are your thoughts?
For more information on our legal recruiting services, contact us.
Follows us on Twitter @FindtheLions and @ChrisBatz On LinkedIn Chris Batz and The Lion Group
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