Being prepared for your first chat with the legal recruiter is a key element in landing a new job! Here are some helpful hints.

UPDATE YOUR RESUME

Your resume should be current and mistake-free and you should send it to your recruiter in pdf format.

Avoid unnecessary punctuation such as periods at the end of each bullet. Bullets should be short and clear and not go into 2 lines.

If you’ve had more than one position or title with the same employer, cover them all under the same heading, ie. don’t make them appear like separate jobs.

The key to having a great resume is clarity. Your resume should be clear on a quick read. If the reader has to go back and forth in order to understand something that you’ve written or is confused by your work or academic timeline, that may create a poor first impression.

COVER LETTER

When sending your resume to a recruiter, a lengthy cover letter is not necessary. Your resume should speak for itself – Resume ipsa loquitur. It would be helpful in your cover note to indicate your private contact information so the recruiter can phone, text, leave a voicemail for you or email you on a confidential basis.

YOUR FIRM BIO

Your bio on your law firm’s website should be reflective of your current role and experience. You should make it your regular practice to ensure it’s up-to-date.

LAW SOCIETY RECORD

Your Law Society record, status and discipline history is often publicly available  online. Check it to make sure it’s current and accurate.

DOVETAIL YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA 

Whether you’re an active social media user or just a dabbler, your social media persona will come to the fore when the recruiter – or prospective employer – searches you online.

Your LinkedIn profile should be current and dovetail with your resume. You should make it a practice to update your LinkedIn profile on a regular basis.

If you have Facebook, Twitter or other social media accounts, you should ensure that they also are always current and reflect the professional image you wish to portray.

YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH

The recruiter will ask you about your educational and work background and experience, and about your motivation for looking at other opportunities. Prepare a concise and logical 5 minute response to this open-ended question. You will want to have this ready for your job interview also. This is the ‘Why I want to be a fireman when I grow up” question.

TRANSCRIPTS

Have your law school and undergrad transcripts available and ready in pdf format. If you don’t have them on hand, you should order them. It would be helpful if you send them to the recruiter before the first chat.

WRITING SAMPLES

Some prospective employers will want to see writing samples. So find two good writing samples. Redact any confidential information and have them ready to provide in pdf format if asked.

YOUR REFERENCES

Do not list your references in your resume. What’s better is the heading References and under that: Available upon request

Think of at least 2 references you might give if asked. If you have articled and been a lawyer for the same firm throughout your career, this may be a challenge. However this is the time to think about who knows you and your work and who would be good and discreet references.

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

If you take advantage of the above hints, you will be in a much better position when opportunity knocks. Please click here to see some current job opportunities.