Finding work has become increasingly dependent on technology. The ability to adapt your resume, cover letter, and job search techniques to new tech is critical to getting the attention of legal recruiters and hiring managers. Below are a few tips on what you can do to leverage the most common tech tools to your benefit:
Applicant Tracking Systems
A significant number of legal recruiters and employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) which allow them to easily filter and find relevant candidates without personally reading every resume that comes through their email. To make sure your resume gets through this technological gatekeeper, you will need to include in your resume keywords and phrases the employer is looking for. Scan the job description to find the most important phrases and make sure you include them a few times in your resume. By using these keywords and phrases, you will increase the chances of your resume making it through an ATS and getting in front of a decision maker.
Keep Your Records
In the old days, before ATS and databases, a job seeker could simultaneously apply for several positions at the same company. That’s not the case today. Because many employers keep records of your resume and cover letter, applying for multiple job openings can make you seem noncommittal. It’s okay to apply for one job today and then another six months later, but if you do, make sure the facts on your resumes are consistent. Significant inconsistencies such as different job descriptions, titles, and employment dates could get you flagged as untrustworthy.
Before sending off your resume and cover letter, use social media and search engines to confirm the accuracy of important information such as the contact and department name. Remember, employees can leave at a moment’s notice so make sure the addressee is still employed with the company before you send them an email. This is also true for following up after interviews. If you haven’t heard back from an employer, check the employer’s website or social media accounts to make sure your interviewer is still working with the company. If they’re no longer employed there, consider using social media to find out who will take over their duties.