Getting fired is hard on the confidence of most people, but it can feel a lot worse when it’s time to look for a new job. Fortunately, there are things you can do to improve your chances of finding new work after you’ve been fired.
- Get a written reference. Even if you’ve been fired for good cause, it’s still possible to get a reference from someone who has witnessed your good work. This is especially true if you were let go because of downsizing or a one-time mistake on your part. Whatever you do, remain professional throughout the process but be courageous enough to ask someone who believes in you for a reference.
- Rekindle old contacts. If you’re certain you can’t get a reference from the job that fired you, reach out to old employers. Many old employers, superiors, and colleagues may be willing to give you a written reference or even refer you to another job opportunity. There are many people who will help you despite that fact that you were fired from your most recent job. Don’t be shy about asking them.
- Be honest and responsible. When you’re asked about losing your last job, take full responsibility for any blame you may have. You might be amazed at how many people are willing to overlook a one-time mistake if you’re a skilled and experienced attorney.
- Don’t sulk. Even if your firing was unfair, don’t bring that up in your cover letter or in an interview. No matter how true it might be, bringing up negative “facts” and bad mouthing your former employer will always make you look bad. You don’t have to sing your former employer’s praises but you should speak professionally about them and find at least a few things you enjoyed about working there.
Getting fired doesn’t have to put a dent in your job search, with the right approach you can get what you need to find a new position.
For recruiters who want to thrive and grow their business, measuring the right metrics is critical. Below are four important metrics that every legal recruiter should measure.
- Candidate source. Where do the majority of your best job candidates come from? Are they coming through a certain ad? LinkedIn? A job board? Or, are they coming from cold calls and personal referrals? Rank the sources and shift your resources so that they are invested in the sources that give you the best candidates.
- Open orders versus qualified jobs. It’s sometimes easy to get an employer to send job orders your way, especially if they have several other recruiters working to fill the same positions. That benefits the employer not the recruiters. The next time you’re filling your pipeline with job orders, make sure you measure how many of them actually end in interviews. If you find that only a handful of your job orders result in interviews, you may want to tighten your vetting process when deciding to work with certain employers.
- Offer rate. How many candidate interviews result in an offer? If you find that your offer rate is low, you may want to reassess how you’re choosing candidates. It may be that you’re not fully understanding what employers want before sending potential new hires their way.
- Acceptance rate. How many times does a job candidate accept an employer offer? If the rate is low, it’s possible that you’re not setting expectations properly. Candidates who aren’t given the offer they expect may turn away from a job that they would otherwise take.
If you’re watching the right metrics, you’re empowered to make the changes necessary to thrive.
For attorneys who’ve been on the job hunt for an extended period of time, contracting can offer a viable way to earn some extra money. But there are other benefits of taking contracting work while you’re between jobs.
- If you’ve been out of the workforce for any extended period of time, contracting can offer an opportunity to polish your existing skills and learn new ones. And that’s good news for your job search.
- The flexibility that contracting work offers gives you more time to commit to your job search. Many contractors set their own hours and even work from home, freeing up the necessary time they need to search for work and send out resumes.
- The compensation contractors receive is often higher than full-time employees. Higher pay means that you’ll need to commit fewer hours to earn the money necessary for your daily expenses.
- Many contractors use their new experiences as a stepping stone when seeking more lucrative opportunities in a new industry or a better position.
- While it’s not the same as being a full-time employee, working as a contractor can give you access to company insiders who can help your career and/or serve as mentors.
Even if you don’t see yourself as the entrepreneurial type, taking on contracting gigs could give your job search the added boost it needs.
Social recruiting is here to stay, but many legal recruiters are making a lot of mistakes in how they implement their strategies. Below are four social recruiting mistakes you should do your best to avoid.
- Short-term focus. Many legal recruiters, no matter how smart, approach social recruiting from a short-term perspective. They want to figure out how they can benefit today, tomorrow, and in the next three months. However, that’s really not long enough to see sustainable results. If you want to succeed with social recruiting, you must think in terms of years and your long-term goals.
- Becoming a spam bot. Automation is a good thing, but when you automate posts to hit your stream every few minutes, you’re no longer engaging social media—you’ve just become a spam bot. It’s a good thing to automate a few critical social media posts, but you should also set aside time for true human-to-human engagement. This is will set your social recruiting strategy apart from other spam bots.
- Not going far enough. Your social media relationships shouldn’t stop with the internet. Your goals should be to eventually engage top talent and hiring managers in real life. That could mean getting job orders or sending a promising job candidate to an interview. Just remember, social recruiting is about making real life impacts on your business.
- Being too rigid. Plans are a great foundation for any social recruiting effort, but don’t become inflexible. The industry is always changing so you must be prepared to change your plans as necessary. Recruiters who are too rigid risk being left behind and failing to reach their goals.
To successfully integrate social recruiting into your business strategy, you must identify and avoid the most common mistakes.
Skills, talent, and experience are key to getting hired, but it’s often a job candidate’s self-confidence that helps all their positive qualities shine through. Unfortunately, many job seekers’ self-esteem gets battered during a particularly long and/or difficult job search. The good news is that you can do something about it. Below are a few tips on raising your interview self-confidence.
- Celebrate the little things. Getting hired is a process, sometimes a very long one. If you want your self-esteem to endure that process, you must get in the habit of celebrating all of your victories—even the small ones. Remind yourself that just getting the interview is a victory.
- Change your story. All of us tell ourselves stories about the world and our worth. If your inner story is mostly negative, you may want to edit that script. Critically look at the inner dialogue you’re having and consider looking on the brighter side of things. For example, instead of telling yourself that all the hiring managers want young attorneys, remind yourself that there are some hiring managers who want mature and experienced attorneys such as yourself.
- Know your real worth. Don’t enter an interview uninformed. Take the time to do your research about what someone like you is worth in the job market. Understand what you’re bringing to the table and how you can positively impact the law firm. Having this knowledge will automatically raise your self-confidence and make it easier for you to ace the interview.
Boosting your self-confidence before an interview will boost your chances of making a great impression.
Human beings are creatures of habit, but for legal recruiters bad habits can ruin productivity and the ability to succeed. Below are four nasty work habits every recruiter should break.
- Flying by the seat of your pants. Failure to plan often means a failure to achieve, meet goals, and a failure to succeed. If you’re in the habit of never planning your workday, workweek, or big projects, make it a point to break this bad habit.
- Working like a machine. If you’re obsessed with getting things done fast, you’ve probably fallen into the nasty habit of working through your breaks and vacations. But working like a machine can take a toll on your health and your productivity. If you want to stay refreshed and get more done, be sure to schedule time off.
- Always saying yes. As a legal recruiter, there’s a strong desire to please everyone—clients, employers, hiring managers, and even other recruiters. This people pleasing tendency often means that you may say ‘yes’ to projects, job orders, and other commitments more often than you should. But if you want to make room for the opportunities that will take you to the next level, you must be willing to say ‘no’ to those tasks that won’t take you to where you want to go.
- Avoiding difficult decisions. No matter how carefully you plan and work towards your goals, it’s inevitable that you will face difficult decisions. Many recruiters are in the habit of putting off these hard decisions, which can have negative effects on their business and growth. Make a new habit of tackling difficult decisions as soon as they turn up.
Since every recruiter is made (or broken) by their habits, make sure you develop as many positive habits as possible.
So, you’ve just got hired—congratulations. Now it’s time to get to work and make sure you get the most out of your new job. Below are three things you should do in the first 30 days at your new job:
- Make friends and allies. Before you step foot into your new firm, make sure you’ve created a set of succinct responses to the most common questions people ask new hires. Why did you choose to work there? What’s your professional background? What are you new duties in the position you’re working? Your ability to give clear and concise answers to these questions will make a good impression.
- Understand evaluations. As soon as you start at your new job, find out how you will be evaluated. What are the skills and achievements your superiors want to see in order for them to perceive you as a competent and valuable member of the team? The last thing you want to do is focus on excelling in areas that don’t matter to the people in charge.
- Learn the firm’s business. As you begin mastering your new position, you need to also fully understand the business of the firm. What are their goals? What is their current financial status? Who are the clients they work with and what type of clients do they aspire to work with? Once you have a good handle on the law firm’s business, you can begin positioning yourself so that you can make the greatest positive impact.
By laying a solid foundation at your new job, you’ll be better positioned to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise.
Emotional intelligence (EI) is a not often talked about characteristic that’s needed to achieve success as a legal recruiter. If you want to manage your relationships with clients and candidates, and effectively deal with the stress of this demanding job, you need a high EI. Below are four habits of emotionally intelligent recruiters.
- Emotionally intelligent recruiters have boundaries. Legal recruiters with a high EI have clear boundaries and rules about how they deal with clients and candidates. They understand that you must have limits to protect your interests and prevent exploitation by others.
- Emotionally intelligent recruiters are measured. The ability to avoid overreacting to conflict is a cornerstone of EI. Legal recruiters with a high EI understand that they don’t need to react angrily or defensively to offensive people. Since they have strong boundaries they feel empowered to give a measured response and are ready to walk away when necessary.
- Emotionally intelligent recruiters see all sides. Legal recruiters with a high EI have the ability to see other people’s perspectives. They can understand what employers want (and why they want it) and they understand the desires of job candidates. This characteristic helps recruiters make better employer/candidate matches.
- Emotionally intelligent recruiters conserve energy. Keeping your mind free of yesterday’s conflicts and disappointments frees up energy to work on today’s solutions. Legal recruiters with high EI focus all of their energy on the things that will make a positive difference in their business.
Successful recruiters are emotionally intelligent recruiters.
Being a stay-at-home parent is great, but when it’s time to return to the workforce it can feel like a burden. Below are a few job search tips for parents returning to the workforce:
- Get retrained. Even if you’re an experienced attorney, taking time off from practicing law can leave you rusty and out of step with the changes in the industry. Try getting up to speed before you start sending out resumes.
- Work part-time or on contract. Going from full-time parent to full-time attorney is a tough transition. To make it easier, look into getting a part-time or contract gig that will help you shore up your skills and update your experience.
- Be honest. Whatever your experience has been as a full-time parent, make sure that you’re honest about it in your resume and cover letter. You don’t want to mislead hiring managers and recruiters. Being deceptive could cost you a job that you have otherwise been hired for.
- Reconnect. As soon as you decide that you want to return to the workforce, take the time to reconnect with old coworkers. Find out what has changed in the industry and what new opportunities may be available for someone like you.
- Be flexible. It may not be realistic to expect the same salary you had when you left the workforce, especially if it was years ago. Keep a flexible attitude and consider taking jobs that pay a little less but that offer you the opportunity for advancement that you desire.
As a parent returning to the workforce, having a strategic approach to your job search could improve your chances of finding rewarding work.
Clients come and go, and for recruiters this reality is just business as usual. But if you want to succeed financially as an independent recruiter you must constantly attract new clients. Below are five tips for attracting new clients.
- Develop a process. If you want to make attracting new clients a permanent fixture in your recruiting business, you must develop a process and system for targeting, vetting, studying, and pitching to new clients.
- Personalize communication. When reaching out to prospective clients, make sure all of your communications have a personal touch. Get a contact name and try to include information in your email/voicemail that’s relevant to the prospective client’s business.
- Get active. If you want to become a client magnet, get active in the community. Identify a handful of legal industry related events, organizations, and online communities where you can make a positive contribution. Once you become known as the person who adds value to others, it’ll become a lot easier to attract new clients.
- Persistently follow-up. Following up with potential clients can feel daunting, especially if you’re not getting the desired response. But persistent follow-up that takes place over the course of six to twelve months just may deliver the type of results you want, especially if you started with a high quality target list.
- Ask for referrals. It’s a lot easier to attract customers with the help of already satisfied clients. Make asking for referrals a part of what you do each time you talk to current clients.
If you want a financially stable and thriving recruiting business, you must make attracting new clients a top priority.