Legal Recruiter: Four Ways Mistakes Help You Grow Professionally

The journey of a recruiter is filled with pitfalls and opportunities for error. But it’s these mistakes that can help you grow and thrive professionally. Let’s take a look at four ways you can benefit from your mistakes.iStock_000045739306_Full-1024x683

  1. Mistakes help you clarify your values. With every error you make, there is an opportunity to remember and clarify what it is that you belief in. The consequences of your mistakes hurt because they sometimes violate our values. For example, if you mistakenly sent a poorly qualified candidate on an interview, you may feel disappointed in your mistake because you value finding and referring only the best to employers.
  2. Mistakes help us identify tactics that don’t work. Creating good strategies takes time and energy. That’s why it’s important to implement only those tactics that are most effective. When you make a mistake in strategy, that mistake offers important information about what isn’t working and how you can make improvements.
  3. Mistakes force us to recognize our limitations. Many recruiters want to do it all and to achieve as much as they can in as little time as possible. Unfortunately, there are limits to what you can do even if you’re one of the best recruiters out there. And mistakes will offer painful reminders of what those limits are. It’s up to you to recognize those limits and plan around them. Sometimes limits can offer opportunities for increased creativity.
  4. Mistakes humanize us in the eyes of others. While making an error can be embarrassing, it’s a not in your best interest to hide from your mistakes. When you make a mistake and admit it to those harmed by the error, it shows that you are human and that you are willing to correct yourself when necessary.

If leveraged correctly, mistakes can offer an opportunity to get better and stronger.

Attorney Job Search: Three Things Law Firms Look For In A Lateral Hire

If you’re looking to make a lateral move to another law firm, you’ll need to craft a resume and cover letter that speaks to what recruiters and hiring managers desire. Below are a few things that law firms and recruiters look for in a lateral hire.

  1. Look-before-you-leap-when-making-your-next-lateral-move-mediumA clear career pattern. As with most attorneys, if you’ve been in the legal industry for any amount of time you’ve probably move around. That’s sometimes a good thing, but depending on what types of moves you’ve made, it could hurt your job search. Legal recruiters and hiring managers are looking for candidates who have a clear career pattern—the type of changes that show you’re both flexible and consistent. For example, going from work as a divorce attorney to an attorney who primarily handles child custody cases shows a clear progression in your career. However, going from a family law attorney to a litigation attorney to a real estate attorney demonstrates a clear inconsistency in your career pattern.
  2. A strong book of business. If you’re an experienced attorney, hiring managers and legal recruiters expect to see that you have a good book of business. If you haven’t been able to build a book of business, it may be a red flag that will cost you an opportunity. If you’re thinking about a lateral move to another law firm, shore up your book of business so that you have the best chances of getting hired.
  3. Job longevity. While most recruiters and hiring managers expect to some job moves in your attorney career, candidates who move too often will have a difficult time getting hired. Job candidates who change jobs every two years or who quit their most current job after only a year will probably be looked at with suspicion. Some hiring managers and recruiters may fear a job hopper is someone who simply doesn’t have the skills needed or who lacks the ability to work well with others.

If you’re looking to make a lateral move, make sure you can meet at least some recruiter and hiring manger expectations.

Recruiter Corner: Branding Mistakes That Could Dilute Your Message

Sending the right message about your recruiting brand will determine which types of clients and candidates you attract. But some recruiters make basic branding mistakes that dilute their message. Below are a few tips on what branding mistakes you should avoid.logo-design-business-branding-west-sussex

  1. Failing to make your brand distinct and specific. Powerful brands are recognizable and relatable in seconds. When we see the “swoosh” we know immediately that it’s Nike. When we see the Coca-Cola red and white we know immediately what brand it’s referring to. When you’re creating your brand, you need to focus on making it stand out in the same way that the most powerful and popular brands stand out. And don’t let the fact that you’re small or new hold you back, think about crafting a brand that’s unique and memorable.
  2. Failing to create branding guidelines. From the first moment you begin to create your brand, think about the guidelines you will hold that brand to—colors, shapes, typography, philosophy, mission, and values. These guidelines should be followed in everything you do, including your social media posts and press releases. If there is someone else working with you, make sure they also understand and follow these guidelines.
  3. Failing to follow your branding guidelines. The longer you work on your recruiter platform, the more opportunities you’ll have to do something off-brand. Many recruiters may get decide to stray from their branding guidelines for various reasons—it’s cheaper, faster, easier, or it seems to be the most popular thing to do at the time. However, straying from your guidelines will only dilute your message.

If you want to build a strong brand, start from the beginning by creating a brand that is distinct in a way that will help you stand out in the crowd

Attorney Job Search: Sales Tips For Job Seekers

For job seekers looking to impress recruiters and hiring managers, a solid understanding of sales is critical for success. As a job seeker, getting hired is just as much about selling your skills and expertise as it is about sending out resumes and landing interviews. Below are two important sales tips that you can adapt to your job search.How-to-sell-yourself

  1. Making the sale is rooted in customer belief. No matter how impressive your resume or how charismatic you present in an interview, if the hiring manager doesn’t believe that you’re the right fit they’re not going to take a chance on hiring you. That’s why you must focus on tackling beliefs that could keep a hiring manager from hiring you. Are you a new attorney? Maybe the hiring manager wants someone with more experience. Are you a small firm lawyer applying at large firm? Maybe the hiring manager doesn’t fully understand how a small firm attorney can survive in a big firm environment. Find out what negative beliefs the hiring manager may have about you, then address them one by one.
  2. Your self-perception matters. How you view yourself as an attorney and how you view the value you bring to a law firm is critical to your job search process. It’s self-perception that will determine which type of jobs you will apply to, what offers you’re willing to accept, and what type of compensation package you’re willing to negotiate. Ultimately, selling yourself as an attorney is just as much about believing in yourself as it is about convincing others of your value. If you want to get hired, you must correct false and negative self-perceptions and enter your job search with self-confidence.

Getting hired requires you to approach the job process with self-confidence and dispel negative beliefs about your competence or fit.

Recruiter Corner: Conversation Starters For Networking Events

Networking events can always be a little awkward, especially if you’re shy or a little on the introvert side. That’s why it’s good to have a few ready-made icebreakers at your disposal when you’re trying to get to know new contacts. Below are a few icebreaker questions to make your networking events a lot easier.Networking

  1. Are you from this city? If you’re traveling to a networking event out of town such as a conference, this is always a good opening question. If the person isn’t from the city you’re visiting, good follow up questions include, “How do you like it so far?” “What good tourist sites have you seen so far?” “Is this your first time visiting?”
  2. Do you come to these events often? Sometimes networking events are ongoing, taking place every week or month. If this is the case, asking the contact about their experiences with past events is a good conversation starter. If it’s their first time and you’ve attended past events, take this opportunity to offer tips or share positive stories about your experience.
  3. What is the best dish? Asking the new contact for advice on something, which drink or dish to pick, is a good way to break the ice. You might even ask about other people at the event. This gives the contact an opportunity to share information with you and continue the conversation if they choose to.

Once you break the ice with new contacts at a networking event, don’t be afraid to let the conversation flow naturally.

Attorney Job Search: Three Tips For Thinking Outside The Box

When the competition for jobs is tight, candidates must be willing to think and act outside the constraints of a traditional job search. But how do you unlock your inner creative genius when in the throes of a tough job search? Let’s explore three tips for thinking outside the box in your job search.skylight-resized-600

  1. Reframe the problem. When most job candidates think about applying for a job, they think the problem is convincing a hiring manager that they’re a good fit. But if you want to get creative, you’ll need to dig a little deeper—look at the problem of getting hired from many angles. Not only do you want to convince the hiring manager that you’re a good fit, you may also want to convince them that you’re a good long-term investment, that you bring in valuable assets, and that you’re the type of person that will complement their existing team of attorneys. It’s this type of reframing of the problem that will help you act in creative ways when looking for your next job.
  2. Stay detached. It’s tough to think outside the box when you’re attached to the outcome of your job search. If you want to get creative, you’ll first need to establish psychological distance. Imagine that you’re not the person actually looking for a job. Imagine that it’s someone else who needs work, and that this person is bold and adventurous. Now think about what you would have them do to achieve their goal. It’s the advice you formulate while detached from the situation that will offer up some serious gems for your own job search.
  3. Embrace mistakes. It’s natural to want perfection in your job search. But too much aiming for perfection can turn into procrastination and rigidity in your approach. Instead of aiming for perfection, aim for competence and be willing to embrace the mistakes that you will make inevitably. By embracing the possibility of mistakes, you’ll be freer to take on the risks of thinking and acting outside the box.

Don’t let your job search become stale and ordinary, be willing to think outside the box so that you can make a great impression.

Three Realities Recruiters Must Accept When Engaging Hiring Managers

So many legal recruiters vie for the attention and business of hiring managers, that it can seem impossible to stand out, especially if you’re new to the market. But it does get easier once you’re willing to recognize and embrace three basic realities when engaging hiring managers.Business-Men-Coffee-Talk

  1. Hiring managers care about business outcomes. If there is one thing that hiring managers put above all else, it’s the business outcomes related to recruiting new talent. Hiring mangers want to bring on attorneys who not only work well as lawyers but who will add value to their law firm’s bottom line. Recruiters who let hiring managers know that they understand this basic reality will gain an advantage.
  2. Hiring managers are time misers. Just like recruiters, hiring managers have very little time to vet candidates and recruiters. This is why recruiters must have a knack for making their case in as little time as possible. Craft a tight pitch that shows the hiring manager that you’re the right choice in as little as 30 seconds, and you’ll be well on your way to building a impressive database of business relationships.
  3. Hiring managers are risk adverse. While there are many quality job candidates out there who are switching careers or practice areas, some hiring managers may be unwilling to take a chance on them. If a recruiter thinks that an “unproven” candidate will make a good hire, they must figure out a way to reduce the perception of risk.

Accept and prepare for the realities of engaging hiring managers and you’ll find it easier to make successful connections.

Attorney Job Search: Three Things You Should Never Say To A Recruiter

Working with an experienced legal recruiter is a great strategy, but how you communicate your needs and wants is just as important as your resume. Let’s take a look at three things you should never say to a legal recruiter.shutterstock_284569808

  1. “I’m open to any job.” While saying that you will take any type of job seems like an open-minded thing, it actually sends the message that you’re desperate. And every recruiter knows that desperate people will take jobs they really don’t want in the heat of the moment, only to leave when something better comes along. If you’re really feeling the stress of a long-term job search, avoid the appearance of desperation. You can let the recruiter know which specific compromises you’re willing to make but stay firm on being valued for your work.
  2. “I’m hoping my current job will offer something better.”   If you’re dipping into the job market because you’re not being compensated enough by your current firm, it’s important that you mentally prepare yourself for the possibility that your current employer won’t give you an offer that’s to your satisfaction. Telling a recruiter that you’re hoping to get a better deal at your current job won’t leave them feeling inspired to submit your resume to job openings. You must let recruiters know that you are in fact prepared to move on from your current job and that you’re not just a tire kicker.
  3. “I really hated my last employer.” Everyone has worked at least one job they hated, but it’s not wise to tell a recruiter this. Even if every bad thing you say about your former employer is true, it won’t make you look good to gossip about those facts. If you didn’t enjoy your last job, try to focus on what you did like or keep your comments about the job short and to the point.

The next time you work with a recruiter, make sure you’re communicating the type of messages that will make them do their best work for you.

Recruiter Corner: Three Ways Perfectionism Is Harming Your Business

Many legal recruiters describe themselves as perfectionists and claim that their quest for perfection is the reason for their success. But the reality may be something quite different, in many ways perfectionism can get in the way of productivity and achievement. Let’s take a look at three ways perfectionism may be harming your recruiting business.Perfectionism

  1. You avoid taking risks. Taking risks is messy and can never be done without making mistakes. If you’re a perfectionist, you may have no tolerance for the messy, error prone reality of doing things that are risky. So instead of taking a chance, you may become content with the status quo.
  2. You have become inflexible. The dark side of perfectionism is that many perfectionists have such a strong belief in their methods and philosophy that they are not open to innovation. This type of inflexibility can leave you using old, outdated solutions when a new, fresher idea is better suited for your current needs. The result is that your business can become irrelevant when you get stuck in your old ways.
  3. You’re less productive. Because you’re searching for perfection, you may spend too much time trying to make your work excellent instead of competent. While it’s always admirable to aim for excellence, this must be done within the confines of deadlines. It’s better to do your work competently and on time than to do it perfectly and late.

When you find yourself stuck in a perfectionism rut, remember that innovation, flexibility, and productivity requires you to do your best within limits so that you can get the job done and move forward.

New Hire Tips: Four Areas Where You Should Clarify Employer Expectations

Starting a new job comes with many challenges, and the biggest one is meeting the expectations of your employer. But to meet those expectations, you must get a clear understanding of what others want from you. The job description and the information gathered in your interview is a good start, but it won’t deliver all the pieces you need. You’ll need to communicate with your boss after you’re hired to get a better understanding of what’s required of you. Below are four areas where you should clarify expectations with your new employer.start-new-job

  1. Scope of work. Job descriptions are only guidelines, so you should expect that the reality on the ground may be a lot different. When you start working at your new job, clarify the scope of your job. What is it that your direct boss expects you to deliver? If you notice that some job duties weren’t mentioned during the recruiting process, clarify that they’re supposed to be added before you take them on.
  2. Deadlines. How soon does your boss expect you to deliver work? If you can, ask for exact dates. If you find that your workload makes a deadline impractical, ask your boss which item should take priority. Also, don’t be afraid to let your boss know if the workload is too much and making your deadlines impossible to meet.
  3. Power to accept work. As a new hire, there may be many people eager to share their workload with you depending on your position. Get clarification from your boss about who you should accept work tasks from and whose projects should take priority. Even if you feel that you should already know the answer, it’s only natural to have this type of question when you’re a new hire, so don’t be shy about asking.
  4. Quality of work. As you begin your new position, don’t be shy about getting feedback on the quality of your work. This is especially true if you’re a new attorney but it also applies to experienced lawyers. Even if you’re good at what you do, there may be some firm specific or culture specific standards you need to meet to be considered doing a great job. Make sure you meet those standards by being proactive on getting feedback.

Clarifying your expectations with your new employer gives you the edge you need to impress as a new hire.