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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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?”
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- “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.
- “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.
- “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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
The race to connect with quality job candidates is intense. Every recruiter wants to know the most effective way to reach the most qualified attorneys. But just connecting isn’t enough because the wrong type of connections can harm newly formed relationships between a recruiter and a candidate, especially if that connection is made with spambot methods. Let’s take a look at a few tips on how you can avoid becoming a human spambot while still winning the recruiting game.
- Don’t add contacts to email lists without permission. This one easily falls into “how not to be a spambot 101” but it’s worth mentioning—if someone hasn’t explicitly given you permission to add them to your mailing list, don’t add them. Even if they don’t immediately express their annoyance at your unsolicited messages, they will likely add you to the spam folder.
- Don’t text message spam to anyone’s phone. Many recruiters assume that young lawyers prefer text messaging over email. This may be true if you’re their friend or personal acquaintance. If an attorney gives you their business card, don’t make your initial contact a general text message about a new job opportunity. Email or phone them instead. And if you feel so inclined, ask for their permission to send text messages in the future.
- Don’t “inbox” strangers on social media. LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, along with other social media sites are a great way to meet skilled job candidates. However, it’s a bad idea to inbox anyone about job opportunities without at least creating some type of rapport first. Remember, unsolicited private messages may be considered spam even if they’re sent through a social media site’s inbox system.
Recruiters who can avoid behaving in spambot ways will avoid turning off quality job candidates.
Moving your attorney career forward requires skill, vision, and strategy. Unfortunately, many attorneys do things that not only slow their professional growth but sabotage their career. Let’s take a look at three things you may be doing that’s hurting your chances for advancement.
- Failing to set boundaries. Having boundaries is about knowing the limits of your relationship with others. Boundaries are important when deciding what type of information you will share, how you will confront a problem co-worker, and even how you will deal with conflict with your boss. Doormats and “yes” men don’t have boundaries, they also don’t have what it takes to take on leadership roles. When your superiors recognize your lack of boundaries, they may decide to overlook you for opportunities that require a backbone.
- Bad online reputation management. As an attorney, you want to be authentic with clients, partners, and fellow attorneys. However, authenticity doesn’t mean you should let everything hang out when it comes to your social media accounts. Having unprofessional images and posts online can put off and offend your co-workers, clients, and superiors and eventually erode your ability to be taken seriously. To keep your professional relationships respectful, take care to monitor and control your online image.
- Becoming professionally irrelevant. Outside of keeping your attorney skills up-to-date, you should also keep up your understanding of technology and other advancements in the legal industry. Failing to stay up-to-date with your legal tech skills could result in you becoming a professional dinosaur—akin to people who still use a typewriter instead of a computer.
As you aim to advance your attorney career, take care to avoid sabotaging your efforts.
Facebook is a powerful tool for recruiters to connect with employers and job candidates. But to get the most out of Facebook you need to implement the best tactics that can get you noticed in a good way. Below are a few tips on making your Facebook page stand out.
- Get a logo. Using a simple but professionally designed logo for your cover and profile image will go a long way in projecting a positive image to visitors. Cover images should be exactly 851 pixels by 315 pixels and no more than 20% text, while profile images should be 180 pixels by 180 pixels.
- Complete your profile data. The space where you can enter information about your page should be fully exploited. Don’t leave your profile data blank or partially complete. Include the details such as contact information, your location, website link, and a detailed explanation of the services you offer to employers and candidates. Never assume that people will understand what value you’re bringing to the table. You’ll have only 155 characters available to make your case so use them wisely.
- Plan your content. Before you launch your Facebook page, you should have a clear idea of the type of content you want to share and who you want to share it with. If you want to connect with both employers and job candidates, you can tag content accordingly so that different readers can easily find content relevant to their needs.
- Create a target list. Have a list of at least 30 people or companies you want to tell about your page. Having a target list of people you want to like your page will make it easier to get the ball rolling on building your audience. From there people will begin to share your page and content with others.
- Personalize your URL. Once you get 25 fans for your Facebook page, personalize your URL so that it’s easier to find your recruiting firm.
To get the most out of Facebook, you’ll need a clear plan for design, content, and audience.