Attorney Job Search: Tips For Getting The Salary You Deserve

If you’ve consistently taken the time to improve your attorney knowledge, skills, and work experience, there’s a good chance that you’ve outgrown your current salary. Below are a few tips on how you can get the salary you deserve at your next job.cc038b97-52b1-4be8-9865-bbf8b16f8720-lg

  1. Determine your bottom line. What is the minimum amount of money you need to live the lifestyle you want? Take into account all of your expenses—mortgage/rent, household bills, your kids’ school tuition, healthcare costs, vacation costs, and so on. Don’t be timid about adding everything up but don’t go overboard either. Only calculate those expenses that are necessary to live the lifestyle you want.
  2. Put a dollar value on your professional assets. Take an honest look at what you’re bringing to the table as an attorney. How do your skills, knowledge, and experience compare to other lawyers on the market? What special qualities do you bring that are difficult to find?  Now do some research on how much attorneys earn who are just as qualified as you. Is that amount in line with your bottom line needs? If so, be prepared to make your case during salary negotiations.
  3. Improve your value. If you find that your current value as an attorney is not enough to earn the salary you need, you must put together a plan to improve your professional value. Consider taking more classes, getting a mentor, or even doing pro bono work that will help you get the type of experience that is valued by employers.

If you want to get the salary you deserve, you must know your value as an attorney and be willing to increase that value when necessary.

Recruiter Corner: How To Build and Nurture Your Talent Community

Every recruiter and employer is talking about talent communities—large pools of qualified candidates who engage with you and each other. But how do you build and nurture a talent community? Below are a few tips.Branding-Social-Media_720x404

  1. Add the right talent. There are three types of people you should add to your talent community—candidates who applied for a position but weren’t a good fit, candidates who are skilled but don’t fit the basic needs of any of your open job orders, and talent that isn’t looking for a job right now but would be an asset to any employer. With the right base you can have a steady foundation for a healthy talent community.
  2. Engage with value. It can’t be repeated too much—you must offer value to your talent community. You should provide information about new job opportunities and news about changes in the legal industry as the foundation of your content. Don’t contact them too often because your emails will become “white noise,” and they will eventually ignore you. Once or twice a month may be just enough contact for your talent community.
  3. Encourage interaction. The bulk of your talent community should interact with each other. You can encourage this by using forums or utilizing hashtag discussions on social media. For example, you might have #FridayLawyerMyths where each participant posts one myth about being a lawyer that new lawyers usually don’t find out until after they’ve practiced for awhile.
  4. Purge periodically. In every community there are members who don’t participate. Consider keeping your list clean by purging members who haven’t engaged in a year or more. You can send out a warning email a month before the purge. Having a small number of highly engaged members is better than having a large list of lurkers.

Developing a strong talent community will improve your ability to find quality candidates every time you have an open job order.

Attorney Job Search: How To Stop Social Media From Taking Over Your Life

Social media is a great way to expand your job search, meet recruiters, and connect to hiring managers. But if you’re not careful social media could begin to take over your life. Below are a few tips on keeping social media in check.

  1. isolated-timer_qdv9dxDon’t let social media alter your mood. One of the dark sides of social media is that the number of likes or shares on a post can sometimes alter the mood of the poster. If you’ve just posted something about your job search on Facebook or Twitter, don’t get too attached to how others react to it. Remember, most people receive hundreds of messages in their news feed every day, so they may not see your post until much later or they may never see it. Lack of reaction on social media doesn’t reflect poorly on you.
  2. Limit social media interaction—scope and time. When you’re using social media as part of your job search, limit both the scope and time you spend on the various platforms. For example, you might decide that you will limit personal posts and mostly focus on posting things directly related to your job search. You might also decide to spend no more than 30 minutes a day on social media.
  3. Take a social media fast every week. You should have at least one day a week when you’re not on social media. Many of the best connections are made offline at events, conferences, and networking functions. Step away from your computer for just one day (at least) and commit to connecting with job search contacts face-to-face.
  4. Assess the benefits of social media. How effective is your social media job search campaign? Each month you should take the time to determine what tactics are working and which are a waste of time. You only want to put energy into using the most productive strategies for your job search.

Don’t let social media take over your life, leverage it to get the most out of your job search.

Recruiter Corner: Four Essentials Every Career Site Needs

For recruiters who want to attract top performers, a high quality career site is a must. It doesn’t need to be complex but it does need to include four essential elements.Designer Drawing Website Development Wireframe

  1. Job listings prominently displayed. When a candidate visits a legal recruiter’s website, they’re coming for one primary reason—jobs. Don’t bury your job page forcing your candidates to click through several links just to get to a list of employment opportunities. Access to your job search engine or listings should be on the home page. At the very least, you need a direct link to the job page prominently displayed on your home page.
  2. Mobile capability. Most job seekers are using their phone to look for and apply to jobs. If your career site isn’t optimized for mobile users you’ll miss out on top performers. But don’t worry, most web site templates come already optimized for mobile. But if you’re having a web professional design your site from scratch be sure to discuss mobile optimization before they begin the project.
  3. Application submission form. Your career site must make it easy for candidates to submit their resume and cover letter for any job you have listed. You should also provide an email address just in case the application form isn’t working for some reason. You don’t want to lose top performers because of technical problems.
  4. Good visuals and smart design. With the proliferation of easy-to-use web templates, there’s no longer any excuse for a badly designed website. Your career site should include appealing (and relevant) photos and a design that makes your site easy to use.

Make your career site work for you by including all the essentials needed to attract top candidates.

Attorney Job Search: Three Questions You Should Never Ask During An Interview

Asking questions during an interview is generally considered a good thing, but the type of questions you ask matters a great deal. Below are three questions you should never ask an interviewer.questions-not-to-ask-interview

  1. How did the interview go? Everyone wants to know how well they performed in an interview but asking how you did can be awkward. What if you did terrible? You may force the interviewer to then lie or at least awkwardly avoid answering. Instead of asking how you did during an interview, ask if there are any concerns the interviewer has about your experience and abilities. That way the interviewer can say something like, “Yes, we’re a little concerned about your lack of experience in this practice area,” or “No, we don’t have any concerns.” Either way, you get an answer to your real question without being too direct.
  2. When do I get a raise? Asking about future raises and bonus opportunities can come off as a little too eager or arrogant especially if you haven’t been offered the job yet or the employer didn’t bring up salary first. It can also seem like you’re not the right person for the job if you’re already dissatisfied with the salary offered. No one wants to hire someone who is going to leave in a few months when a better paying job comes along.
  3. What are the biggest responsibilities of this position? If it’s in the job description, do not mention it unless you need clarification. Asking general questions that are already answered in the job description or on the company website will mark you as a candidate who is unprepared. If you don’t understand something you found in the job description or on the website, mention that you had more questions about it. But make it clear that you read the information that was already shared with you.

Make a good impression by asking questions that will show you’re prepared and give you deeper insight into the job.

Recruiter Corner: Three Ways To Build Trust On A Cold Call

Building trust on client cold calls is important but also quite difficult. Since you and the prospect you’re calling are complete strangers, trust simply won’t be there—at least not initially. Let’s take a look at a few ways you can build trust quickly on a cold call.ColdCalling

  1. Make a good first impression. The first few seconds of a cold call are crucial to building rapport and trust. You will need to sound clear, confident, and show the right amount of respect if you want to get over the hurdle of mistrust. Ask the prospect you’re calling if now is a good time to talk. And if they say ‘no’ respectfully ask them if you can call back tomorrow at the same time (or a different time). Remember, showing respect for the prospect’s space and time will go a long way in making a good impression and building trust.
  2. Share identifying information. As soon the prospect answers the phone, give the your name and other identifying information. “Hi Mr. Smith. This is Jane Wright from XYZ recruiting,” is a good way to introduce yourself. You don’t want to make anyone play guessing games about your identity. And appearing to use deception or withholding information bout your identity can raise unnecessary red flags.
  3. Mention mutual friends and acquaintances. Another easy way to build trust on a cold call is to mention a mutual friend or acquaintance. You might say, “Sandy introduced us at the networking event” or “John Campbell suggested that I reach out to you.” Once you let your prospect know that someone they trust knows you, you can more easily build rapport.

Build trust fast during a cold call, and you’ll have fewer hurdles to clear on your journey to closing the deal.

Attorney Job Search: Three Body Language Mistakes That Can Sink Your Interview

Preparing for your interview is about more than practicing your answers to the most common interview questions. You also want to project the right amount of confidence and send the right message with your body language. Below are three body language mistakes that could sink your next interview.Body-Language-interview

  1. Inappropriate eye contact. As the saying goes, “the eyes are the windows to the soul.” Or, in this case what you do with your eyes can be a door to getting the job or not. To make the right type of connection at your interview, you must have the right amount of eye contact. While you don’t want to get into a staring contest with your interviewer, you also don’t want to have your eyes wandering everywhere else but the face of the people across from you. As a rule, try to focus on the face of the interviewer, once in awhile looking directly into their eyes (but not for too long) and looking away from their face briefly. In most cases people do this naturally if they’re relaxed. But if you’re nervous, you may need to make a conscious effort to maintain the right amount of eye contact.
  2. Busy hands. If you get nervous in interviews, you may have a habit of having very busy hands—fidgeting with your clothes, touching your face, or playing with some item on the table (papers, pens, booklets etc.). Busy hands are both distracting and annoying, and may clearly tell the interviewers that you’re not comfortable. Make a conscious effort to keep you hands at rest in your lap or on the table. It’s okay to gesture slightly when speaking but avoid getting too animated.
  3. Crossing you limbs. Depending on your level of comfort and familiarity with the interviewers, you may begin to feel defensive, afraid, and very nervous. This discomfort might cause you to cross your arms or legs during the interview. Unfortunately, this closed body language is bad for interviews. You want to give the message of openness even when you’re feeling vulnerable or threatened. If you find yourself crossing your legs or arms, make an effort to uncross them so that you appear more welcoming and relaxed.

Stay conscious of your body language during interviews so that you appear more relaxed and confident.

Recruiter Corner: Mastering The Fine Art Of Making Small Talk

Whether you’re attending a networking event or waiting in line at a conference, the ability to make small talk can help you build and sustain business relationships. But everyone knows that making small talk isn’t as easy as it seems. Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can use to keep the conversation going.roz-small-talk

  1. Bring conversation starters. No matter where you are, you should already have a few handy conversation starters ready to go. You might discuss simple things like the weather, a current event (only positive news), music (a recent concert you attended) or even the drinks and food at the event.       If you know who you’re going to see at the event, try to remember something about the person, then start a little discussion. For example, if you know that they recently took a vacation, consider asking them about it.
  2. Prepare detailed responses. When people start a conversation with you, don’t just give them short answers. If your answers are too brief, it can create an awkward situation where the other person has to keep asking more questions just to keep the conversation going. And if all your answers are brief one or two word responses, it can come off as aloof. Instead of brevity, be prepared to offer details. For example, if you’re asked what you do for a living, you might respond by saying you’re a recruiter and telling the person how long you’ve been doing that and why you love it.
  3. Never forget names. You should always aim to remember names. After someone shares their name, try to use it at least two or three times during conversation. Also, if you do forget their name, you can 1) ask a third-party, 2) simply avoid conversation that requires the use of their name or 3) apologize, offer an reason why you’ve forgotten (you’re very tired, you’re very bad with names, you’re a little under the weather) and then ask for their name again.

Once you get into the flow of mastering small talk, it’ll be easier to connect to others and maintain existing relationships.

Attorney Job Search: Five Things You Can Negotiate Besides Salary

For attorneys who want to effectively negotiate a compensation package, too much fixation on salary is a mistake. Below are five things you should consider negotiating besides base salary.Money_Deal_MAIN_crop380w

  1. Bonuses. There are all types of bonuses available for candidates willing to ask, including sign on bonuses and performance bonuses. Many law firms are willing to reward associates if they reach predetermined benchmarks. And if you’re a candidate with rare skills, they may even be willing to offer a sign on bonus.
  2. Transportation reimbursement. Whether you drive or commute, travel associated with your work can put a serious dent in your budget. That’s why asking for a transportation reimbursement account is a good policy. This could be as simple as a monthly bus card to payment for mileage on your vehicle.
  3. Time off. For many law firms, work feels like it is 24/7. However, getting extra vacation and sick days is just as good as money in the bank, especially when you need that extra time to tend to your personal affairs.
  4. Tuition reimbursement. Thinking about going to back to school? Some law firms may reimburse your tuition costs. Even if the base salary is lower than you expected, having your educational costs paid for could pay dividends for years to come.
  5. Professional memberships. Membership in professional organizations for attorneys can get costly. If you can negotiate with an employer to pay your membership dues, that’s extra money in your pocket.

Don’t let a mediocre salary blind you to other compensation opportunities, negotiate your entire package to take full advantage of a variety of benefits and perks.

 

Recruiter Corner: Getting The Most Out Of Candidate Cold Calls

When cold calling job candidates most recruiters are hoping to find highly qualified talent that fits the qualifications of open job orders. But getting the most out of each candidate cold call requires an approach that snags good candidates now and in the future. Here are a few tips:coldCallingOpeningsThumb

  1. Do a little research. Depending on how you got your candidate cold call list, you may need to do a little research to make sure you’re contacting candidates who at least marginally qualify for the position you’re trying to fill. There’s nothing more annoying that recruiters calling candidates who don’t even work in the practice area for which they’re recruiting.
  2. Get a script. Every call you make to a candidate is potentially disruptive. To minimize the chance of your call being perceived as a nuisance, you should be prepared with a script that will make your call quick and valuable. Here are a few things your candidate cold call script should include 1) the name of the candidate (with the correct pronunciation), 2) the purpose of your call—tell them right out that you have a job opportunity that may benefit them, 3) why you think they are the right fit—if you have their resume, point out something on it that makes it clear why they may do well on the job, 4) a call to action—what do you want them to do with this information? Do you want them to send you an updated resume that you can forward to the employer? A good script will make your call productive.
  3. Prequalify them. Once a candidate shows interest in a job, ask more questions so that you can make sure the candidate is truly qualified. Once you realize a candidate isn’t qualified, begin to close out the call.
  4. Get permission. Even if the candidate is not interested in the job opportunity or isn’t qualified for the position, get permission to contact them again. Ask the candidate if it’s okay to call or email them about future job opportunities. If you approached your call professionally and efficiently, most candidates won’t mind hearing from you again.

Using the right approach, your cold calls to candidates can benefit your current and future recruiting efforts.