Everything is competitive these days, even the attention of a good recruiter. There are so many qualified attorneys on the job market, how can you assure that your recruiter is effectively working for you? How can you trust that your recruiter is really spending time to make your application stand out against the competition?
As recruiters, our time is pulled in multiple directions between responding to the needs of our candidates and our law firm clients. Recruiters evaluate candidates just like attorneys evaluate recruiters. We have to make choices about where to focus our energy. Here’s how you can help us focus on YOU:
Be Enthusiastic About Your Career
Recruiters want to help attorneys that love their work and are enthusiastic about taking the next step in their careers. When I get on the phone with a potential candidate, nothing motivates me like talking to an attorney that loves being attorney and has a passion for the work they do. When an individual is ambitious and hungry for greater responsibility, more client contact, potential for advancement, more sophisticated work, or anything that will elevate their career, I know that I’ve found a great candidate. This type of attorney is typically focused on the search, responsive, and will come across well in an interview. If you are not enthusiastic about your career, how can a recruiter be enthusiastic about representing you our clients?
By being completely honest and open with a recruiter, you give your recruiter the tools necessary to represent you in the most effective way. Don’t tell us what you think we want to hear. Tell us the truth. Were you laid off from your last position? Did you not get along with your boss? What are your goals? This is all extremely pertinent information. By being upfront and honest, we can give you our best advice with respect to your resume, marketability, what opportunities to target, the way to present yourself to firms, and how to answer difficult interview questions. Our job is to help you find the best possible opportunities for you and your career goals. By being anything less than honest, you are hindering us from doing our jobs efficiently, which costs us time and money. As a recruiter, almost nothing turns me off more than the sense that a candidate is not being completely honest with me.
Be Open to Suggestions
No doubt, there needs to be a superior level of trust between a recruiter and a candidate. While the candidate may have a good idea for what he or she wants, a good recruiter knows the market, the firms, and wants to give you as many options as possible (and knows how to accomplish this). If your recruiter gives you suggestions with respect to differing geographic locations, law firms, or even types of positions, be open to these suggestions. At the very least, take them under serious consideration. You are still in the “driver’s seat” and are welcome to turn down any offer that comes your way. Let recruiters utilize their expertise in opening your eyes to different possibilities. Recruiters may very well know better markets for your skill set. You might find a perfect situation that you would not have otherwise considered.
Submit Your Resume
It is a good practice for recruiters to keep in touch with attorneys that are not actively looking and may only be interested in few options. However, recruiters will naturally work harder for those candidates that give them the “OK” to send to multiple firms. By doing this, the candidate is demonstrating a level of trust and relaying that he or she is serious about a lateral move. By submitting to multiple firms, the recruiter is investing more of their time in your successful placement. As we invest more time, we become more devoted to you. If your response is more often a “yes” to potential possibilities, then a recruiter will likely continue to push boundaries in searching for the best opportunities for you.
Give an Exclusive
Almost nothing gets a recruiter working more diligently than a two-week exclusive with a promising candidate. This gives the recruiter a sense of trust and ease when presenting new possibilities to you and ambition when pitching you to law firms. If you give a two-week exclusive to a great recruiter, you can bet that “no stone will be left unturned.” In exchange for your trust, you will secure the time and attention from your recruiter.
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