There is no doubt about it, the legal job market is going through an extremely challenging period. Every day there is news of yet another law firm giant laying off obscene numbers of attorneys and staff. In this difficult recruiting climate, it becomes imperative to use all relevant resources available to you, to the best of your abilities. If utilizing the services of a recruiter is part of your job search arsenal, here are a couple of tips on how to maximize the benefits from this relationship.
Be an abundant resource of information
The best types of recruiters will be those who take the necessary time to get to know you and your marketing strengths. A little extra preparation can go a long way, in trying to set you apart from the numerous other applicants vying for the same position. Be an abundant source of professional and personal information for your recruiter. Freely give them all of the information they request, along with any additional details about your background that you think will be helpful.
- See A Comprehensive Guide to Working with a Legal Recruiter for more information.
Collecting useful information is necessary for your recruiter to create a cover letter that effectively markets you and also to possibly edit your resume further. It often surprises me when candidates refuse to give additional and helpful information to their recruiters because they are ''too busy'' or it is not convenient to do so. A recruiter's ability to represent you is either directly enhanced or limited by your participation and commitment to this process.
In this tight job market, you will want your recruiter to highlight every important aspect of your experience and also the specific cases or deals that you significantly contributed to. If your resume has a generic or a too general sounding practice description- help your recruiter vamp it up by providing comprehensive information about your experience to set you apart from the pack. If you are a transactional lawyer, it is also a very good idea to create a deal list that you can give to your recruiter. Litigation or intellectual property attorneys can also provide a highlight sheet of the noteworthy cases or projects they have worked on.
Furthermore, if you are a hard worker and are one of the tip billers at your current or previous firm, mention this to your recruiter. You basically want to share any marketing information that would help your cause, but that is not readily available on your resume.
Reason for your search
One of the most important questions that your recruiter needs to answer about you is why you are conducting a law firm search. If you are employed, law firms want to know why you are looking to leave your current firm. If you are not employed, employers want to know the circumstances surrounding your most recent departure. Effective recruiters will want to try to answer all of these types of questions in the initial submission sent out. It is important to be proactive about doing this so that the prospective firms will have a complete understanding of why you are seeking new employment, from their first contact with you. Explaining your circumstances in this way also allows your recruiter to offer mitigating circumstances (if any) regarding your desire to seek new employment.
It is also rather helpful to let your recruiter know of any personal information that will increase your visibility and marketability with the firms. For instance, if you are relocating to another geographic area- relate all of your personal and professional ties to that region to your recruiter. Your recruiter can then convey all of these ties to the prospective firms, so they can view you as a long-term fit or hire for their practice groups.
Take the time to also express to your recruiter any other interesting or unusual accomplishments that may make you stand out with the firms. Don't be shy about identifying your achievements. Now is the time to have your recruiter advocate your talents and strengths to the prospective firms, on your behalf.
With fierce competition and a lower number of available associate openings, time is of the essence. Thus, if your recruiter requests something from you- try to be timely in your response and in providing your recruiter with anything he/she needs. Law firms are overwhelmed with the number of good available applicants out there right now- so the sooner you can get your resume submission in, the better your chances will be with the firm. Thus, give your recruiter your resume, transcripts, writing samples, and references- as soon as possible. Don't delay your search out of laziness or procrastination. In this tight market, you have to act quickly.
Try to stay in regular contact with your recruiter as well. If he/she lets you know of a new opening and you have an interest in that firm, jump on that opportunity and let your recruiter know of your interest right away.
In addition, if you receive an interview request- get back to your recruiter as soon as possible regarding your availability. Your main objective is for the firm to meet you and decide that they absolutely have to hire you on the spot. More and more firms are retracting interview offers for associates even after they have expressed an initial interest. Thus, try to confirm an interview as soon as possible to avoid having to deal with the firm getting ''cold feet'' in regards to actually meeting with you.
Be positive and persistent
Having a good attitude and being persistent in your objectives, goes a long way in all facets of life- and your job search is no exception. Try bringing a positive attitude to everything related to your search. This is no easy task, but the folks that display the most optimism and resiliency, will often be the most successful. Potential employers are turned off by desperation and self-doubt, so now more than ever you need to preserve your self-confidence and motivation.
Remember that you and your recruiter are acting as one team. Avoid the temptation to ''shoot the messenger'' if you receive bad news or a large number of rejections from firms. Instead, channel that anxious energy into additional networking and other activities that will positively impact your job search. Last but not least, have faith that things will work out as they should in the end. In times of uncertainty, it is important to embrace faith both in yourself and in the state of the world. Add a whole lot of patience to the equation and you will be positioned for success.
See the following articles for more information:
- What Characteristics Should I Look for in a Legal Recruiter?
- Interview yourself first - questions to ask before starting your lateral search
- How to Choose a Good Attorney Recruiter
- Why You Should Be Talking to a Legal Recruiter Right Now
- Choosing a Legal Recruiter
- Your Legal Career as a Small Business
- Should I Use a Legal Recruiter? Top 10 Reasons to Use a Legal Recruiter
- How to Select the Best Legal Recruiter and Maximize the Effectiveness of Working with One
- What makes a world class recruiter
- 10 Things That Most Legal Recruiters Will Not Tell You
What does a legal recruiter do? Find out in this related article.
|BCG Attorney Search is looking for driven recruiters to join our team. BCG Attorney Search covers the entire United States, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. We offer first-rate training and coaching, pay top of market commissions, pay our recruiters as employees and not independent contractors, and offer medical insurance and other benefits. Additionally, BCG is the best known brand in the industry and is part of a 200+ employee legal employment company. We offer a supportive cooperative atmosphere and provide you with everything you need to be the most effective recruiter possible (continually updated internal job database, massive advertising support, incredible back office support, and many other perks designed to ensure you match every possible candidate with every available position).
About Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes is a prominent figure in the legal placement industry, known for his expertise in attorney placements and his extensive knowledge of the legal profession.
With over 25 years of experience, he has established himself as a leading voice in the field and has helped thousands of lawyers and law students find their ideal career paths.
Barnes is a former federal law clerk and associate at Quinn Emanuel and a graduate of the University of Chicago College and the University of Virginia Law School. He was a Rhodes Scholar Finalist at the University of Chicago and a member of the University of Virginia Law Review. Early in his legal career, he enrolled in Stanford Business School but dropped out because he missed legal recruiting too much.
Barnes' approach to the legal industry is rooted in his commitment to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. He believes that the key to success in the legal profession is to be proactive, persistent, and disciplined in one's approach to work and life. He encourages lawyers to take ownership of their careers and to focus on developing their skills and expertise in a way that aligns with their passions and interests.
One of how Barnes provides support to lawyers is through his writing. On his blog, HarrisonBarnes.com, and BCGSearch.com, he regularly shares his insights and advice on a range of topics related to the legal profession. Through his writing, he aims to empower lawyers to control their careers and make informed decisions about their professional development.
One of Barnes's fundamental philosophies in his writing is the importance of networking. He believes that networking is a critical component of career success and that it is essential for lawyers to establish relationships with others in their field. He encourages lawyers to attend events, join organizations, and connect with others in the legal community to build their professional networks.
Another central theme in Barnes' writing is the importance of personal and professional development. He believes that lawyers should continuously strive to improve themselves and develop their skills to succeed in their careers. He encourages lawyers to pursue ongoing education and training actively, read widely, and seek new opportunities for growth and development.
In addition to his work in the legal industry, Barnes is also a fitness and lifestyle enthusiast. He sees fitness and wellness as integral to his personal and professional development and encourages others to adopt a similar mindset. He starts his day at 4:00 am and dedicates several daily hours to running, weightlifting, and pursuing spiritual disciplines.
Finally, Barnes is a strong advocate for community service and giving back. He volunteers for the University of Chicago, where he is the former area chair of Los Angeles for the University of Chicago Admissions Office. He also serves as the President of the Young Presidents Organization's Century City Los Angeles Chapter, where he works to support and connect young business leaders.
In conclusion, Harrison Barnes is a visionary legal industry leader committed to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. Through his work at BCG Attorney Search, writing, and community involvement, he empowers lawyers to take control of their careers, develop their skills continuously, and lead fulfilling and successful lives. His philosophy of being proactive, persistent, and disciplined, combined with his focus on personal and professional development, makes him a valuable resource for anyone looking to succeed in the legal profession.
About BCG Attorney Search
BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive, while achieving results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit www.BCGSearch.com.
Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays
You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts
You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives
Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.
Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.
To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.