Now is the perfect time for lawyers of all levels and experience to begin building a relationship with a recruiter, even if you are only loosely contemplating beginning a job search. There are a number of reasons why it makes sense to begin talking to a recruiter now:
First, recruiters are generally more successful with candidates who take the time to invest in their job search and in their relationship with a specific recruiter. This means starting the process early on. If you begin building a relationship with a recruiter now, he or she will have sufficient time to become familiar with your background and experience, as well as your interests and long-term goals. Your recruiter will then be well-positioned to advocate for you when opportunities arise.
Keep in mind that a job search – even when aggressively pursued – can often take up to a year (and sometimes longer, depending on your interests and seniority). Don’t expect to be able to make a lateral move over night. If you think you want to make a move within the next year, find a good recruiter and start looking now. By doing so, you’ll greatly increase your chances of making a good lateral transition within your desired time parameters.
Furthermore, by building a relationship with a recruiter now, you position yourself to take advantage of lateral opportunities that may arise unexpectedly and may just happen to be a spot-on fit for your interests and experience. Some firms – having become wise to historic annual hiring patterns of their competitor firms – will be looking to anticipate possible year-end departures from their firm by adding to their attorney pool before the competition among law firms for top candidates becomes even fiercer at the start of the new year.
Relatedly, candidates are most likely to obtain interviews when their recruiter is positioned to submit them to law firms immediately upon learning of new job openings, rather than days, weeks or even months after a listing has been posted. This means that it pays to build a relationship with a recruiter before you spot a job listing that is of interest to you, rather than after. I would suggest taking the time to review, and appropriately update, your resume with a recruiter early on and provide him or her with the necessary documents to support future applications, such as transcripts, writing samples, deal sheets, and business plans and draft patent applications (where relevant). If you take these steps preliminarily, you will be able to capitalize on new opportunities right away, since your recruiter will be armed with the necessary information to zealously and effectively advocate for you.
Keep in mind that, once you build a relationship with a recruiter, you have someone who is constantly advocating for you and working behind the scenes to match you up with opportunities that are well-suited to your interests and experience. The sooner you begin to invest in a relationship with a recruiter – and the more information you provide to that recruiter about your experience and career interests – the more likely it is that you will be placed at a law firm that is a strong fit for you (and vice versa). For example, we at BCG are contacted almost daily by law firms of all sizes, including regional, national and international law firms in every part of the country, looking for our assistance in finding qualified applicants for specific job openings. Naturally, when we receive such calls, we are well-positioned to advocate for candidates with whom we have already been working (even before that listing becomes public). On many occasions, this has led to placements of long-standing BCG candidates.
Even if you are uncertain whether you will want to make a move in the near or distant future, it will benefit you to speak to a recruiter and to start building that relationship as early as possible in your career. Additionally, you will be able to turn to your recruiter for insight into the state of the job market and for general guidance regarding your career development. If you feel that a recruiter is pressuring you to begin applying for jobs before you are ready to do so, than find another recruiter who better understands your goals and your timeline. If you begin the process now, you can ensure that you will find the best advocate for you and your interests by the time you are ready to begin your search.
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).
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