[00:00:00] Today we're talking about cover letters and I'm going to give you quite a bit of advice today about how to craft your cover letters. And if you understand what I'm talking about today, you're going to do. Profoundly better in your job search because a cover letter is something that, excuse me, does get read.
[00:00:18] And if you do it properly it's gonna make every application. You send much more effective. Imagine, if you're sending, a hundred applications and you get 10 interviews versus five interviews, hopefully you'll do better than that. But a cover letter, depending on how it's done can actually make.
[00:00:36]That much of a difference. So it's, it can make a huge difference in how effective you are in your job search. So let me tell you a little bit about my history of cover letters, because I know a lot of people the right cover letters may have written them the way that I did in the past.
[00:00:53] And when I was a first year law student I really approached cover letters. The way I think a lot of [00:01:00] people may think about cover letters. The typical kind of approach to a cover letter is you sit down and you think about yourself and you write down, enough to talk about why you're good for the job.
[00:01:11] And the things that kind of make you special and. Th that the firm, or employer's going to like, and that has a place. I noticed, I know that, it's really not about you. And so I want to, I'm going to talk a little bit about that, but.
[00:01:28]My, my cover letters were so bad and so long. And in fact that they I'm sure they did me much more harm than they did. Good. And I remember when I was growing up and my mother had worked for the state of Michigan and. Had taken they, they offered to relocate her from Detroit to a place called Saginaw because they were cutting back in Detroit and and she just said, no, cause living in Saginaw was concluded different market in place.
[00:01:57] And so she decided she was going to go into a newer [00:02:00] career. And coincidentally the career that she was interested in was. Recruiting, but it was in the the electrical space, I think of recruiting engineers or something, but I'm not, I don't know why that was specifically, but, I watched her work with people that specialize, like in, in the industry of writing cover letters.
[00:02:19] And a lot of times, when you're, if you go to someone you're hiring them to help you do a cover letter hopping you're in a resume and they're drawing out all your experience. But, they make it all about you and that makes you interested in paying more money and so forth.
[00:02:32] And so she would also write these long cover letters and and it really got her nowhere. And putting down all this stuff you've done is really off-putting I think to employers and the reason having a long cover letter or talking about experiences off putting, because it's just, it makes everything about you and it shows you're going to be difficult to to manage and in some other sorts of things.
[00:02:55]Yeah, I'm going to tell you why my cover letters for long and how I was thinking [00:03:00] about them. Cause it is funny. And but I think it's very important that you understand this background in terms of how I went into things and then how I improve my cover letters. So you can do the same thing with your cover letters as well.
[00:03:12] And when I was about 18 years old I'd been I was going to a very nice private school in Michigan, am I. It was mostly very wealthy kids. My best friend had this BMW convertible and felt very good about himself and had lots of girlfriends and that sort of thing.
[00:03:28] And it was a beautiful house with horses and all sorts of things, which is, in suburban Detroit is pretty rare in right now, the. The land that is created in, giant office park. It was such valuable land. Yeah, no. And so there's, nothing wrong with growing up the way I did, but I was, living in a 1950s apartment complex with my dad next to a mall, and all this traffic going by and I drove a Yugo which is probably, literally the worst carbon made it was embarrassing.
[00:03:58]My mother bought it for me cause it was a hundred [00:04:00] dollars a month, but my friends and the teams, sports teams and the football and stuff used to pick it up and hide it, cause they actually moved the car. It was so small, it didn't weigh anything. But so what when I was let me just see here about give me one second here.
[00:04:15] I'm sorry. So anyway, so growing up the way I did, it was not necessarily a bad thing. It created a desire and need to actually, prove something to people, even though I've never had to. And but what it did when I was 18, which is, a long time ago it made me think that all the issues that I had and all of the problems and so forth really work problems.
[00:04:39]And, we're about not having enough access to money and that sort of thing, which, now at this age, I realized that everything has to come internally, but at that age I felt like I had to just, be like these kids right away and their parents would make as much money as I could.
[00:04:54] So what I did is I started going to the drug store and. Buying all [00:05:00] of these income opportunity magazines. And I, I don't even know if they still have them, but what these magazines used to be as they were like these long form advertisements, where they would be like one or two pages and and and you may actually be able to see one, if you go if you search for Joe Karbo K R B O.
[00:05:18]And then Harrison Barnes, I think I wrote an article about one of them which is funny. And then there's an example of the ad in there. And I'll try to actually have them put up so you guys can see what they are. But these are long ads and they're, they're almost like essays where the person will post a picture of themselves standing in front of a huge house.
[00:05:37]With maybe you're in front of a nice car and they would just talk all how, the they grew up poor like I did, and then, but they figured this out and I'm actually four, but they figured all this stuff out and now they have a way to make all this money and they're so happy and everything's great.
[00:05:54] And they're happy to tell you about it, but you have to send them 29, 95. But if you do that in your life will change. And [00:06:00] so this is a form of writing. Like really appealed to me. And I would read these over and over again, and no, the big thing about these ads, where they were all about the writer, but they were selling you on, possibility and what's going on happen.
[00:06:13]If they hire you and and how, or not, if they hired a bit, if you buy their system and how great everything would be. Started buying these systems and and. And I thought the w one of the systems I bought was basically telling me to come up with to sell people on, coming up with a information product, which is like a get rich, quick system and selling it to other people like the author was doing.
[00:06:38] So I spent a couple of weeks writing this 120 page book about how to start a business selling. Information about basically selling books and that sort of thing. And I sold it for a while. Very little success. I did make some money, but but not very much, very little, $50, a couple hundred dollars, I don't know what it was.
[00:06:56] And and I realized it really didn't work. And and so what I [00:07:00] did, I don't know why it occurred to me to do this, but I I decided that, The system was just not good. It didn't work. And I was not going to be happy with myself for selling it. And I actually ended up, going and refunding all of the money for all the people that had purchased it from me.
[00:07:15]Even though I had all this expense and time, I taken this lesson of how to write these kind of long form things and thought that was the way that you needed to sell yourself what was by pouring all this information and talking about how great you were and how. If they hired you all these great things were going to happen.
[00:07:32] And and when I got into law school, which was, five years later I would write my letters like this and, these letters would talk about how I explain all the things I'd done. I were talking about my Scholastic honors asphalt business.
[00:07:45] I started when I was in high school. I've talked about a book. I wrote about school busing in college and just all that stuff down. I didn't want to leave anything out. I wanted to make sure that everyone understood how great it was. And I would use words like I'm determined and aggressive and [00:08:00] and, announcing to employers that they just absolutely had to hire me.
[00:08:04] And. This approach to writing a cover letter that was at least a couple pages or maybe even three pages is absolutely wrong. And because employers do not want people that need to put down pages and pages of stuff about how great they were. And as an aside when I started, doing legal placement and I've been looking at resumes, hundreds of resumes Sometimes per day, but per week of people that are looking for jobs and want to work with our company, the best resumes.
[00:08:35] Typically a lot of times don't need to say a lot. They may say Harvard law school Harvard law review serious prize winner from name clerkship. And they literally are Just a very little information and and that information is so powerful that it's just self-explanatory, you don't need to say a lot.
[00:08:56] So it's almost as if like the people that are the [00:09:00] most insecure and I hate to say it this way, but or have the, and I was insecure the people that are the most insecure are the people. That have the weakest records need to say the most. And sometimes, your audience, that's reading your letter wants to read into you and come up with their own conclusions rather than have a conclusion forced down their mouth.
[00:09:22] People make a huge mistake of doing that. And I can tell you, one of the the worst people that I ever hired, not from a. Like an honesty standpoint, but from just an effectiveness standpoint, with someone that, I went in to talk to, they were recommended by someone else.
[00:09:39] I decided I would interview them and I sat down at night. I interviewed the person and for an hour and a half to two hours, the person talked to me. About what a great recruiter they were illegal placement is what I do. And they just poured on all this information, all these, everything I needed to know.
[00:10:00] [00:10:00] And so for two hours they spoke and and they even had like little spreadsheets and so forth that they pulled out to show all the, how good a researcher they were and all this information and that person was probably. And I hired them but it was literally probably the least effective person that I ever hired because they had to say all this stuff, but when it came down to it, they were very ineffective.
[00:10:24] So a lot of times the people that say the most are the least effective, which I want you to recommend understanding employers, their their antenna goes up when they see someone that needs to say a lot, because they think why do they need to say so much? What's going on? When you say too much you're really showing a lot of immaturity a lot of times and a lot of unreadiness and because people don't necessarily need all that information and, cover letter is not about you.
[00:10:52] It's about showing to others, what you can do for them. But it's also allowing them to read into things and [00:11:00] make up their own stories. If you're interested in something or someone, you don't want to be completely sold. And the only reason those income opportunities had to give you all the information.
[00:11:12] And say so much is because when it came down to it, there was nothing there. And and that's the big thing you need to understand about these income opportunity, magazines and so forth. There was just nothing there. And because there was nothing there they need to just say a lot and kind of build up excitement and so forth because the end of the transaction was when you being completely sold and sending 29 95.
[00:11:35] Here. You need to go in and interview and personally it's like you and there just needs to be all this sort of thing that happens. And a cover letter is not about bragging about yourself or talking about yourself. It's actually the opposite. It's about trying to make a connection with the audience and show why you're interested in that and your ability to make this connection and the strength of this connection is gonna [00:12:00] determine.
[00:12:00]How well you'll do I want to say a little bit more about that connection before I go on? Because it's so important and the thing you need to understand is, people, everybody in this world is longing for connection. You have presumably you know, significant others and or friends or.
[00:12:21]Family and other people that are in your life. And and you feel connected to some people and disconnected with others. Think about when I was growing up, I felt disconnected because I didn't have access to wealth, which is crazy, but that was about connection, right? Most high-achieving attorneys, by the way, when you look at their background why are they doing all this stuff?
[00:12:45] A lot of times, there's some sort of lack of connection. In their background they felt, not part of something or put down or not, like they were not achieving enough. I don't know, but there's a lack of connection. And a lot of times, a lot of what we [00:13:00] do, whether it's in work or whatever we do is about, trying to get love, it's about trying to get accepted or, get into a.
[00:13:08] Good firm or get a good job or be thought of the way you know of something that, you did in the past, be thought of in a certain type of way. And that's what people want. The people everybody needs that you need that you're becoming an attorney a lot of times is looking for.
[00:13:26]Authority and respect and things that, you feel like you need. And then, looking for a mate is about having someone you feel connected to and looking for friends and belonging, to clubs and groups and organizations, all this is about connection. And so everybody is looking for connection, the smartest people that are able to get clients when they become attorneys and are able to get jobs, are able to make a connection.
[00:13:52] And in my opinion a life or a career without connection is not a good thing. Organizations form [00:14:00] because people come together that believe that they're like-minded and can have connections. People that, I, you go through and you can look at like law firms and a lot of them will be, groups that all went to the same law school or similar law schools.
[00:14:12]The reason is because they have a connection or they'll even be people of similar religious backgrounds. That's because they have a connection or there'll be people of similar political backgrounds. All these sorts of things are meaningful. And. That's something that, that means a lot. So I started sending out these ridiculous cover letters, talking about how great I was to all these firms.
[00:14:34] And they were the same, whether I was sending letters to New York city or Chicago, or to tax law firms or to intellectual property boutiques. I didn't care. I just wanted a job. And I had no idea what I was doing. There's no reason for a law firm in New York city. If you're just sending a blanket letter to bring you in and hire you, unless there's something about you that [00:15:00] believes, makes them believe that you have some sort of connection to the city or to the work they're doing or to the attorneys in the firm, are there some reason for them to hire you?
[00:15:09] You cannot just send a letter. Sitting in Chicago to New York, with nothing, with no connection and expect that law firm to bring you in, they're going to bring people in and they feel safe with, I if I was to read a cover letter, like I'd sent a long time ago I would think what an interesting person this is just.
[00:15:28] No way, I'm going to have someone that thinks that much about themselves in my organization. Just, there's just no way. Your cover letters need to have a connection to the practice area. They need to have a connection to the city. They need to have a connection to something in order to really get the intention.
[00:15:45]Employers will hire you if you don't have a connection. But most of the time they're making a mistake. If someone is applying, from New York to apply into a law firm in Akron, Ohio, and has never been to Akron, Ohio, and has no reason to stay in Akron, Ohio and has been in [00:16:00] New York for 15 years.
[00:16:01] What are the odds of that? Person's going to stay in Akron, Ohio. They are almost as zoned. Almost not, there's hardly any. Reason for that person to stay there. And the law firm would be making a big mistake if they brought you in and they deal with that all the time, but it's just not a good thing.
[00:16:16] So here's some examples. Of how to stand out and how to make your cover letters effective. And I'll tell you this from a personal example of a profession where a lot of people are considered to be fairly shallow but not all of them are of course most of them aren't actually, but and how people go about getting business and.
[00:16:36]So months ago actually years ago, I don't know. It's a couple of years ago, at least. I listed my house for sale and there was a tax law had changed and so houses weren't selling as much. I don't know what happened, after six months of activity I decided not to sell the house well, when a house is when a listing expired and it's not renewed all these agents have the ability, ethically, or, they can [00:17:00] approach you and they get a listing, and then they all start sending you letters in the mail and leaving their cards in your mailbox and stuff.
[00:17:06] And in Malibu where I live Malbec, California is. Very competitive real estate market. Some of the houses are, I don't know there's $50 million houses there. So if someone sells a $50 million house, they get a 5% commission, which is two and a half million dollars.
[00:17:21] So people are very eager to. And certainly I don't live anything like that, but they're very eager to sell houses and also to list houses because the average house is over $3 million, so that's $150,000 commission. You can make a lot of money selling houses in Malibu.
[00:17:36] So there's so many real estate agents. There's actually many more real estate agents than there are. Properties that are sold and leased every year. So everybody's competing and fighting very hard to get these listings. So within a few days of my listing expiring, I all of a sudden received all of these letters, just, they just came, they were in big box.
[00:17:58] They, big envelopes, small [00:18:00] envelopes. Sometimes they had riding on the front, there were just tons of them. And, but almost all the letters I received were the exact same thing. And I want you to just imagine you're an employer receiving a letter. And I looked at them, I looked at every letter because I was thinking maybe I'll realist my house.
[00:18:16] I don't know, but I looked at every single letter and every letter typically would have. A picture of the real estate agent on it, not always, pictures are good. I put my picture on stuff, to make a connection with people and, so the picture, but you don't have to, you should probably do that with your applications, but they anyway, not to legal, illegal environment.
[00:18:36]If you send your picture anyway, but the point is the typical letter and a picture and just a couple of lines, letter He would urge me to call if I was interested in using the real estate and service sometimes the letter would brag about all the sales the real estate agent had made in Los Angeles, which was okay.
[00:18:54] But LA is a huge area, obviously. It's massive. It's one of the largest geographic areas [00:19:00] in the second largest in the country. Sometimes they would talk about having made a lot of sales and Malibu, which is great because Malibu is only like 13,000 people or probably less than them.
[00:19:10]And then other times they would even talk about having made sales on the street which is good. And that I should have said that some of the letters would talk about actually how the real estate agent made sales all over the country, which is actually funny. So you get the country, state city, and then sometimes even on my street and the ones around my street got the most attention.
[00:19:29] Just think about if you were selling your house, if someone says they made sales in your city, you're like, okay. If someone says they made it, in your suburb that's better. And then on your street. Wow. You're like, okay, that's really good. And actually I remember when I was years ago I lived in a city called San Marino.
[00:19:46] And outside of it's next to Pasadena, it's a fairly small city as well. And and I remember I received a letter in the mail that talked about how the, this particular real estate agent made sales on [00:20:00] this, five or six street area consistently, and the prices were going up and so forth.
[00:20:05] And I thought that was very effective. I liked that. That, that was a good way to get my attention. And I remember saving that letter when I didn't save a lot of others than have to that receipt, but the most memorable letter that I received was from a fairly well-known real estate amount, but at least seen this picture around and, for years, I didn't know exactly who he was, but I'd seen him and his letter.
[00:20:27]Which was a form letter, which I read it again and again, and I finally figured out it was a form letter, but it talked about how we known the past owner of the house how it spent a lot of time social lives in with him and his family loved the house meant I'd even think it had a note about something like sitting on the porch and drinking Remy Martin.
[00:20:48]It was crazy. And and. And it looked like it was even signed by a real signature and all this stuff, even though it was just how I figured it. But anyway, the, it caught my [00:21:00] attention. I remembered it and it was crazy cause he was really seeking to make a personal connection and I thought, wow, if I want someone to sell my house, I really want someone that has a connection to the house because they're going to really be able to talk about it in a special way.
[00:21:13] And. Making that personal connection is going to be a very effective thing. And in it, that is a really cool thing. To be able to make a personal connection like that, and out of the, tons of letters that I received, that's the one I remember. And and then the only one that was meaningful.
[00:21:30] So all those other people basically waste of postage, but one letter that got my attention, it made a personal connection to my actual house was effective. So I realized it was a form letter and it got my attention and I saved it and it was legitimate and it peaked my curiosity. And that's how you write an effective letter is you get the attention on, you, make a connection with whatever person you're trying to make a connection with.
[00:21:59]It would've been [00:22:00] even better if that real estate agent was someone. Who knew my family and send a letter or that I had met before through networking or, and they had a real connection that would have been even more effective, but I didn't receive any letters like that.
[00:22:13] And and that would have been even cooler if we knew someone. So the better, the connection is the more you're going to be able to get results from the letters that you sent and from the people. That you're contacting and you shouldn't be sending letters to everybody and you should actually be sending printed letters to applications to are not just submitting them online.
[00:22:37]Okay. Each week in business and and at my house, I received countless solicitations. I receive letters from accounts. I received letters from. Financial advisors. I received letters from plumbers and electricians and, all sorts of people that want to do work for me.
[00:22:57] And and all these people just [00:23:00] send these blank letters to me and never get my attention. I never, get any type of personal connection that I want from the people that I'm dealing with. And, sometimes these letters are handwritten. However, almost all the time. I can tell that a machine has written these letters and I don't have any type of personal connection with those people.
[00:23:22] Now, if there was some specialized type of work that I was maybe doing, for example at my house that no one else did for example, they. Replaced chip wind, I don't know, but just something that, you know if I had a special kind of concrete and in a chip frequently, and these people fix that specialized type of concrete or stone, maybe I would save it if it was personal to what I did it specifically, but most letters are not personal.
[00:23:50] And so if. No, one's sending me a personal letter and there's no connection. I have no reason to save it. I just know that it's another person, trying to get, [00:24:00] the harder money that I have for my heart, my, my attention that people are fighting for. And it makes me feel like nothing. I just, there's no reason for me to want to deal, do business with someone that sends me a letter like that.
[00:24:12] There's no reason for me to care about the person. There's no reason for me to pick up the phone and call them. There's absolutely no reason for me to continue with any type of discussion, if there's no personal connection, most of the time and that personal connection can be to the subject. Matter of what I have or the need that I have, but most need most of the time.
[00:24:31] They're just sending blank thing to the ether that, and that's where most cover letters that employers receive God. So the only job of your cover letter is to do whatever you can to make a personal connection, the more of a personal connection you make with the person that's receiving.
[00:24:51]Your cover letter, the better. And I've been in this business of legal placement and recruiting for over 20 years. [00:25:00] I can tell you without a doubt, that when I'm representing a candidate, if I write a very good letter and able to make a connection with a. With the with the employer for the person the better, one of the reasons it's so great to use a legal place when people sometimes, if someone's searching for a job, it's because, if the person knows what they're doing, they make a personal connection.
[00:25:20]They draw out your experience. They find, ways to make a connection. So I'll do things like, for example, I'll, if someone went to the university of Michigan law school and they're working in. LA, there may be there, it's not a lot of people that go from Michigan to LA, from that law school.
[00:25:37] And so if they're working in LA, they're going to stand a much better chance. If there's a law firm of 50 people and there's five Michigan graduates, they're they're going to be interested in that person much more because there's even just that little bit of personal connection and it's going to make a difference.
[00:25:52] Schools make a difference. Religion makes a difference. Which you shouldn't bring up, it does make a difference. If he, all these sort of things make a [00:26:00] difference and, so any type of personal connection you make the better. And I'm going to tell you.
[00:26:05]You know how to make those personal connections right now. So the most important thing when you're trying to make a personal connection is going to be requiring exactly what the firm does. So there are firms that do nothing, but family law, if you are interested in doing family law and you went to family law clinics and college or law school, and they were gonna be law school.
[00:26:30]And you have a reason for being interested in family law, which most people aren't going to care about, but you have some sort of passion for family law and you write firms that do only PA family law. They're going to be interested in you because you've gone out of your way to say, I want to do family law.
[00:26:46]You need to understand that if you are from a city, where you grew up and you're writing letters or you went to school in the city, or you have some sort of connection to a city. That's going to help you make a personal connection. If you know someone [00:27:00] that worked in the firm or works in the firm and said positive things about the firm to you, and you put that in your cover letter, like why they like it, that's gonna help you.
[00:27:09] If the firm does a certain type of work and you're familiar with a firm that's going to help you. If you know someone in the firm that you worked with in the past, and you can note that in your cover letter and that person you believe thinks highly of you You should put that in your cover letter, all these sorts of things are going to be helpful whether you're doing a law firm or a corporation you need to try to understand the culture of the firm and what it's like and what the people there and if you can get that information and it's gonna help you. Create a personal connection as well. Whatever you can do to understand and I'm going to give you examples later and also we're going to be uploading examples of cover letters for you later as well. But all these things can help you
[00:27:54] make a personal connection. You need to add as much of that as you can. So some of the things that I like, [00:28:00] I think geographic personal connections are always very important. Growing up in an area where you're applying if you grew up in a certain area, you always put that, front and center, if you sat on a return home and so far people love.
[00:28:13]People that are returning home, it's one of the most effective ways to get a job is to go back to where you're from. Because the thing that law firms will assume, and employers is that if you get a job there, you're not going anywhere, you're going to stick around. And they love that. Your odds of getting a job are probably 50 times better than someone riding from out of town.
[00:28:31] If you have fairly similar qualifications if your significant other. Grew up in an area then you should note this whatever sort of region or connection you can have to the region you're applying. You should try to make. That's very effective. You'll definitely get more positions if you do that.
[00:28:48] So you can create a, a geographic connection, your cover letter. You can also, just whenever you can, you just, you need to make sure that the firm does the type of work. That you're doing. That's [00:29:00] really one of the most important things as well. If someone that worked that's from someone in the firm and if that person thinks you're, likes you or what you think to do you should contact them and try to get in touch with them.
[00:29:12]I know someone that just went in for an informational interview with with the it was with a partner in a law firm and she'd just gone. He she'd just gone to school, elementary and high school with her daughter and where the daughter of my partner and was able to arrange an informational interview, which almost no one turns down.
[00:29:31] Didn't ask for a job, didn't say anything about working in the firm and then just brought it up in a cover letter. But she, talked to people there about the firm and liked it, and this was why she thought she would like it and she got the job. So that's helpful. And the thing is just remember that everyone out there is seeking a personal connection.
[00:29:49]One of the biggest mistakes that. People make, and I've written about this before and it's actually people don't like hearing it. It's very offensive to people and I'm going to say it [00:30:00] because it's and something that I've seen that matters for getting a job. People almost always the most effective organizations are not going to hire you because you can just do the work and you got the education and the background.
[00:30:17]They're going to hire you based on more of a personal connection that any of that there are people working in the absolute best law firms in the country. W like the top law firms and you look at their background, you think, what are they doing there? And they're doing their, because they have a connection with someone there.
[00:30:35] And and that's how they got in there. It matters more than. The law school, they went to the, where they worked when they got out of school and that connection matters. You cannot, you're not going to get a job at almost every law firm out there. If you don't, if the people don't like you and they don't have a personal connection with you, people hire people that they feel connected with.
[00:30:56] And that's one of the reasons that, I've written a book [00:31:00] about. There, there's, class-based discrimination, there's race based discrimination, there's ethnic group discrimination, there's other, people hire people that they feel connected and safe with and that they believe they're gonna understand.
[00:31:13] And, the whole push for diversity is to get beyond that and. And people should, but at the same time they want a personal connection and they don't want to feel like, that there's going to be this barrier between you. They want to feel like there's a sense of understanding and that you're going to understand them.
[00:31:28] People want to feel like they can get mad that they can, and you're not going to like storm off cause they can, do something like they can, have a problem and they can talk to you about it that they can go out for drinks with you that are. And they can let down their guard.
[00:31:42]People need that connection and you cannot the, one of the problems that a lot of young attorneys make that a lot of people with a chip on their shoulder make, and everyone that has a chip on their shoulder has it for a reason. And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with [00:32:00] that. But one of the mistakes that people make is they they think that, they don't necessarily need a connection.
[00:32:07] They think that they're going there and they're making other people money and that's all that should matter. And the point is, every employer has their choice, the people that they're going to hire they will hire people to earn them money, regardless of whether or not it's you. But they're really going to do is they're going to keep people around and they're going to feel comfortable with people that they feel like they have a connection with.
[00:32:27] And. It's just very important. I can't even every law firm that I ever worked in, the people that were most successful were a group of people. And they all had some sort of connection and and it wasn't necessarily outside of work, but they were friends outside of work. They did communicate outside of work and there's a connection and.
[00:32:48] Everybody wants to feel like someone's got their back. Everyone wants to feel that others think highly of us. Lawyers often have a connection in this connection, is vital to your health [00:33:00] and happiness. I read this interesting book. I don't know what it was. It was called like the key to happiness or something.
[00:33:05] I will find it. And I will try to also post it linked to it. As well, but the book basically talked about that, there's all these people out there and they're taking, a good portion of society is taking, what do you call them antidepressants?
[00:33:19]A lot of people are, going to therapy. Other people are what else would they do? Yeah. Oh, drinking, or using drugs and all these things. And everyone's trying to. Improve their mood, but really the thing that, when they study like the happiest people and in the areas of the country and world where people live the longest, there's always like formal connection there's they have connections to groups of people and they have, social kind of schools, they have families, or they have, groups of people that they see, or, all these sorts of things.
[00:33:48]Self-help groups are always, generally about if someone's got an addiction to gambling or someone's got an addiction to, I don't know drugs or sex or whatever, they, the groups they get [00:34:00] together with groups of other people. And they get a connection and they send them to rehab where there's a group of people where they give the connection.
[00:34:06] So a lot problems in this world and the people have are due to a lack of connection. It's a thing that we need the most and and so people don't get it. Why you're sending it in offices that are dealing with, hostile judges, hostile clients, hostile coworkers, hostile, are, I don't have that connection.
[00:34:23] So the more you can get a connection. And more you emphasize that and you show that you have that in your cover letters and the work you're doing the better off you're going to get. And you absolutely need to think about this because it will change your career and it will make you much better at what you do and also everything in your career.
[00:34:44]It's gonna make you a happier person. If you are able to form those connections, everyone is not. Out to get you and that sort of thing. And I don't think anyone thinks that, but we want to be around people who like us and are like us. When you're getting a job, [00:35:00] whatever sort of connection you can find the better you need to have a connection.
[00:35:05] You have a connection with someone, the odds of them not interviewing you are very slim. They may come up with some BS reason for not interviewing you, but if you want an informational interview or if you want something, it's going to be much easier. If you have a connection law firms do not like you calling partners.
[00:35:21] They'd like you calling the recruiting coordinator because if you call someone, and you try to use that connection, everyone's trying to avoid a connection a lot of times, but you have to try to find that connection. Inside of a law firm th the biggest person to connect with and there's like this and every type of organization, but most large law firms and smaller ones don't, but, they have recruiting people and everyone calls these recruiting people, recruiting coordinators, and all they do is they say, who do I send my resume to?
[00:35:52] How do I do this? How do I do that? And, all that happens is the person's made to feel like the recruiting coordinator is not made to feel good [00:36:00] about themselves. And and and that doesn't help. And in truth, in a law firm, if you call up and speak with a recruiting coordinator or the person in charge of recruiting, and you're able to build rapport with them, they're gonna like you, and they're going to make your resume stand out and they're going to help you and all sorts of ways.
[00:36:17] And then in your cover letter, after speaking with the recruiting coordinator, if you'd know no one in the firm, and you've explained your reasons for being interested in the firm. And if that person and you're able to form a connection with them, then that person's going to go to bat with you and be an advocate for you.
[00:36:34]When I talked to law firms, like they may call me up to say that they're not interested in a certain candidate. I will do everything I can to keep that person on the phone as long as possible and talk because you need to make a connection. That's the most important thing. And all hires in every organization are happened when you can make a connection.
[00:36:55] So in back to the recruiting coordinator, you could mention, in the letter how [00:37:00] helpful they were and they appreciate it and that sort of thing, and you can go out of your way to make that connection. I remember When I was practicing or not practicing, I was a clerk, clerking for a a federal judge in Michigan.
[00:37:15] And the most interesting thing would happen. The the best attorneys would always come into the office and they would come into the judges chambers, and they would introduce themselves to the. The clerk who had processed the papers and the judge's secretary and they would smile and and be nice.
[00:37:32] And and they wouldn't be talking to the judge. They would be going into the chambers to talk to them and even attorneys from out of town, like they would come in from LA and New York and so forth. And the best attorneys, the ones that were coming in from. New York. And I was clerking in a city called Bay city, Michigan, but the best attorneys coming in from New York and LA and so forth, and the ones that were, from the biggest firms, those were the ones that [00:38:00] were going out of their way to, interface and be nice to the clerks and the secretaries and everything like that.
[00:38:06] And then the ones that were from the firms that weren't as good or the local firms were just Huff and never talking to people. And it was almost as if the highest paid attorneys and the ones for the biggest firms doing the biggest cases were the ones that were making that connection with everyone.
[00:38:23] And the ones that weren't. And the thing is that those people inside of the chambers were helping. Those attorneys, they were getting things signed first. So they were saying nice things to the judge when the judge would walk in about the the attorneys. And so that to me was very interesting that even, at that level the attorneys that were the smartest and had been the most successful in their careers were the ones that were going in and making connection with people in the judges, chambers.
[00:38:46] I just saw that over and over again. And Very interesting. So you need to make that connection and the more connections you can make the better and and think about the connection, your cover letter, honestly. It can be [00:39:00] about nothing but that connection and it would be probably more effective than if you put in a bunch of stuff about yourself.
[00:39:05]Because people like that connection and people are seeking it. It's. It's what we need for our happiness. It's what's missing. It's what cures depression. It's what makes people live longer. It's literally connection is the best thing there is for people's health. It's what most people don't have. It's incredibly important, especially for attorneys.
[00:39:25]You can make a connection. The personal connection is obviously the best it's harder to connect with people in certain areas. Like New York is a hard people, tend to put on a real kind of hard face in New York. I remember. It's funny when, when a law firm calls me from, remember the surname, my career from Los Angeles.
[00:39:43] I'd be like, Hey, how's it going? What are you up to? And they'd be saying not much, what are you doing? I feel like I'm having a diet Coke or, Or something along those lines, I would talk to them, be very friendly. And then when you try to do that with a firm in New York, they're always like that's inappropriate, like you shouldn't be like, being, you need to put on your a [00:40:00] game face and be more serious.
[00:40:01] And depends on the person you're dealing with, but not all law firms in New York are like that, of course. But the idea is that your connection needs to be strong. And the law firm needs to have the impression. That talking to you is you're, you just you've belonged. It's it's like a positive, negatively charged magnet coming together.
[00:40:20]They need to think you fit like a glove and you need to do everything you possibly can to have a connection. I remember this is a funny story. And I, but when I was younger And up until I was, probably a second year attorney, I used to chew tobacco or it was called dipping.
[00:40:37] And I don't know where I picked this up as a public school in Michigan and God that is horrible habit for the longest time. And so I used to chew tobacco. I went into this one firm and an attorney was chewing tobacco. And I was interviewing and I asked him if I get half some and he did.
[00:40:56] And then he invited another attorney in down the [00:41:00] hall to also talk to me who also chewed tobacco. So we all were sitting there. I'm spitting into cups. And one of these guys was like president of the Harvard law review was the funniest thing. And anyway, sitting there chewing and spitting into cups and talking about legal stuff.
[00:41:15] And that was I didn't even get out of the firm before they made me an offer, so that was an idea of a connection. Who in LA choose to back off? It's just, I still can't believe it that I did that, but the point is that's a connection and, and they, there was no way that law firm wasn't gonna hire me with, You know when I'm, probably 10 people at a LA chew tobacco but anyway, more than just being funny, but the law firm used to think that.
[00:41:39] And so the law firm, people hire people that have similar interests and backgrounds, anything you can do to emphasize that background the better you need, people need to understand who you are, but they also, you need to understand if there's a connection or not. And and so you need to do whatever you can to highlight some sort of connection to [00:42:00] the subject.
[00:42:00] Matter of the law firms, doing the work they're doing the in the specific work, not just they do corporate but they do something that, you want to do at the location that you're at. People in the firm that you've spoken to any type of connection. You need to bring that out. And I'll tell you, if you spend, 10 hours doing application related work and you'd just send out bland letters to firms and you send out a hundred letters or, to employers or 200 out letters, 200 applications, you're going to be more effective if you spend that time.
[00:42:32]Making a connection with 10 firms as opposed to 200, because those applications are going to get reviewed and just think about all of the letters and so forth that they're receiving. Think about from my standpoint, when when I'm sitting here receiving all these letters, these real estate letters in the mail, which ones do store review, the only ones I have any interest in are the ones that show some sort of connection.
[00:42:55]And that's probably like it for you as well. You need a connection as [00:43:00] well, people only. Respond, if there's some sort of connection, it's always going to be that way. And and so that is very important. I'm actually going to tell you a quick story and I probably shouldn't tell us, but I'm going to tell you because I think it's very interesting.
[00:43:17]Was in a yoga class and and I'm single. And I was I saw this girl that just looked like someone I really wanted to meet. And and and I saw her a couple of times and I thought about going up and talking to her after class a couple of times, and I never did. And and then one day I was sitting here in my office.
[00:43:38] And I got a an email from a dating site and her picture was listed and it was like from E harmony or something that I'd actually to make a long story short. I like 15 plus years ago I was in discussions. My offices were in Pasadena, California, and he harmony was there and he harmony wanted to come in and.
[00:43:59]Purchased [00:44:00] some job search companies that I had cause they want to get in their business. So they like gave me a an account and I created a profile and I was married at the time and I never really even looked at the emails. And but by chance happen to look at an email that came over from E harmony and this girl's picture was on it and I couldn't believe it.
[00:44:17] So I clicked on it and and I and I wrote to her and I said, I saw you low class low to talk to you, blah, blah, blah. And and and I don't even think she got it because she was a similar thing to where she just, started this account. And anyway, so I went up after a yoga class and and I talked to her one day and asked her if she'd received my email and she said, you know what I get, I see people writing this thing every day.
[00:44:41] And and I did see it. And and I just sent you my number and I thought that was hilarious. So I met someone that way and she's, but she did tell me that she'd never actually dated anybody from one of those sites and ever gone on a date or in that thing. And it was that connection fact that I wrote her on slots that I'd seen her in yoga class is what I wrote.
[00:45:00] [00:45:00] And and I. Meaning to talk to you, but I never had, and that was the only reason that she responded. So that got her attention and, she never would have responded otherwise. So I thought that it was a cool thing and we're very compatible. I, yeah, the sea harmony thing was apparently we take a personality test.
[00:45:16]So I made a connection and that little cover letter, so that's no different than like talking to someone in a and that was over a year ago and I'm still with the same person. That, that's an example of using a an introduction where, you know, someone and you're able to make a connection and where, like in her mind, the world's a hostile place and you don't know people's intentions on the sites and so forth and why respond.
[00:45:38] And so that's how I got her attention. So your cover letter in addition to making that connection, which is why I've spent majority of this presentation talking nothing about making that connection your cover letter really needs to do whatever you can to make a connection, but then it also needs to show a few other things, and those are fairly simple. [00:46:00]
[00:46:00]It needs to show. You can do the job and all that means is you just have the background experience for the position, whatever the position is it just means, you're likely to work hard and the employer can rely on you. In truth. Most employers really are not spending a lot of time reading cover letters.
[00:46:15] If there's no connection, they'll in the way someone will look at a cover letters will pick it up. They'll look at it very quickly. And if they see something that jumps out like the connection. Then they're going to potentially connect with you, but it's really a cover letter is more of an opportunity to hurt yourself than help yourself if you don't make a connection.
[00:46:34] So one of the things I I always talk about with the legal placement professionals, with people that work with attorneys at BCG attorney search is we spend a lot of time each week on the phone more than, a good portion of my week is spent talking to them about each of their candidates and the candidates practice areas and what they do and whether or not they should What the people do.
[00:46:58] And and BCG, there's a way [00:47:00] in our database to classify people's practice areas. And there's a lot of practice areas. There's, and litigation allowing there's 15 different types of litigation people do. They may do securities litigation. Then we do commercial litigation and make of employment litigation.
[00:47:13]There's just tons of different types of practice areas, but what the legal place she was planning to do this, then we also go out and we have a lot of people that research jobs. So they always want to. Make sure that they capture as many jobs as possible for the legal placement professionals.
[00:47:27] So they want to leave a place professionals for their candidates. So they tend to try to make the person do a lot of things. So we'll say if the person did, one time they maybe have handled worked on a environmental matter, they may check off environmental even though the person primarily just does commercial litigation.
[00:47:44] Worked in commercial litigators done an employment case. They may do the same. So they always want to make sure that they always try to make sure that the person has as many practice areas selected as possible because they believe that's going to help the candidate.
[00:47:57] And most of them don't do that, but that's [00:48:00] what happens when illegal placement professionals start to BCG is they want to make sure that they find as many jobs because they're trying to get the person the job, but in reality if you're applying to a large law firm, and when I say a large law firm, in most instances, most, most large law firms are specialized law firm.
[00:48:17] Law firms want people if you're beyond being a law student, looking for something to start, they want people that are going to be specialized. So they want people that are going to do one thing. It literally can be, doing I have one candidate right now that does aircraft finance.
[00:48:34] That's all he does. He just does financing of large aircraft, not smaller aircraft, larger aircraft. And and that's a practice here that people do like in New York and London and stuff, the last thing you should do to a large law firm for the most part is talking about how you have all this different experience and can do a bunch of different things you need to look focused.
[00:48:52]And and if a law firm has a position in a focused area, they're gonna most large law firms hire specialists. They only hire people. [00:49:00] That have specialist. And so if you've done three different types of litigation at a law firm and a law firm is seeking one type of litigator, or if you've done corporate generalist work and they're seeking an M and a person you need to highlight only your M and a experience.
[00:49:16] You don't want to highlight all these different things because. Then the law firm will just say, Oh, the person that specialized in that then we'll move on to something else. Or it will show a lack of focus. The thing to understand about large law firms as large law firms charge more money, they have higher rates and better reputations because the people that work in them typically do one thing.
[00:49:36]And that's what happens in major markets now in smaller markets. It's a little bit different. But and then smaller firms, people can be generalized, but in large law firms you need to make sure that you that you look specialized and if you're an insurance defense attorney and you're applying to commercial litigation jobs, you should just talk about, you've done depositions and written briefs.
[00:49:59] You shouldn't [00:50:00] use the words, insurance defense in your cover letter. You should be very. General about your, insurance defense is related to commercial litigation, so same thing, but if you use the word insurance defense for commercial litigation, and that's going to jump out at the firm, they're just going to automatically disqualify you.
[00:50:16] So you need to use general lip work for a capital markets attorney they're not going to hire, which is securities and so forth. They're not going to hire mergers and acquisitions, but if you've done any capital markets, then you can talk about that. If you have not done any capital markets and you've maybe done a little bit, then just call yourself a corporate attorney, same thing with the biotech, patent attorney.
[00:50:38]They're not going to be interested in someone that does electrical engineering for the most part. If you're looking for, a biotech job, so you need to understand what it is that firms do and what the job is. And every type of, if you're applying to a job. You need to make your cover letter.
[00:50:55] It needs to be focused on exactly what that firm is asking for. [00:51:00] If it's asking for a specialized job now, other are firms, like if you're talking about a place in the Midwest, a smaller firm or a midsize firm in a big city, sometimes they may want a corporate attorney that does a bunch of different things, but with large law firms and whatever the job description is, you need to make your cover letter focused on one thing.
[00:51:20] And. And just remember that the more focused it is, the veteran, it's very important. People want to hire people that are committed to doing only one thing. And a law firm is not going to care. If you're interested in doing something else law firms, punt specialist that's how the law firms going to justify type billing rates.
[00:51:39] So you need to look like a specialist, if that's what the law firm seeking that's just going to help you draw everything out of your experience. You can that makes you look like a specialist and that you can now, I just want to give you some examples, because a lot of times, like the example that I gave you like about me writing this long cover [00:52:00] letter where I'm talking about.
[00:52:01]All these different things that I did like asphalt writing about Detroit, ridiculous has nothing to do with what the law firms seeking. And just because I achieved a lot in the past, that's what the heck does that mean? And it's not even related. It's just absolutely insane.
[00:52:18] So think about this. Imagine I was in an auto accident. I was driving too fast and I crashed into the back of a car. Funny story. I was actually falling one day, my contractor, he was driving 15 miles an hour in his pickup truck and crashed into the back of a bigger truck and total that, and I don't even, and he just wasn't even looking on the road.
[00:52:38]It was very funny, but anyway, he'd hurt his arm when that happened, but not too badly, but imagine I was in an auto accident and and. And I decided to go see a plastic surgeon, not because I hit my nose when I crashed into something. And I wanted to see someone who specialized in fixing noses.
[00:52:57] So what I would do is I would probably read the bios of the [00:53:00] doctors and so forth and and maybe go see some, some specialists. If I went to see a plastic surgeon and that plastic surgeon talked about how they were an infectious disease specialist. As well as fixing noses, I would not want to deal with that person.
[00:53:16] I would absolutely not hire that person and would have no interest in hired someone that had experienced and just fixing noses. I'm sorry. Experience in infectious diseases as well. I would believe that person was unqualified and would not want to deal with them. I would want to find someone that was a specialist.
[00:53:35] It could fix my nose. That would be especially true. If I was in a large town. If I was in a small market in the middle of the country somewhere and there was only a plastic surgeon that only did one thing that I might think that was okay. Okay. So if you're applying to law firms that have specialist or a job opening for specialist, you need to understand and you make sure your experience aligns with what that firm is [00:54:00] seeking.
[00:54:00] And you need to just talk about that in your cover letter. You should not talk about anything else. And law firms can hire specialists. It's just, doesn't matter. About what you want. They want to hire someone, who's a specialist, but it's a large law firm and a large law firm.
[00:54:14]You may talk about. You know how you have specialized work, doing work for a certain type of client or how you wanna, work on even more specialized matters than you are. That's how, obviously a good reason for the law firm to hire you law firms like to hire people that are trying to become more specialized