If you are an attorney looking for an in-house position, the competition is ferocious. It always has been. The quality of the people who are competing for in-house jobs is also extremely high.
In order to prevail over the competition, you need to be doing several things. Here is a quick check list of questions to ask yourself about your job search campaign.
1) Have you identified your Unique Selling Proposition? What makes you a better candidate than someone with like kind and quality of experience? If you do not have a clear “brand strategy,” your search will take much longer. You will miss out on interviews for jobs you could have won.
2) Do you have a well-defined Marketing Plan? Have you identified your target market, the people who can hire you, the companies where you best fit, and the information sources you need to stay current about changes affecting your potential employers? Have you established a specific methodology for your campaign? If you have not, you are trusting to luck.
3) Are you being creative in your approach to the job market? If you are merely posting your resume on job boards, responding to advertised positions on the internet, talking with recruiters and doing some networking, you are taking necessary steps. But, you are also doing what everyone else is doing! Even worse, you are missing out on literally 80% of the available positions, since that is the percentage of jobs filled each year that are not posted on the internet or listed with recruiters.
4) Do you have a strategy for reaching the Hidden Job Market? Since most of the available positions are not advertised or listed with recruiters, you will need more than old-fashioned networking to reach into this “hidden” market. There are many job search tools available if you look for them and know how to use them. (Part 1 of our “Innovative vs. Traditional Job Search webinar” lists 8-10 lead sources. How many can you name?) Knowledge is power. How knowledgeable are you about job search?
5) Does your resume show your accomplishments, or simply your practice areas? Your competitors have had essentially the same duties and experiences that you have had. What makes you more attractive than they are? If your resume isn’t showing results you have produced, you are under-representing yourself.
6) Do you have a compelling telephone introduction when calling the people who can hire you? If your plan for calling the hiring executives is simply to ask if they have seen your resume and would they like to meet you, your chances of arranging an interview are minimal.
7) Do you have a plan for reaching companies that are passively seeking candidates? Many organizations are thinking about adding to staff or replacing an out-of-favor attorney, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet on that process. Reaching organizations when new jobs are in the formative stage is a great way to pre-empt your competitors.
If you have (honestly) answered “yes” to these seven questions, then we applaud you and you probably don’t need us. But if you have answered “no” to even one or two of these questions, then you are likely to be spending a lot longer on your job search than you need to or want to.
We have guided about 2,000 senior lawyers through successful job search campaigns. Perhaps we can do the same for you.