Career Change or Alternative Career Consulting

 Hi, I’m Bruce Blackwell.
When I founded Career Strategies back in 1992, it was for just one reason:
To help people find new jobs or new careers. If you are an experienced
attorney or executive interested in exploring your career options …
we can help. If you want to discover what else is out there,
we can help you find it.


If you would like to know how you can still make a good living but not have the
law firm BS of billable hours and rainmaking, we can show you … and get you there.
If you are in house and looking for a new job, or a government lawyer returning to
the private sector, we can help you, too.

Over the years, we have helped the careers of several thousand attorneys and executives
re-energize their careers. Many of our clients are age 50+ and are ready for new challenges.
Our clients have gone into corporations, non-profits and universities.
We have had clients go into sports and entertainment, travel, hi tech, publishing,
and many other areas, some of which they often never even thought possible.
If your quality of life stinks. If you are sick of billing 2400 hours a year.
If you feel the work you are doing is no longer challenging or rewarding…
then call us.

If you are unappreciated by your partners or clients (or both!) …
if you want to feel like you are doing something worthwhile with your career …
then you owe it to yourself to get in touch. Attorney or executive — We can help
you find what’s right for you, then help you get it. If any of this sounds good and
you’d like to find out more, give us a call today.


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Very Scary Realities About Your Job Search

By Bruce Blackwell

If you think applying for jobs online is like sending your resume into a black hole, you are right! The numbers are staggering.The wise job seeker is going to understand the odds, and develop a more creative campaign than simply going online and hitting the “apply now” button. Here’s how bad it is. I was just going through the year-end report of the results of our Attorneys Wanted advertising on It’s downright scary.

We received 1,005 applications for one job as a mid-to-senior level in-house position in New Jersey and 739 for a slightly more senior in-house job in New York. We received a paltry 447 applications for another senior in-house position. That’s 2191 resumes for 3 positions. From that field of candidates, we ultimately had to select 3 people to send to each hiring company. Your chances, as a mid-to-senior level attorney, of being given the opportunity to interview for these positions comes out to .04%. That’s 4/1000ths.

All told, when averaging the responses for each position we advertised in 2017, it came to 346.88 resumes per job. If your search is taking longer than you think it should, then perhaps that’s the reason why.

I love it when we can place a candidate through our Recruiting function. We get 20-25% (or more) of a selected candidate’s first year compensation package. At, say, a $160,000 mid-level in-house role, we will make $40,000 or so. If we could place candidates every day, we’d be very, very rich. But then someone else would be writing this column, as I’d be on the beach in the Caribbean drinking rum punches right now. The problem is that the hiring companies are fussy. They want what they want. Accept no substitutes. If you are not a Perfect Match for a posted position, you won’t be considered or put up for the job. The reality is that very few candidates are Perfect Matches and thus recruitable.

Here it comes. The Pitch.

If you are among the 2,182 applicants in 2017 who were not put up for those three in-house jobs, there is help. At Career Strategies, we provide creative, effective and dynamic approaches to the job search process. We know how to get around the dark hole of online classifieds and how to help you get onto the radar screens of the hiring partners or executives. We offer a free, no-obligation initial discussion to assess your marketability and job search methods. Call us today at 866-898-4228. Don’t base your job search on being in the .04%.

Career Paths For Our Clients

Career Strategies clients have moved into a variety of alternative legal careers.
Other than having JDs and certain shared characteristics resulting from law school
training and the facts-of-life in the legal profession, each client is different and has
his or her own muse. Career Strategies “graduates” have gone into such diverse
areas as those shown below.

Public Relations, Telecommunications Operations, Construction Management,
Travel Writer/Photographer, Entrepreneurs, TV Station Management, Fund-Raising,
Non-Profit Agency Management, Legal & Business Affairs, Strategic Planning,
Employee Relations, Financial Services Operations, Investment Sales,
Real Estate Development, Management Consulting, Sporting Goods – Exec. Mgt.,
International Affairs, Technology Procurement, University Administration,
Sales and Sales Management, Sports Promotion, Healthcare Administration,
Risk Management, Government Agency Administration, Event Planning,
Conference Management, Retail Operations, Government Relations, Public Affairs,
Compliance/Ethics, Investment Banking, International Corp. Finance, Marketing,
General Counsel, Project Management, Chief Operating Officer, Broadcasting,
Labor Relations, Environmental Affairs, Bank – Trust Officer, Private Law Practice,
Law Practice but new area of Law, Recruiting, Author, Chef, Restauranteur,
Educational Outreach, Community Affairs, Finance & Administration, Affiliate Relations,
Key Accounts, Business Management, Talent Agent, Teaching, Relationship Management,
Film Production

Fields include: Banking, Broadcasting, Aerospace, Healthcare, Non-Profit Agencies
and/or Associations, Construction, Real Estate, Financial Services, Universities and
Colleges, Manufacturing, Insurance, Government, Military, Computers,
Telecommunications, Advertising and Promotion Agencies, Sporting Goods Companies,
Human Resource Consulting firms, Publishers, Defense Contractors, Merchant Banks,
Hotel & Leisure and many, many more

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Regardless of their backgrounds, our clients share a desire to explore alternative careers
that are either far removed from their current professions, or their experience is applied
in new and more rewarding ways.

We can help you determine your viable career alternatives and career options, and then
our career coaching professionals can provide the resources, information, techniques,
job search strategies, life coaching guidance and tools necessary to help you achieve
your career objective and land a great new attorney job or executive position.

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Animated Career Strategy Group Video

 Got a difficult problem in your job or your job/career search?
Do you have a lack of networking contacts?
Trouble answering interview questions?
Good news: You can solve your job search problems today,
simply by contacting Career Strategies Group.
Watch a video, then email us or give us a call.



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11 Ideas for Job Searching During the Holidays

11 Ideas for Job Searching During the Holidays

careers and career changes and alternatives

Here are some specific strategies you can use in your holiday job search.

Accept all invitations you receive for holiday parties and get-togethers
Whether it’s a social or charity event, dinner party, spouse’s Christmas party,
or professional association event, use these opportunities to reacquaint
yourself with people who might be useful in your job search,
and make new connections. Be sure to follow-up.

Re-connect with old friends and colleagues
Your network can be a great source of information, job leads,
and referrals. Get back in touch with previous co-workers and
supervisors, high school and college people, former neighbors, etc.

 Host your own holiday party
It doesn’t have to be anything formal or elaborate.
Hosting your own holiday open house, dinner party,
or get-together can help jumpstart your job search
(but that shouldn’t be the focus of your party, of course!).
However, extending an invitation is a great excuse to reach
out and talk with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while!

Ask for specific information or help
For example, ask if the person knows anyone who works at “x”
company instead of asking if they know of anyone hiring.
During the holidays, your contacts might have more time
to be of assistance, and they might be in a mood to be
generous at this time of the year!

There are many opportunities during the holidays to give your time
to charities and organizations. Some of these opportunities might also
help you build your network, make new connections, and bolster your résumé.

Use holiday cards to connect
If Christmas cards, holiday letters, and e-greetings are part of
your end-of-the-year tradition, mentioning your job search
(if you’re currently unemployed, or your position is ending)
can be a useful strategy. Let people know you’re looking!

Create a business networking card
Develop a business card that lists your contact information and social
media links — especially to your LinkedIn profile. You can use this in lieu
of your normal business card — or instead of it, if you’re unemployed.

Update your social media presence
If you don’t yet have a LinkedIn profile, now is the time to create yours.
If you have one, give it a fresh look. Is it time to update it? Can you increase
your number of Connections — or solicit additional Recommendations?

Look for opportunities to get your foot in the door
If you’re currently unemployed, look for temporary or
seasonal jobs that may lead to full-time positions.

Connect with recruiters
Many are trying to reach year-end recruiting goals at this time
of the year, and you may have just the skills they are looking for.

Set a specific goal for your job search
Instead of setting a goal to get a new job, your goal might be to make
a certain number of new connections or to schedule a certain number
of informational interviews. Making progress on this type of goal will
ultimately help you achieve your goal of a new job.

Make sure you’re reachable
You might be asked to interview at unusual times — for example,
the day before Christmas. Keep your phone on — and make sure
you’re checking your voice mail and email regularly!

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7 Questions to Ask About Your Job Search

7 Questions to Ask about Your Job Search

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.

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In order to prevail over the competition, you need to be doing several things.
Here is a check list of questions to ask yourself about your job search campaign.

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.

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.

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.

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?

Does your resume show your accomplishments OR 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.

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.

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.

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5 Ways to Give Your Resume a Makeover

This is from an article just published by and MSN. 

(We were among the resume experts from around the U.S. who were interviewed.)

Fashion and what’s in style change over time—and so should your résumé.
What may have been a trendy way to format five or 10 years ago could now be considered
outdated. And with technology changing how jobs are found and applied for, being current is
more crucial to your job search than ever. Whether you’re just putting together your résumé or
feel like your job search is in a rut, take the time to update your résumé’s look with these five tips.

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Swap out-dated categories for modern information
Résumés used to serve as a very different form of introduction than today. While hiring
managers used to wonder who you were and what you were looking for, as well as if
anybody could vouch for you, today’s hiring process is much more streamlined. “Today,
like the understanding of the unspoken objective, everyone knows that a job candidate
will provide references when and if they advance to the next stage of the hiring
process,” says Karen Southall Watts, business coach, consultant and author.

Instead, find a way to use your résumé’s valuable space more wisely. “The top third of
your résumé is prime real estate and should not be home to something as obvious and
outdated as an objective statement,” says Watts. “The reader already knows you are looking
for a job like the one advertised. It’s better to put a personal branding statement or skills
summary in this key area.” Below your contact information, write a short summary of your
achievements, years of experience and highlight your skills.

Use the latest technology to your advantage
When designing your résumé, keep in mind both who and what will be receiving it.
Bruce Blackwell, 
managing partner of Career Strategies Group in White Plains, NY, says,
“Rule number one is to keep your design simple! Make sure it is compatible with the résumé
database programs used by employers and recruiters. Called applicant tracking systems,
these programs electronically ‘read’ incoming résumés, parse their keywords and slot
them into a database file. Résumés with headers on the name and address lines, with
bullet points in the contact area, with fancy lines and other graphic effects, often
cannot be read and end up in the garbage.”

Having more than one format of your résumé is crucial to your search. Watts says,
“There should be a résumé that works no matter where you need it to go: A printed
paper version for traditional employers, a PDF version that can be scanned and a
hyperlinked version that ties to samples of your work or your social media links.”

Skip the buzzwords and instead give specific results
Instead of describing yourself as the most hard-working, creative, talented team-player,
quantify your success and include achievements in your work experience section.
Michelle Proehl, president of Slate Advisers in Sunnyvale, CA, says, “Emphasize specific
actions and the results achieved. For instance, saying that you ‘Identified $1M in
administrative cost savings that enabled the sales team to add headcount’ is far
more powerful than ‘Conducted analysis of division financial plan and budget.’”

Abby Kohut, human resources executive, recruiter and author of “Abby’s 101 Job
Search Secrets,” says, “Avoid buzzwords designed to sweeten your résumé, but don’t
really hold any meaning. With more companies relying on computers to vet résumés
before sending to hiring managers, it’s crucial to weave the appropriate keywords into
your résumé and professional online profiles. Learn the difference between a buzzword
and a keyword, and your résumé will rise to the top on the stack.”

Give context to your experience
While you may know what your past places of employment did or believe a company
name is big enough to be recognized, hiring managers may not. Jon Mazzocchi,
partner and general manager in the accounting and finance search division at
Winter Wyman, a recruitment firm in Waltham, MA, says it’s crucial to give context
to your past employment and what the business did. “Even if the hiring manager
is familiar with your past employers, it is a good idea to point out the similarities
between those companies and the one you hope to join. Similarities in size,
culture, and industry definitely help.”

Give every detail a professional polish
To avoid quickly being discarded, triple-check your résumé for errors and be sure
you’re presenting yourself as a professional. When it comes to getting in touch
with you, Watts says it’s important to give multiple contact methods. “It’s highly
unlikely that HR is going to send you a letter in the mail. Your résumé should include
a phone number, an email, your social media links if you use them professionally
and your website if you have one.” Laurie Morse-Dell, personal branding coach
in Bismarck, ND, adds, “Make sure you have a professional email address. If your
email is or could be perceived as vulgar, cutesy, juvenile or cheesy, get a new one.”

Most importantly, your résumé and all content included should recommend
you as a qualified candidate for the job who exudes professionalism and
capability. By taking the time to put your best résumé forward,
you’re sure to create a great first impression.

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Happy Holidays from Career Strategies Group

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