\par Get In And Win \par

Get In And Win

Watching the new college football playoff has reminded me of something that my high school baseball coach used to say: “You gotta be good to get there and lucky to win it.” He was referring to the high school state tournament, but unfortunately we were never good enough to even try our luck. The college football playoff is similar, though I wouldn’t call anything I saw in either Ohio State or Oregon’s wins luck. They were the better teams that day. \par \par What does this have to do with your job search and career? Think of it this way: all that you’ve done to build your resume to this point is similar to what Oregon and Ohio State did throughout their regular seasons. In fact, at selection time, football analysts often refer to a team’s “resume.” Much like those teams, your accomplishments (as indicated on your resume) and other application materials (e.g. cover letter, writing sample) are how you make your case to an employer to be invited to compete. Note that’s not how you get the job, or in Oregon or Ohio State’s case, win the championship. There’s still work to do for both of you toward those goals.\par \par Here’s the important part. Once you’ve been invited to interview (i.e. compete), the resume and everything in it dramatically lessens in value. In the new college football playoff, the value drops to zero: win two games and you’re the champion, regardless of resume. In your job search, you should take a similar approach, even though the resume value probably hasn’t dropped all the way to zero. Assume that anyone being interviewed, including you, has an equal chance of getting the job. \par \par This cuts both ways. You may feel confident in your resume and candidacy with some employers and not as much with others. But in either case your approach must be that you have the same chance to win the job as the next person, and they have as good a chance to win the job as you. This will cause you to shift your focus from you and your resume, to the employer and its needs. \par \par So if the resume is no longer of (significant) value in the interview stage and the focus shifts to the employer, how do you win the interview? Through preparation. Each employer has different needs and structure and people and culture, and you must prepare and research to appeal to each. One employer may be looking for a dynamic personality who can bring in business and charm a jury, another may need someone to grind out discovery requests or pre-trial motions. What nearly all employers will want is someone who fits in with their culture and will be pleasant to work with. \par \par Stand out in the interview as the person who is the best fit for the employer, and you will get the job most of the time, regardless of how your resume stacked up against the other candidates. That means going into the interview you should not be overconfident in your resume, nor should you be lacking confidence in what you perceive to be a resume that doesn’t quite cut it. Like Oregon and Ohio State, or Alabama and Florida State, each candidate is there for a reason and has a chance to win the day. Just do everything you can to make sure it’s you.\par \par Connect with Daniel at Daniel_Hare@Baylor.edu and/or @BaylorLawDaniel on Twitter.\par \par Job of the Week: Each week I highlight a job in Symplicity you might be interested in but may have missed. This week's job is: Entry Level Attorney – Personal Injury at Bergquist Law Firm in Houston, TX(3L) Log in to Symplicity to view this job and apply. \par ]]>\par

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