Okay so you’ve put your job search off until 2017. Or maybe you were going hard prior to the holidays and decided to take a break and start anew when the calendar rolled around to January. Well, now’s the time! And so my goal with this post is to provide you five ways to elevate your job search in 2017.
- Set S.M.A.R.T. goals. If you don’t know what a SMART goals is, you can Google it for the detailed version. But for our purposes, these are goals which are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. We provided each of you a tool when you met with us during your 2nd quarter: it is a 9-quarter job search plan. It is a great document to start with to develop your goals, and to tweak in order to match your individual aspirations.
- A subset of one of your goals should include specific networking objectives (e.g. connect with four attorneys this month, reach out to four existing contacts this month). We simply cannot overstate the reality that most of you will get your job through some type of networking activity. If you didn’t have the opportunity to attend Professor Wren’s presentation last month, he had some great tips as part of his broader theme. He and I presented a very similar last year which is available by video here.
- Find an accountability partner. Once you’ve established your goals, find someone who is willing to ask you regularly whether you are making progress. The job search is often something you can push to the back-burner, put off until next week, or perhaps more subtly, do only those job search activities you enjoy rather than those you know you need to do. It’s nothing to get down; we’re all human and this is a very natural human tendency. But it does mean we need to recognize our weakness and find someone willing to hold us to what we’ve committed to.
- Spruce up your presentation. If it’s been awhile, have our office review your resume and cover letter, put you through a mock interview, and review the employers you are spending the most time pursuing. You should also utilize the writing center to help make sure you have selected the best writing sample possible, or whether it’s time to draft a new one.
- Remain positive! Here’s the thing, we know you are frustrated if the job search hasn’t completed in the time-frame you envisioned. We not only understand it, we are not going to hold it against you if you express that frustration to us (well, to a point!). But the same cannot be said for everyone, especially your potential employers. They cannot get a hint of bitterness, frustration, entitlement, etc. when they visit with you, or it’s all over. From their standpoint, who wants to hire an angry law student who at the first bump in the road can’t contain their emotion through a job interview? Nobody. So do what you need to do to remain positive and optimistic with everyone you meet; you never know when you might be talking with your future employer!
I hope this helps and gives you both some strategies and practical tools to elevate your job search in 2017. As always please feel free to contact our office with any questions or issues we can help you with!