Thursday, September 29, 2011

Helpful Links From PSLawNet: Making Your Public Service Job Search Easier

In addition to our database of more than 13,000 public service employer profiles (yes, you read that right — 13,000!) and almost 1,000 legal opportunities, the PSLawNet website has some great resources about anything from interviewing tips for public interest jobs, guides on landing jobs with international organizations to how to get and save money while working in the public interest field.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Staying in the Game: Overcoming Job Search Fatigue

by Kristen Pavón

Career Builder featured a great article outlining 8 tips to battle job-search fatigue. I definitely could have used this list a year ago! Job searching is a ridiculously daunting task and I know it can be difficult to keep your eye on the prize.

I’m going to highlight a few of their tips and add a few public-interest law related ones of my own (mainly things I used to get through the job search period while keeping my sanity).

1. Consider your job search a full-time job.

Yes, yes and yes. If you’re unemployed, job searching cannot be something you do randomly when the urge arises. Like lots of things in life, you’ll get out of job searching what you put in. The more time and effort you dedicate to landing a job, the more likely you’ll actually get one.

2. Explore how social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, a personal blog and LinkedIn, can help your job search.
You can use these platforms as methods to either meet prospective employers or showcase skills or past accomplishments.

3. Craft a formal plan.
This tip is critical. I had a pretty good method, if I do say so myself. I set up a color-coded spreadsheet with job titles, organizations, application instructions, location, contact information, deadlines and the date I applied. Jobs I needed to apply to were highlighted in green, jobs I had already applied to were highlighted in red, and jobs that didn’t work out (read: rejected!) were in gloomy gray.

4. Set tangible (realistic) goals.

Write down the number of jobs you will apply for each day. Write down the number of jobs you will add to your queue each day.

5. Volunteer.

I know searching for and applying to jobs 8 hours a day can suck the life out of you and even leave you feeling low on the self-esteem meter. So, schedule a specific chunk of time to search for jobs and leave some time to volunteer for your favorite legal services organization in the area.

This will not only get you out of the house, but it will also be a great bullet on your résumé and more likely than not, you’ll meet some interesting people that may lead you to a job!

6. Go out and meet people.

Look up your local bar association and check out their events calendar. Make it to next networking event, bring a stack of business cards, and get to work!

Feeling awkward about it? Keep in mind lawyers know how to network, they expect it and they want to introduce you to other lawyers who may be able to help you out.

Still not feeling it? Well, I’m a success story. I went to a networking event in the D.C. area for public interest attorneys and law students, and I met two people. I had a great chat with one over coffee a few weeks later, which led me to meet another attorney who I set up a volunteering schedule with before landing a job. The other attorney I met at the event is now my colleague at work. Networking works.

7. Set up PSLawNet alerts!
Ok, yes. This tip is a bit self-serving but I actually used these during law school and during my job search. Through PSLawNet, you can get daily or weekly emails with job opportunities that fit your customized criteria. It’s too easy not to use. Check it out at PSLawNet.

I hope these tips help you. You can read all of Career Builder’s tips here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

How to Behave on Your First Day of Work


The first day of work can be especially challenging for someone who has never worked in an office. Even if your employer has a first-day orientation program, you will also need to orient yourself. Assume nothing. Use this five-point list to get started.

Some of this is based on advice shared by Dean Gail B. Agrawal at the University of Iowa College of Law during the school’s August 2011 two-day Job Search Camp. The Dean had come from many meetings with alumni and employers, and she channeled some of their concerns for her students.

Click here to continue to article.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ace Your Skype (or Other Video) Job Interview

More and more employers are choosing to conduct their interviews via video conference. Here are some tips if you find yourself in that situation. Make sure and let the firm know that we can host the video interviews at the law school. That way you'll have a professional looking background, minimal distractions, and technical support.


Practice makes perfect. This dictum applies to learning to do anything well whether it's riding a bike, speaking a foreign language, or doing a Skype interview with confidence. Consultant Kerrie Hopkins, who works with clients on 5 continents, advises not only practicing but also recording your efforts to review. People have no idea how they are being received on another's computer screen, says Hopkins.

That's not a great thing, since in a still shaky economy when companies that are able to hire are increasingly turning to online interviews to save time and money, being able to interview comfortably on Skype is an essential skill to have.

So in addition to practicing, how else can job seekers prepare for an online interview? I asked dozens of executives, career consultants, and tech experts nationwide this question.

Here are their best 14 tips.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Let the Guidebook Be Your . . .Well, Guide

by MariLee Allred

The start of a new school year always brings with it a sense of excitement about starting something new, improving upon past performance, getting reacquainted with fellow students, and (sigh) looking for a job.

Throughout this very busy time, we've had a number of students with similar questions and concerns.  Some are law school veterans of a year or two, others are just starting out.  Some are just starting to look for jobs and getting serious about resume and cover letter writing.  Some more experienced students have been sending out resumes and cover letters that need to be updated and refined.

As you may or may not know, resumes for legal jobs have a specific format.  They are quite different from resumes you may have written before for other positions.  Resume writing is a very precise skill that takes some practice.  Where to begin?

Also, you will be required for most job applications to write a cover letter.  If you haven't written a cover letter before, it can seem quite daunting.  Business letters have a specific format.  Additionally, a cover letter can determine whether or not you'll get a job.  What is supposed to be in a cover letter?  How can you find out what to say, how to format it, etc.?

Did you know the answers to these questions and more can be found within the covers of your Career Services Guide to Professional Development? 

Do you remember receiving a copy of this manual in the mail the summer before your 1L year?  Do you know where you copy is?  Has it been a while since you've looked at it?

This little resource guide has all kinds of helpful information in it, including a chapter on resumes and cover letters which includes several samples. 

If carrying another book around isn't convenient, this guidebook is also available online.  You can find it at: Career Services (under Quicklinks)>Careers>Guidebooks>Guide to Professional Development.

The Guide to Professional Development can help give you ideas for formatting, as well as content, for both your resume and cover letters.  Once you have a good start, your career counselor will be happy to review and make suggestions for you.

The good news is writing resumes and cover letters gets easier with practice.  Until you feel comfortable writing them, take advantage of the Guide to Professional Development as another resource to help you.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Informational Interviews: The Complete How-To

 by Annie Favreau

Informational interviews are one of the best, most under-utilized career tools at our disposal. These focused meetings with an expert in a field can give you first hand industry knowledge and help you greatly expand your network.

So why don’t more people use them? Informational interviews aren’t the sole domain of job seekers or new grads looking for their “big break.” They can actually be gold for anyone looking to get ahead—whether that’s starting a blog, getting a book deal, or trying to take their career to the next level.

 Here are five tips for making the most out of these short but sweet (and powerful) meetings: