Monday, July 30, 2012

Guide to Women's Suiting

It can be tricky for women to find a great interview suit — where to start?

A General Note on Women’s Interview Suits: If you are interviewing for a conservative job (law, investment banking, etc.), the whole point is that your brain is what the interviewer is interested in — not your fashion sense. Your resume and your words should speak louder than your clothes, and to that end, the entire goal of the interview outfit should be to make sure that it doesn’t distract the interviewer. Show personality through your words, not your clothes. 

What color suit should you get? Most people will tell you that a navy or a dark charcoal is the way to go, if only because both colors are less severe than black. Personally, I think a black suit is fine as well — and if you’re on a budget, it’s easier to break the suit into separates once you’re working. If you’re only buying one or two suits, though, do your best to avoid pinstripes — they tend to be more memorable, harder to accessorize, and the pieces tend to be harder to wear as separates. (If you do end up buying one, though, check out our tips on how to wear a pinstriped suit.)

See full article here.

Interview Boot Camp 101

If you haven’t interviewed in a while, or if you have gone on more interviews in the past year than you care to admit, it may be time to go to Interview Boot Camp 101. Even senior executives can sometimes forget the basic things that can make or break a good job interview. Please keep in mind that boot camp, as the name implies, can be fairly rough – think of it as tough love.


Unless you are going to work at a downtown art gallery, professional business attire is a must. Don’t ask the interviewer if it is okay to dress casually – he may say yes. I recently heard a story of a medical billing professional who asked if she could wear scrubs to an interview. She did, and the impression she left was not one that screamed ‘hire me’!

Even if the company is business casual, wearing clothing that says you are polished and poised sends an important message. Show the interviewer that you take the role very seriously and that you want the job. Choose clothing that is basic. Go with solid colors and tailored suits and jackets. Avoid wearing tight fitting clothing. You are not interviewing to be a pole dancer. Also, don’t wear anything you don’t think is flattering. You will be nervous enough without worrying about your skirt riding up or your buttons popping.

Click for full article.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A 2L’s Guide to Job Searching: Creating A Plan For the Weeds

By: Maria Hibbard

Last year, a law school professor of mine used the phrase “in the weeds” so often that it became his trademark – we all knew that we were “getting into the weeds” whenever we were talking through a difficult or laborious issue to understand. As I look forward to the next few months of job searching for my 2L year and next summer, I’m trying to create a plan to avoid getting overwhelmed – with a tough job market, limited opportunities, and the pressure to figure out what to do with my whole life – I know I need to create a roadmap to navigate through “the weeds.” Here’s a list of some things to think through:
  • Dream the ideal. What is your dream job? At what organization? Where? Dreaming up “the ideal” and then pursuing opportunities that show some similarity to that ideal position is not settling – it’s taking steps in the right direction. I’ve become acutely aware of the way in which location plays into the legal job search – if the ultimate goal is to work in Los Angeles, for example, then taking a job in LA that might not be ideal can show interest and commitment to staying there. Harvard has a great self-assessment guide that can help in figuring out what that ideal may look like.
  • Think through the deadlines.Like me, you may be at a law school that is starting the beginning of the on-campus recruiting process – and the pressure to find your next summer job or clerkship has begun to mount. If you want to apply broadly to a number of types of employers, it may be best to think about the different stages of applications in chunks based on general recruiting schedules. If you can, front-loading your semester with job searching can get the most time-consuming part out of the way before finals come up in November and December. 

Seven Deadly Interview Sins

With the job market extremely tight, even the small stuff counts, especially when you’re on a job interview. That’s why it’s so important not to say or do the wrong things, since that first impression could end up being the last one.

With that in mind, here are seven deadly sins of job interviewing.

Monday, July 23, 2012

What to Wear to Court? Tips for Guys on Building a Professional Wardrobe



The solemnity of a suit’s color is almost directly proportional to the depth of its shade. Let's examine some of the most common colors of suits, and their varying level of appropriateness for the courtroom.

Click here for full article.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Top 10 Tips to Ace a Telephone Screening

by Mardy Sackley

Lucky for job seekers everywhere, the lateral legal market is greatly improved from the dark days of 2009. Since the recession, however, employers have been forced to do more with less. Hence, the telephone screen, a cost effective way for an employer to figure out if a candidate has the basic skill set and demeanor for the position at hand before investing in a full round of interviews.

In 2012, we have seen an uptick in the number of law firms and corporations requiring a telephone screen before an in-person interview. The screen may last anywhere from ½ hour to an hour and it is generally conducted by one or two interviewers.

A half hour may not seem like a big deal. After all, what can you mess up in a short thirty minutes? Plenty, believe me. My advice to interviewees – don’t underestimate the power of the screen! Remember, the purpose of the screen is to convince the employer that you are worthy of a face-to -face meeting. If you don’t pass muster, then you will not pass go, will not collect $200 dollars, and will not get the opportunity for a face-to-face meeting.

So, here are some tips from me to you. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

New Federal Government Program, Pathways, Now Open


A few weeks ago we outlined the ways that federal hiring will change via the new Pathways program created by an executive order in 2010; as of today, the new “pathway” to federal employment is in effect. It will take a while to for jobs to become available under this new program, however; if you visit, the opportunities will be posted as they become available. Check PSLawNet and USAJobs for postings throughout this hiring season!

How to Answer Seven of the Most Common Interview Questions


Interview questions are not as straightforward as they seem, and answering just one question incorrectly may put you out of the running for a job.

The moral of the story? Be ready to read between the lines.

Here are seven of the most common interview questions, what the hiring manager is really asking, and how you should respond:

Thursday, July 12, 2012

20 Email Mistakes that Can Kill Your Job Chances

On the employer’s side, understand that your messages are usually viewed as typical of how you would perform as an employee. So, demonstrate your understanding of email etiquette, your good judgment, and your ability to communicate clearly with colleagues and customers or clients.

Tip: Expect that your emails may be saved and searched so be sure to include keywords important and relevant to your job search in your messages as well as in your resume and other job search documents.

Some of these mistakes are fatal all by themselves (see 1 thru 4). Others may be tolerated if your message is read, you don’t make more than one or two of them, and you are the only qualified candidate. Best to avoid the whole list!

These are 20 most common mistakes:

Monday, July 9, 2012

Aceing Video Interviews

Because job video interview success is different than classic job interview success.

Is this even something that you need to worry about?


Here are some ways that video job interviews are being used:
  1. Virtual companies interviewing candidates around the world
  2. Companies interviewing recruiters’ candidates from the recruiters’ offices
  3. Companies interviewing candidates from their homes
So if you’re a candidate and you have a home – and I’m betting you do – this concerns you too.

Here’s what you need to know.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day

                                                                          Fourth of July, Childe Hassam

O say can you see by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation.
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Monday, July 2, 2012

It’s Your Legal Career, Take Charge


As a young lawyer, it’s your responsibility to take charge of your career from the moment that you graduate from law school. After all, if you’re not going to nurture your career, who will? Whether you think you’ll ever open your own firm or merely want to get the most out of your law firm experience, there are a few things you can do to get your career going on the right track from the very beginning.

Click here for article.