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30 Nov

How to Organize a Job Search After Law School

by: Astor Professional Search

 Knowing how to organize a job search after law school can make you likelier to secure a job that suits your career goals and aspirations. The first thing you need to do is to assess your career path and identify goals. Think about the positions you want and the law firms in Chicago, Illinois, that appeal to your interests.

Networking can help you find your dream placement, internship, or job. Besides networking, you should be selective in your search and customize your application to fit job requirements. Consider enlisting the services of a legal recruiter with a proven job search and placement experience. The recruiter can connect you with employers looking for candidates with your qualifications and skill sets.

Two associates with forms and pens on their hands. How to organize a job search

Assessing Your Career Path and Identifying Goals

Reflect on your strengths, weaknesses, challenges, achievements, and improvements to identify your career goals. Personality tests, SWOT analysis, and skill inventory can help you learn about your motivations and abilities. Feedback from your colleagues, coaches, or mentors can also have the same effect.

Identify Preferred Practice Areas or Industries

A practice area is the field of law that a lawyer can focus on and gain skills and experience after completing law school. You can settle on a practice area of your choice after understanding its pros and cons and your strengths and weaknesses.

Look at what types of lawyers are in demand and their respective practice areas. Learn more about those areas to improve the odds of finding one that suits you.

Your non-negotiables matter when identifying your preferred practice areas or industries. They are things that you cannot compromise. Have clear non-negotiables to set boundaries in your career and have a healthy work-life balance.

A career test can help determine which practice area or industry suits you. The test looks at your skills, experience, interests, and strengths. It also offers insights, guidance, and feedback to boost your confidence in the event of change and uncertainty in your career.

Make Short-Term and Long-Term Career Goals

Your short and long-term goals set the foundation of what you consider your best legal career. They act as a plan that you can use to guide you as you navigate different job opportunities. Short-term goals can keep you focused and motivated since results are quicker, while long-term goals give you a roadmap and direction for future success.

While creating short-term goals, consider what you want to achieve in your career. You can break down larger goals into smaller tasks and organize them based on priority. A schedule can help you handle and monitor these tasks to reach your short-term goals.

Identify what you would like to achieve in the future when setting a long-term goal. Ensure this goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. Brainstorm objectives for each goal and identify possible obstacles.

Your career goals may focus on getting a certification or earning a promotion. You may also want to shift into a career path, achieve stability, or strive toward professional development.

Build a Strong Professional Network

A strong professional network can help you interact and know more people. People you meet through networking can point you to exciting career opportunities. These opportunities may include volunteer programs, internships, and job shadowing.

Attending professional events and joining professional associations can help build a strong professional network. You can also use online platforms, including social media, for this purpose. Below are more tips on building a strong professional network and finding a job after law school.

Attend Professional Associations and Events in Chicago, Illinois

You can find professional associations and events online or through suggestions from your career coach or colleagues. These associations should have active online platforms, publications, events, and chapters for a wider reach. They should also match your interests, skills, and career goals to benefit your job search.

Though some professional associations require a membership fee, they are worth the cost. Once you become a member, you can access resources that can help further your career. A membership to a professional association may also help you enjoy educational materials and learn new skills.

You can participate in conferences or webinars by these associations to stay updated on the recent legal industry technology and trends. Applying for grants or scholarships that these associations offer can help you further your education. With more academic qualifications, you can access better job opportunities.

Besides joining a professional association in Chicago, Illinois, you should attend events to engage directly with potential employers. Create meaningful networking connections and ask questions when attending these events. The connections can help you explore jobs for law students in your industry.

Events offer a great platform that you can use to showcase your strengths to potential companies. You can demonstrate your skills in discussions people have in these events. You can make a positive, long-lasting impression on attendees if you do it right.

Utilize Online Platforms and Social Media

Most employers use online platforms to announce job openings in their firms. They also allow qualified candidates to submit their applications online. Online platforms can help you organize a job search after completing law school.

The Internet is an excellent resource for timely job vacancies. Depending on the online platform, you can set job alerts that match your industry and qualifications. You can also communicate with resource groups or professionals in specialized areas.

As you do an online job search, focus on smaller, niche sites and be selective. Only apply for the position once you know more about the potential employer. You should also visit the company’s official website to confirm whether the job is on the jobs page section.

Social media is a valuable job-hunting platform since it can help you develop and showcase your profile. Leverage it to access opportunities that are not available on job boards. Social networking sites can enable you to build a strong professional network of contacts who can connect you to employers.

Explore sites that offer networking opportunities. Let prospective employers know what you are looking for and link your posts to your resume. You should use social media with other online platforms for better job search results.

Social networking platforms are mobile-friendly, helping you search for jobs on any Internet-connected device. Some employers will scan your social media profiles to determine if the information on your application matches with what you published on your social media profiles. The information may include education, previous jobs, and experience.

Create an Effective Job Search Strategy

A proactive job search strategy can increase the scope of your job search. You also get to prepare and make yourself available when the right opportunity comes. Finding a job after law school should include plans and techniques that can help ensure an efficient and effective job-hunting process. Use the following tips to create an effective job search strategy.

Research Potential Employers

You should research potential employers when deciding the kind of firm that will employ you. Do this when you are ready to apply for a job position and when attending an interview. As you research a potential employer, look for one that shares your values.

Find out whether the company’s mission resonates with your interests and passions. Reviews from present and past employees can help you do this research. Focus on reviews touching on work/life balance, job advancement, salary, and culture to learn more about the company.

The research should help you learn about the company’s operations. It should uncover the firm’s services, reputation, and years of experience. Use it to learn about the executives and their qualifications to understand the firm’s management.

Business journals, forums, and news stories can help you track information about a particular firm. They post product reviews and articles on companies in different fields. Whichever research method you use, ensure that the information you find is accurate and up-to-date.

Tailor Applications to Fit Specific Job Postings

Hiring managers often prefer applications tailored to fit the advertised job requirements. As such, a tailored CV can help show them that you are a serious candidate. You can capture the attention of a potential employer by customizing and re-ordering your skills to suit a particular job.

When doing this, consider what the job demands and ways you can demonstrate the required skills. Ensure you fully understand the role based on the description offered. If your skills and experiences don’t match the job requirements, look for a compatible role to avoid damaging your credibility and committing fraud.

Look at the type of soft skills that the job requires. These soft skills can include organizational skills, interpersonal skills, and the ability to collaborate. You can highlight these skills in your application with specific examples to stand out from other applicants.

Since a tailored CV can help give your skills and experience an advantage, list your most relevant skills and experience first. You can write about a previous role, training, or qualifications relevant to the position. 

author-bio-image author-bio-image
William Sugarman

William Sugarman is the president and founder of Astor Professional Search. He engages in the successful placement of attorneys with local, regional, and international law firms and corporations. Bill’s extensive legal and business development experience give Astor an edge over other legal recruiters nationwide. At the cornerstone of Bill’s strategic philosophy is providing the highest level of personalized attention to his clients and attorney candidates. This is also a key factor that separates Astor from other legal search firms, and it consistently delivers legal placements year after year.

Years of Experience: More than 20 years

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