Posts Tagged job search

Free Webinar Next Week! Link In to Further Your Job Search

Next Thursday, Equal Justice Works is hosting afree webinar on how to leverage LinkedIn in your job search.

Here are the deets!

 Link In to Further Your Job Search

Learn how to leverage LinkedIn as a powerful tool to enhance your public  persona and thus, your professional profile.  Use the tool proactively to connect with new people and identify opportunities.

April 12, 2012 at 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm EDT

Register: Click here!

*And after attending EJW’s webinar, join me (Kristen) at Destination Public Interest: How to Land Your Ideal Public Interest Career in D.C.!

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DC Event on 4/12: Destination Public Interest: How to Land your Ideal Public Interest Career

NALP and the Washington Council of Lawyers (WCL) is hosting “Destination Public Interest: How to Land your Ideal Public Interest Career” on Thursday, April 12 at 6:30 pm at the Georgetown University Law Center.

The program will provide tips on how to refine your cover letter, improve your resume, enhance your interview skills, and maximize your professional networking.  The program will be followed by light refreshments, and an opportunity for networking.

Destination Public Interest is open to WCL Members, and non-members, lawyers, paralegals, and law students.  There is no cost to attend, but please RSVP to attend so that we will know how many to expect.

To register for the event, click here.

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What Not to Say in an Email to a Prospective Employer

by Kristen Pavón

I know job searching can get frustrating and time-consuming — so, I thought I’d pass along this instructional and hilarious story from a Chicago blogger about the email missteps she has made.

Her first piece of advice? Don’t send an email to a prospective employer while sick with a cold and sleep deprived (I have to agree with her on this one… Wait it out or have someone else proofread for you before sending!).

Dear Readers:

Do not let this happen to you.  Never, and I mean ever, apply for a job at dawn with a cold and little sleep because you might mess up and never get the job.

Here is but one example, if you will.

Dear Serge:

It is essential that you hire me to write for your publication.  I grew up in the area, have a love for the community, which is why I moved back from LA, and I like to write.

Aside from one theatre review, most of my work has been in the opinion genre, though I am interested in branching out.  For now, the links to the following clips will tell you more about who I am and what I can do for your online publication.

Thanks and I will call in about a week for your thoughts or to set up a time to meet.


What was I thinking?  “It is essential that you hire me?” . . .

Most recently, I emailed an editor and told him that I liked his video about “growing a bear,” and that the accompanying Irish music made me want to do a “jog.”  After I hit send, I reread it and realized that it is impossible to grow a bear as they can grow themselves and that the Irish music wouldn’t make me want to do a jog but a jig.

You can read the rest here.

Moral of the story? Read your message through three times, then read it backwards twice before hitting “send.”

Do you have any email horror stories? Care to share? 😉

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Landing the Job: Keeping Track of Your Job Search

by Kristen Pavón

Today, I got an unexpected email from a fellow 2011 law grad who was interested in learning more about the Job Search spreadsheet I use to keep track of all my job applications.

In case any of you want to use my method, I’ve created an Excel template you can try out.

Here’s a screenshot of the template. At the top, I have Employer, Job Title, Location, Materials Required w/ Deadline, Send to, Date Applied, and Notes. Jobs I’ve already applied for are highlighted in green, jobs I applied to but didn’t work out are in gray, and jobs that are in the queue to apply to are in red (you can click on the screenshot to see more details).

The template I’ve included here can also be uploaded onto your Google Docs. I use both Google Docs and Excel (if you use both formats, make sure to keep them updated!). I keep my Excel spreadsheet in my Dropbox folder so I have access to it whenever and wherever.

In addition to this spreadsheet, I also maintain a Networking Spreadsheet to keep track of people I’ve met along the way. You can use my template here.

Here’s a screenshot of my networking sheet:

I know, I know. It’s not nearly as colorful as my job search spreadsheet, but it works. At the top, I have Name, Organization/Employer, Contact Information, Meet Details, and F/U Notes.

Under Meet Details, I usually add a few keywords that will jog my memory on how/where/when we met. I always make sure to include who, if anyone, introduced me to the person. I keep my F/U Notes column updated with my latest contact with a person, including last time we emailed or met for coffee, etc.

I hope this helps! Do you have any other tips for keeping track of your job search efforts?

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Resume Rework: What Skills Should You List?

by Kristen Pavón

My résumé is ever-changing. I have about five or six different versions focusing on different types of jobs with varying templates. However, the one section that I can never seem to improve is my “skills” section.

I never know what is appropriate to include — what do employers expect to see in this section? I have the usual “proficient in XYS legal research engine” and my language skills… but what else goes in there? Should computer skills go on there at all? Should I only have a “language” section?

On Linkedin, you can add skills to your profile. I’ll admit, I went a bit skill-crazy. I’ve added things like strategic development, issue advocacy, counseling, nonprofit management, etc. That got me thinking —  what about on your résumé? Are these the types of skills you should add or should you just stick to computer and language skills?

According to Guerrilla Tactics For Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams, your skills section is for languages, computer skills and other licenses. However, Harvard Law School’s Office of Public Interest Advising suggests omitting computer skills altogether. I tend to agree.

What do you think? What do you include in your “skills” section?

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Landing the Job: A Few Resume Tips From Legal Recruiters

by Kristen Pavón

This morning, I listened to a pretty informative ABA Journal podcast on “How to Craft a Resume that Recruiters Will Love.” While the recruiters focused on resumes for private law firms positions, some of the speakers’ advice also applies to public interest resumes.

  1. Objectives are out — if you’re a senior lawyer, try a summary instead.
  2. Including your hobbies and interests is a personal choice. Depending on what you include, it may help build rapport or it could hurt you.
  3. Don’t use pronouns.
  4. High school is ancient history — leave it off.
  5. If your GPA is 3.0 or above, put it on your resume. (*I’m undecided on this one…)

The podcast speakers — legal recruiters — emphasized that lawyers are snooty and snobby about education (her words, not mine) and because of that, if you leave your GPA off your resume, employers will assume that it’s below a 3.0. Is this true? Is this true in the public interest world?

You can listen to the 25-minute podcast or read the transcript here.


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Landing the Job: Blog Your Way to the Top!

From the National Law Journal:

Lawyers finish school prepared to think like lawyers, but are they prepared to develop business and survive in a competitive economy?

Well, no, not usually. To remedy this situation, Fordham University School of Law brought in Silvia Hodges, who earned the first doctorate degree on record in legal services marketing. Last spring, she launched a course on the topic. While a far cry from the usual torts or constitutional law curricula, her class is essential. It aids law students in developing their personal brands.

Hodges encourages students to improve their value by blogging (among other things like taking courses in the area you want to practice in, joining associations and interest groups, etc.).

“Blogging is a great tool to help law students accomplish this [building your brand],” Hodges said. “Great posts show that you are familiar with the topic. You become part of the discussion, become known among those interested in the topic. Having valuable contacts online is part of becoming a thought leader. You get your name out, it gives you visibility and helps you with search engine optimization. Your name and content will pop up when people look for your topic. Hopefully, this will help you get hired.”

I agree that blogging on legal topics you’re interested in can help you land a job. However, because blog writing is not the same as legal brief writing, I would suggest researching blogs and blog writing styles before starting your own.

Do you have a blog? Are you thinking about starting one?

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Job Seekers Sabotaging Their Own Job Hunt?

I want to hear your thoughts on this one. According to an article on MPR News, some job seekers are fearful of going back to work and that fear is sabotaging their change at landing a job. Here are the highlights:

“Part of the sabotage is in the work search itself,” she said. “Not following up, not being as aggressive as I should be.”

Marie also concedes that she has applied for jobs with companies where she didn’t have a good chance of being hired, and doing a half-hearted job with her cover letters.

“If I don’t have the energy there, or enthusiasm there, I think it sort of comes through,” she said.

Marie, who recognized her self-sabotage about a month ago, thinks she knows why she’s doing it. At 58, she’s worried employers will think she is too old. She fears rejection, and self-doubt makes her feel depressed. . . .

Many have angst that is easy to relate to, said Mary White, a job counselor in St. Paul who works for the non-profit organization HIRED, which provides resources for job training job search.

White said lots of people dread change, so it is unsurprising some would fear entering a relationship with a new employer after a traumatic layoff. . . .

With the pressure on, Marie is trying hard to overcome her negative mindset. Despite decades of taking on big responsibilities at work, she still feels insecure. But her volunteer work at a nonprofit is helping.

Read the rest of the story here. Have you found yourself sabotaging your job search? If so, is it because of fear?

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Watch Our Public Interest Summer Job Search Webinars!

If you missed the webinars, you can watch them over and over and over! You can also download the slides!


The free two-part webinar series, co-sponsored by NALP and Equal Justice Works, provides both law students and CSO professionals with insight on the key elements of the summer public interest job application process. Attorneys with years of application review experience highlight what you should and shouldn’t do; explain how and why public interest application materials may substantively differ from law firm materials; and explore the dynamics of personal interactions in interviews and networking situations.

Check them out here.

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Highlights from our Public Interest Summer Job Search Webinar

by Kristen Pavón

Part one of NALP & EJW’s Public Interest Summer Job Search Webinar Series went great yesterday. Part one focused on resumes and cover letters.

The whole enchilada will be available on NALP’s website soon, but I wanted to share some of the wealth right away!

  1. Don’t leave out information on your resume that shows a mastery of complex tasks, even if it’s from undergrad. Mastering complex tasks is a critical competency for attorneys!
  2. One option for resume formatting is to divide your experience into legal and non-legal experience.
  3. Don’t leave out study abroad. It shows that you are willing to go outside of your comfort zone.
  4. Be careful about adding interests to your resume. Most employers like them. It gives them a conversation starter for interviews.
  5. You education section should come right after your contact information on your resume, unless you’ve been out of law school for a while.
  6. Public interest resumes can be two pages long. Think about quality before thinking about quantity. Put everything on your resume at first, then omit from there.
  7. Don’t include an objective portion on your resume. It’s a waste of space and unnecessary.
  8. Don’t get artsy with your resume… Even if you were a graphic designer in a past life.
  9. Unless an employer asks for Word documents, convert your resume and cover letter to PDF before sending them off.
  10. Make sure you have a headline with your name and contact information at the top of your cover letter!
  11. Don’t get cutesy in your cover letter. This means, don’t start with a quote or with something like, “I’ve waited all my life to work at so and so.”
  12. In the first paragraph of your cover letter, include any connection you may have to the employer. For example, if you’ve worked there before or if an attorney who currently works there referred you to apply — put it in there.

If you thought Part One was good, wait until Part Two. Part two focuses on best practices in interviewing and in-person networking.


    • Nita Mazumder, Program Manager for Law School Relations, Equal Justice Works
    • Nicole Simmons, Career Counselor, The University of Texas School of Law
    • David Zisser, Associate Counsel, The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

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