Dear Job Applicant,
The City of Boston is one of the better places in the country to seek employment. Boston’s economy has successfully created jobs due to the proactive measures of local officials. As a job seeker you are in a favorable part of the country to obtain employment due to the local economy’s innovative environment.
During the past 11 years, I have helped over 2,000 attorneys obtain employment in a very competitive legal market. My experience has shown me that job applicants must be savvy when presenting themselves to prospective employers. I am grateful for the chance to pass on a succinct synopsis of the knowledge that I have obtained assisting attorneys, paralegals, and other legal professionals find new jobs.
Seeking employment is an endeavor that requires effective strategies and tactics. The following is a step-by-step plan that will allow you to construct a job search that leads to spectacular results. No matter what field you're considering, you must be able to communicate to potential employers in a way that helps them make a decision that benefits you.
Your goal is to present yourself as a solution to an employer’s current needs. "As a general manager, I look for people that can see the big picture. Having a global view translates well when your goal is to ensure that a company's staff is operating at maximum efficiency," states Boston area executive, Dennis Sullivan. You also want to show that you are an asset that has the potential to increase in value.
Consider my CRT method, not to be confused with GTL:
- Cover Letter;
- Resume; and
- “Thank You” Letter.
A clear and concise cover letter is an effective marketing piece. You must research the company so you present yourself as a solution to their current needs. According to attorney and legal search consultant, Nancy Reiner of Major, Lindsey & Africa, “Employers are obviously looking for smart and honest individuals but the star employees tend to be proactive and positive. An employer is seeking to obtain a dependable talent that displays initiative.” The cover letter is your first step in framing your resume as a menu of solutions.
Your resume is a condensed summary of important facts about you. You must remember that resumes do not get jobs but do get interviews. Therefore, your resume must answer the key questions that an employer will ask herself when looking to fill a position:
- Can this applicant do the job?
- What type of human being is this job-seeker? And
- What extra qualities beyond my posted job description does this individual possess?
A successful resume is one that leads you to an interview. When listing your skills, focus on the skills that you would be comfortable talking about with a prospective employer.
Once you familiarize yourself with your skill set, you can establish the links that an employer looks for when determining if your past experience would make you a good fit for a posted job opening. It is up to you to identify your transferable skills and credentials. Your resume should highlight all of your accomplishments and transferable skills to sell yourself most effectively to a potential employer.
According to Lawrence King of LK & Associates, “The ideal employee has a passion for their work and is always willing to go the extra mile for the team.”
“THANK YOU” LETTER
After you meet with your prospective employer, you want to immediately send a “Thank You” letter that:
- Shows respect for the interviewer's time;
- Explains by example(s) that you paid attention to the potential employer's needs; and
- Illustrates that you are proactive and are a great fit for the prospective employer’s requirements.
Your letter should be mailed within 48 hours after your interview, even if you feel that you will not receive an immediate offer. “Thank You” letters help frame the recollection of your interview. If you missed a key point, you can emphasize that you have researched the issue. Your “Thank You” letter can also clarify your position on a topic.
Your letter is a great tool to emphasize the traits that make you the ideal fit for the employer.
“To be an ideal employee means to be a great employee and that is completely different from field to field.The qualities that make up a great corporate defense attorney (clever, tenacious, persuasive) are the polar opposite of what it takes to be a great nurse (compassionate, skilled, detail oriented). You can’t be an ideal employee until you understand what it means to be great in your field,” states Susanne Goldstein, author of the book, “Carry a Paintbrush: How to Be the Artistic Director of Your Own Career”.
If you interviewed with a group of people, make sure to send a “Thank You” letter to each person. Always tailor the letter to each recipient and make specific references to the subjects discussed.
Your experience is valuable, so your goal is simple: communicate the value of your experience to an employer.
Good luck with your job search and approach your career with the tenacity required to stand out from the crowd.
Lennox Chase, Esq.
Lennox Chase is an attorney that sits on the board of directors for Needham Bank. Attorney Chase is also the founder of MyBarPrep, a tutoring company for lawyers and law school students.
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