From the monthly archives:

February 2014

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How We Work on Client Files at Legal Authority

by A. Harrison Barnes on February 19, 2014

The process of working on client files at Legal Authority is quite complicated and works like this:

First, our clients generally sign up on our website or call in.Once clients call in or sign up on our website, we call to schedule an appointment with them and they are assigned an Employment Advocate who will be their contact person throughout their search.With only one exception, all of our Employment Advocates are attorneys.Our Employment Advocates work with our clients through each step of the process.

Second, once an appointment is scheduled, clients speaks with one of our Employment Advocates about their job search and what they are seeking to do.During the phone call, a list of employers is generated which matches precisely what the client is seeking to do. Employment Advocates will generally counsel clients about what they believe are the most appropriate steps for the candidate to follow in their job search.Employment Advocates are sort of like recruiters because their ultimate objective is to get you a job.The difference between an Employment Advocate and a traditional legal recruiter, however, is that Employment Advocates work with you.

In the third step of the process, the list of employers that the client and Employment Advocate agree upon is sent to our data review center and the resume is sent to our resume and cover letter department.

Our resume and cover letter department is also populated almost exclusively by attorneys.Two of our resume and cover letter personnel have worked in major New York law firms.Another holds a master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania.In our resume and cover letter department, with the input from what you are seeking to do gained from their discussions with you and your Employment Advocate, a resume fitting exactly what you are seeking to do is crafted.

Our data center is extremely sophisticated, operates 24 hours a day seven days a week and is staffed by over twenty researchers.Our data center is populating our database with contact information every day of the week.Many of our candidates often ask us where we get our data and the answer is we get it from numerous sources.The least challenging aspect of our work is getting the data from printed sources.The problem with printed sources, however, is that a large percentage of law firms, corporations and other legal hiring organizations do not even list themselves in printed sources.A listing in Martindale Hubble, for example, costs firms several hundreds of dollars.At a cost exceeding $50,000 a month, our data center pulls information from other data sources making use of U.S. Government issued Standard Industry Classifications (SIC Codes) which classify businesses based upon the type of industry they are in.This information is constantly being double checked, reclassified and loaded into our database.

Once the candidate file is sent to the data center, the data center reviews the list of contacts put together by the Employment Advocate.Since each search is personal to everyone who uses our service, our list of contacts inside each legal hiring organization is never perfect.For example, we try to use contacts that are less than four months old.If a contact is less than four months old we do not use it and reinvestigate who the contact is.In addition, we very rarely have a full list of contacts within each hiring organization because each search our candidates perform is unique.Accordingly, the data center identifies which contacts on the Employment Advocates’ list either (1) need to be found, or (2) need to be updated and sends them to a researcher within the data center.This process of updating the information often takes less than a day. In some cases it has taken our data center over two weeks.Once the data center is happy with its information, it is sent to a data analyst like Catherine for review.

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TAKING YOUR RESUME TO THE NEXT LEVEL

by writer on February 14, 2014

By Gordon K. Sattro

When we are seeking to secure that next job, there a number of things that we consider, and many things that we do not.Transforming your resume into a “targeted resume” is without a doubt among the latter of the two, and that is what I want to discuss with you today.

All too often attorneys view their resume as something that is etched in stone. Many think that if their resume is up to date and has all of their experience it does not require any additional work. This could not be further from the truth.

When you are approaching your resume, don’t view it as a document that is merely informative.Rather, you need to view your resume as your “frontline” marketing tool. When you are drafting your resume, there a few steps that you must go through prior to having a finished product. Here are a few steps to having a fully revised and “targeted” resume:

1. Throw your old resume out. This may seem a bit brash, but what I mean to convey with this statement is that you cannot use your old resume any longer. Why you ask? Your old resume resulted in where you are now, you are on the job search and looking to secure employment, but it is undoubtedly taking longer than you anticipated. A lot of the wait you are experiencing is because you are using the wrong tool for the job. If you had a shovel that was dull and bent would you continue to use it?

2. Start from scratch. You now will have a blank document open on Microsoft Word, start writing. When you are first drafting a resume you cannot confine yourself to the page limits tied to a fully completed resume. Just start writing everything that you did while you were in your previous role and do not move on to your next portion of experience until you feel you have been as thorough as possible.

3. Take the information from above and make it effective! You have written at length what you have done in each role. Now is the time to take that information and reduce it down.More specifically, you are going to take the above document and repackage the information into an easily digestible format. The information that you listed is going to fall into one of two categories:

a. Narrative Portion: The narrative portion of your resume is a two to four line paragraph under each specific portion of experience that gives a general overview of your duties while you were in that specific position. An easy way to think about it is to look at your title at the company/firm. Were you an associate attorney? What portion of what you wrote above covers the general duties that one would expect an associate attorney to have? The experience that covers the general duties of an associate attorney, along with practice areas, will be placed here.

b. The Bullet Points: You have taken out all of the experience that is general and expected of an associate attorney, now the marketing aspect of your resume comes into play. There are three general categories of effective bullet points:

i. Award and Commendations: Did you receive recognition while you were at work? Have you received any awards that represent this recognition? These bullet points are your opportunity to illustrate how well accomplished you are and to display that your employers have recognized your hard work.

ii. Specific instances of accomplishment: Did you take on a case that was beyond your specialty and succeed? Did you take on a management role sooner than your peers normally would? Was there a notable settlement that you were able negotiate? These bullet points are best utilized to highlight specific accomplishments that show the breadth of your experience and your effectiveness as an attorney.

iii. Quantifiable facts and figures: How many cases have you first chaired? How many cases have you second chaired? How many operating agreements have you drafted and submitted? This is your opportunity to show what results you were able to achieve and display what kind of workload you have maintained in your past positions. This is among the most useful because a reader’s eye is drawn to figures. Use this bullet point as much as possible.

4. Finalize your resume!You have highlighted all that needs to be mentioned, you have filtered through all the information you have and now you have an experience section of your resume that truly “sells”. Go through each portion of experience, and the rest of your resume for that matter, to make certain all the peripheral information is accurate. Here are a few common mistakes in the resume to look out for:

a. Lack of consistency: Are all the hyphens equal length? Are all the dates abbreviated/written out? Is this consistent all the way through? Make certain that all of your formatting is consistent throughout your resume. Even the most miniscule mistake can hurt.

b. Lack of a LinkedIn URL: Do you include your LinkedIn URL in your resume? Well, you should. LinkedIn is here to stay and is used by MILLIONS of recruiters and industry leaders.Use it to your advantage and MAKE CERTAIN it mirrors your resume word for word.

c. Contact information: Is it complete? I have seen phone numbers left out and e-mail addresses that are inaccurate.Double check this area, and then check it one more time. This is how your potential employer contacts you.Don’t lead them to an invalid e-mail address.

With this process you will undoubtedly notice that you have a higher quality resume than you have ever had before. Now send it out and wait to hear back. We here at Legal Authority follow a very similar process to the above, but we do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. If you want to hear more about what you can do to improve your resume, visit Legal Authority and schedule your appointment with me today. Until we speak again, happy hunting.

All the best,
Gordon

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Employers Want to Hire You

by A. Harrison Barnes on February 5, 2014

Employers Want to Hire You

Think about it.When an employer takes the time to line attorneys up to interview you and bring you in to speak with them they must be pretty eager to hire someone.Most employers that are interviewing people are very eager to hire them.Exceptionally eager.Here is what happens, however.Most people go into interviews and throw off all of the wrong signals and end up not getting the job.It happens to everyone.You do not get the job because you throw off the wrong signals and the employer thinks you do not want the job, do not have the confidence or charisma for the position or cannot handle the position.

Every interview you are going on the employer is wishing and hoping from the bottom of their heart that you are the perfect person for the position.The employer wants you to go in and say all of the right things and do all of the right things.When you go into an interview you should assume the employer is enthusiastic about hiring you.Many people, however, end up psyching themselves out and thinking something else is going on.They go into the interviews with a bad attitude and an attitude that prevents them from getting the job of their dreams.Do not let this person be you. Remember that every interview you go into the employer is really enthusiastic about hiring you.

If an employer takes the time to put an advertisement somewhere the chances are they really need someone. It costs $500 or more to post a job on many websites.If an employer takes the time to pick up the phone and call you and bring you in for an interview the chances are that they are really interested.They may have had hundreds of applications for just your spot.

Employers interviewing you are excited.They want you to be exactly the person they are hoping you will be and the sort of person advertised.Go in to each interview ready to seize the day.Take the job you are entitled to and deserve.

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