How do you get noticed in your job search (legal or otherwise)? Make yourself stand out. The answer is simple enough, but getting there is definitely not simple, unless you know where to look. Literally.
Over at Ask Uncle Bill, there is a great post about finding a great job by searching where you can win. The gist of the article is that you will have better luck finding a job when you look in a market or region where you are a novelty (in a positive way, of course). You may not have a natural edge competing to be a widget-maker with 100 other engineers. But how many engineers try to get a job at a marketing firm? You get the point.
This applies to the legal market in a fairly simple way. As a soon-to-be law school graduate, you have certain qualities that are really similar to lots of other graduates. You have a home state, a law school alma matter, and an area of law interest (plus many other things, of course).
The trick in looking for jobs might just be to look wherever your classmates are not. Your degree from State U might be a plus on your resume in Oklahoma (since they have never interviewed someone from there before), but you would just be another ant in line with an employer in North Carolina (where State U is located, didn’t you know?).
Another idea might be to look in an area where you are not from. This might have limited success, but again, the novelty aspect might work in your favor.
Finally, perhaps your classmates are interested in litigation and business. Have you thought about homeland security law? What about maritime law? The opportunities might be fewer, but so will the applicants.
The idea here is not to take you from no job to 100 jobs, just by changing your search focus. However, hopefully things such as this can give you a little edge of the competition. You need your resume and cover letter at the top of the stack; you need to be memorable after your interviews. Do what it takes.
[tags]legal andrew, job search, interview[/tags]
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