Attorney Job Search Etiquette: Interpersonal Communications
Have you had your resume revised, your interview skills assessed and confirmed as effective and efficient, and yet you are not getting the offers you seek?
Perhaps the reason you are not getting offers is because you are not following some simple etiquette rules. Beyond "please and thank you" are a multitude of interactions each job seeker has with a potential employer.
Job search etiquette is important at every stage of your career. In preparation for an interview you will most likely use social media, email, and the phone to do research and set up appointments. Here are methods to ensure you are on the right track towards an interview:
You can use social media to expose yourself to a larger network and that can affect the success of your job search.
Your job search should be approached as a full-time job but if you are currently working you may not have that time to commit. There are numerous social media tools you can use to have relevant and timely information come to you. You can also schedule updates at one time so that it appears that you are engaging at different times of the day. A few of those tools, with links to the websites are included here:
- These three send emails to you from Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
- These two bring all of your Twitter lists and mentions into one place. You can add LinkedIn and Facebook accounts as well. Both also allow you to schedule tweets.
- LinkedIn Today is a fairly new addition to the site. You can select industry news to view that you can then immediately share with your connections and groups.
Using the tools listed above is an easy way to begin to establish yourself as an expert in your field and to be ready to answer questions about current events and leaders in your field at an interview.
LinkedIn has a wealth of information about people, firms, non-profits, and potential new connections. You are able to join groups you might not have access to in person. Any lawyer conducting a job search must have a presence on LinkedIn and use it to their advantage.
Remember, while you are conducting your job search on social media, it is a job search first and foremost. That means that it is always a professional interaction. Remember also, that anything you post online is there forever so keep job search etiquette in mind any time you are at your computer.
To avoid confusion, include only one phone number on your resume.
Make sure your voicemail is professional, that means no background noise, no music, and a clear concise message that states your name, or your phone number so the caller can be sure they reached the correct person.
Never answer the phone unless you:
- Know who is calling.
- Have all of the necessary documents with you.
- Are prepared to answer questions during a phone interview.
- Are in a location where you can be heard by the caller, but have a sufficient amount of privacy to talk about your job search.
If you are unsure or know you are not able to speak immediately, let the call go to voicemail, and call back when you are prepared.
Remember while you are on the phone that the caller, your potential employer, is your only focus. You are conducting business and should treat the call as such.
Your email address must be professional. Your name is the best choice or a combination of your name, initials, and degree. Do not use a string of numbers, your birthday or other dates, since they will not help identify you and your message to your potential employer.
- Create an email signature for your job search. Include your name, the same phone number as you have used on your resume, your most recent degree if relevant, and a hyperlink to your LinkedIn profile if it is complete, professional, updated often, and adds information to your application.
- Do not use emoticons or email "stationery."
- When emailing your job application, put your cover letter in the body of the email and attach your resume.
- Save your resume and all attachments in a consistent format. First initial and last name are standard and easy to find when an employer or recruiter searchs their computer for your documents. They will also all appear together, instead of "resume," "cover letter," and "writing sample." For example: JSilversteinRESUME, JSilversteinCOVERLETTER, JSilversteinWRITINGSAMPLE. All together, and all clearly marked with the name of the job seeker.
During your search for a legal job you must be professional at all times and remember that every communication, both in person and online, is a business communication. Remember these three points and you will succeed: Professional, Appropriate, and Relevant.
For More Information:
Listen to Jessica's 30-minute interview about job search etiquette with Tara Kachaturoff on BlogTalkRadio.
© Copyright Jessica Silverstein, 2012. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
About This Author:
Jessica Silverstein is a lawyer and former legal recruiter. As Principal of Attorney's Counsel she writes and revises resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles. Currently, she counsels attorneys regarding their job prospects, and how their interview skills and resumes can be used as an effective tool to reach their career goals. Contact her through her website, Attorney's Counsel or her blog AttorneysCounselNY.com . Find Jessica on LinkedIn Linkedin.com/in/AttorneysCounselNY and tell her why you should connect. Follow her on Twitter @AttysCounsel, and feel free to contact her via email at JesEsq [at] AttorneysCounselNY.com.
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