Frequently Asked Questions
CAROLINA LEGAL STAFFING is committed to helping you acquire the job you are looking for. The tips below will help you prepare yourself for success.
Remember to stay focused on results throughout the entire process, and you will land the job you desire.
- Avoid acronyms other than those very commonly used in the legal field.
- Keep the format simple, easy to read. Use a standard font (10 or 12 point) and justify it on the left. Make it one or two pages long.
- Be sure your objective statement gives pertinent information to the employer about yourself.
- Compare your performance with your peers, other business units or the competition to prove that you delivered excellent results.
- Use numbers to illustrate the effect of your work.
- Employers look for candidates who will generate a return on their investment in salary, training, office space and other costs associated with hiring. Use specific examples that demonstrate return on investment (ROI) such as “Brought in more than $100,000 in new business during first six months at the law firm…”
- When writing your employment history, detail the outcomes or consequences of your work.
- Header Names include: Experience, Education, Publications, Speaking Engagements, Memberships, and any Language Fluency.
- Firm Experience: When working at a firm, more than likely you had more than one client. Don’t list each client you’ve had. Instead list your skills by showing the different types of cases you’ve tried (ex. Commercial, Contract, Criminal).
- Education: As with any resume, state your education.
- Publications: List any well-known publications
- Memberships: If you belong to any associations, list them.
- Many times, a lawyer will have various responsibilities within a corporation. List each corporation and your title including some bullet points of your duties there making sure to show your skills in their best light.
- If you have not yet graduated from school, be realistic in your estimated date of completion.
- Be sure your estimated timeline for completion is accurate. This is especially important so that the timeline looks accurate.
- No matter how long ago you graduated from Law School, Paralegal School or Graduate School, put this on your resume. Many times, employers will see and recognize a school’s name and will expect the candidate to be intelligent and willing to work hard.
- Don’t just indicate your title and tasks; include your accomplishments and results. Bullet them in descending order of the business impact.
- Include information about specific skills gained or utilized in different experiences.
- Use active verbs to refer to what you personally accomplished in each job or role. Be sure to indicate your scope of involvement (e.g., a leadership role vs. part of a team).
- If you’ve worked for law firms, especially the larger ones, put this into your resume. Corporations use these firms and may recognize one which will provide more confidence in you as a candidate.
- State specific area of practice or expertise. Once a candidate is proven by general standards, then employers will investigate the specific practice area. Keep your resume focused, using one main practice area with a few secondary ones.
- If you didn’t go to a prestigious school or work for one of those large firms, this isn’t going to hinder you. Many lawyers and other legal personnel are hired because of their general experience. Other times, inexperienced lawyers are hired because they offer potential to the law firm.
Preparation of a cover letter to send with your resume is a pivotal part of the job search process. This is your chance to express your specific interest in the job and customize a message to the employer.
- Keep it brief.
- Highlight something that the employer may not get out of the resume and that will add to making you stand out as a candidate.
- Do not tell the employer what he/she needs in the organization.
- Tell the employer why this job interests you. This will be easier to do if you’ve done your research, and if you’ve spent time thinking about what you most want from a position and organization.
- If your resume has been updated since your posting, point this out. Some employers may have a list of candidates whom they have selected to interview on site, and you could get added to the list based on your updates.
Got an Interview? Do Your Homework:
Before the conference, do your homework on organizations that interest you. Prepare for potential interviews.
- Visit prospective employer’s web sites and gather other relevant information on them.
- Practice answering interview questions.
- Assess your skills in advance.
- Be prepared with multiple examples of what you’ve done in the past to demonstrate various job-related skills (i.e., expect a behaviorally-based interview).
- Be sure to ask the interviewer for their card before you leave. You may need the correct spelling of their name and their address. File the card for future use.
- Dress for success. Remember that law firms are formal places of business and dress appropriately for your interview.
Close the Deal:
- After the conference, send a thank you note. Since employers are juggling many papers and tasks during the conference, sending it after the conference is preferred and appreciated.