As legal recruiters, we are often asked if there is a particular profile of a “successful” candidate, relevant technical experience aside. Absolutely there is. The candidates who are most successful in landing their dream jobs are the ones who ENGAGE.
E – Extrovert it. Put your game face on. Be warm and show interest in the conversation. Take the meeting seriously and practice substantive and behavioural interview questions with your family or by yourself in the car. Practice singing your own praises without sounding conceited. Follow up interviews with a brief email thanking the person for their time and reiterating your interest in the position.
N – No time like the present. A year from now you will wish you had started today. Finding your dream job takes time but you have to take action. An engaged candidate knows that you can’t miss out on an opportunity because it’s a busy week at work or you’re going on vacation. Explore all the opportunities that interest you so you will have a true read on the market when the right job comes along.
G – Get informed. Know the organization’s business through self-directed research. Read their website – all of it. Ask around. Read the newspaper and Google news about the company and its players. Ask informed questions about the organization’s direction and foreseeable market trends.
A – Appearances matter. This applies as equally to your deliverables as it does to you. Fine tune your resume for the position you are applying for. Put thought into how it reads from the hiring manager’s perspective. Put on your best work clothes for the interview and take pride in your outward appearance. Spell check your email correspondence.
G – Go for it. When successful people really, really want something – they go for it. That means putting in the time and effort to get the outcome you’re seeking. You didn’t go to law school expecting to be handed your degree before 3 long and intensive years of exams, CANS and mooting. Why do you expect to land your dream job without researching the companies that interest you, networking, applying, interviewing and following up?
E – Enlighten others. If people don’t know what you’re interested in, they won’t think of you when the time comes. Many great lawyers think Wouldn’t it be nice if someone handed me my dream job? If they noticed me and my amazing work and decided it was my time? The problem is others may think That person is doing so well in their current position, they must be happy. You certainly don’t need to broadcast your misery to your current employer but being open about your career goals long-term to the right listener is a good idea. Close friends and your recruiter are great avenues to broaden your network.