5 Essential Steps for Success in the Current Legal Job Market

Is the current legal job market really inactive right now? The landscape may be different, but McCormack Schreiber continues to place top legal talent as employers have turned to otherwise non-traditional ways in interviewing, hiring, and onboarding new hires.

Contrary to what you may be thinking, now is NOT the time to sit back and wait until we are back to a robust hiring environment to begin or continue a job search. In fact, at McCormack Schreiber we have a number of clients with active job searches for both lawyers and paralegals, and they are actively interviewing – and even hiring with remote starts for the new hires. You don’t want to miss an opportunity if you are interested in a new position!

As a general rule in any job search, there are proactive steps you should be taking to build a strong professional profile and to initiate contact with potential employers. By implementing some of these on your own, in addition to working with a professional recruiter, you will see doors opening for you even during the slower period we are currently experiencing.

To keep your job search alive, follow these helpful tips and increase your success:

  • Continue applying to jobs – Although the interview process may have slowed down, this is the time when employers are doing preliminary phone or video interviews so that their pipeline of qualified candidates is cued up for moving forward. In several cases, candidates have gone through the entire interview process through phone and video interviews and have received offers and onboarded into the law firm or corporate legal department remotely.  All of this happening without an in-person meeting.
  • Build your professional profile and network – Now is an optimal time to update your resume and professional profile. Reach out to your existing network or continue to build it. Update your LinkedIn profile and actively engage with professionals in your industry.
  • Contact a trusted recruiter – To increase your awareness of potential job opportunities and to help facilitate introductions to active searches, you should engage with a reputable recruiter or search firm. Recruiters have the inside scoop on the hiring landscape and can effectively target roles that may be of interest to you, and then make that initial introduction to the employer by submitting you for the role. Also, recruiters can be extremely helpful in providing guidance and advice on effective resume formatting and content that will showcase your experience and help you stand out above the crowd.
  • Become comfortable with phone and video interviewing – Prepare the same way for these types of interviews as you would for an in-person meeting. If you are not as confident in phone interviews, enlist a friend or two to do a practice interview call beforehand. For video interviews, it is important to position yourself in a well-lit room and in front of a clear and uncluttered background. Test your technology and Wi-Fi connections in advance of the scheduled interview time. Dress professionally and in the same way you would dress for an in-person interview. Be your authentic self, let your personality shine through, and come across as warm and personable.
  • Perseverance – Don’t get frustrated and stressed. The most successful people are the ones who persevere during a challenge. By following the proactive approach outlined in this article, you will be successful in landing your next big role.

Debbie Carlson
Director of Business Development and Legal Recruiting