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So you're looking for a new job. We feel for you. Job searches are grueling, especially in an unforgiving economy. What's worse is how easy it is to do them wrong.
Of course, you know about the simple mistakes people make when looking for a job. Things like having a five page resume, addressing the cover letter to the wrong firm, or showing up late to an interview. You're smarter than that.
But those aren't the only mistakes to be made. In fact, these three are so common, you might not even know you're making them:
1. Depending on a Recruiter to do the Work for You
A lot of job searchers think they can shoot their resume off to a legal recruiter and wait for the offers to start rolling in. Sorry, lawyers, that's not how this works. The recruiter's job is to find candidates for the employers they're working with, not to find jobs for you.
Depending on recruiters can be especially wrongheaded if you're a new grad or relatively inexperienced. Legal recruiters are often looking to poach experienced laterals from other firms, not find untested talent.
2. Not Using, or Making, Connections
Wouldn't it be great if we can all email our resumes to the same hiring partner and just let the best candidate win? Sadly, that's not the world we live in. You're twice as likely to get hired if you have an internal referral. Twice as likely! So, even though asking for help can be embarrassing, make use of your connections.
Say you're not well-connected, though -- which is understandable for candidates just starting out -- that doesn't mean you're out of luck. It just means you've got to make some. Joining a local bar committee, attending a mixer or even signing up for a conference or convention can all be good ways to get your name out and your foot in the door.
3. Letting Rejection Get You Down
If your job search is dragging on, or if you've been rejected from your dream job, it's easy to get discouraged. You may be tempted to give up, to settle for the unsatisfying job you have or take a position you're overqualified (and under paid) for. Resist!
Remember, even if you've applied for a thousand positions, you only need to get hired once. Set manageable goals for yourself, like sending out three new applications a day or attending a networking event once a week. Stick to them and your search could soon be over.