Screening interview candidates have just 20 minutes to make a good impression between “hello” and “goodbye.” Those minutes can be the longest in your life or they can flash by in an instant. You can make the best of the time, or you can waste every minute with one or more of these eight little horrors:
Susan Gainen has worked in a number of businesses and industries, and has observed professional and unprofessional behavior in all of them She was a typesetter on Stone Age and Jet Age technologies, worked in the food and car businesses in administration and sales (10 years), practiced law (1 year), was a headhunter for lawyers (6+ years), served the students and alumni while in the University of Minnesota Law School Career & Professional Development Center (17 years), and earned 15 credits of library science before the dawn of electronic legal research. Since June 2009, she has been a multiple entrepreneur and is the Proud Proprietor of four enterprises: Pass the Baton llc (national lecturer to law students), nanoscapes llc (watercolor geometric abstractions), small friends llc (watercolor whimsical creatures), and susan-cooks! llc (food blog and cooking instruction). As the Pass The Baton lecturer to law students and lawyers, she presents: Alternative Careers; 2nd Career Law Students; Professionalism Has Attached; Job Search Skills = Business Development Skills; and The Forever Skill: Job Search Outside of OCI. In a collaboration between Pass the Baton's career change focus and nanoscapes' Creativity Prime Directive, she conducts a workshop called "Watching Paint Dry Can Be Fun."
Because potential employers and clients are everywhere, virtually any contact can lead to employment or to business. Thus, superb interview skills and a pitch-perfect elevator speech are two key elements of job-seekers’ and rainmakers’ tool kits. Be prepared or be lost.
The business of law is not thriving when Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 1000 legal industry jobs lost in May 2011, and the ABA tells prospective law students to re-consider attending law school. Your law firm’s financial stress may be a very well-kept secret, or a secret that is being kept from you. Even without access to a firm’s balance sheet, six signs of financial stress can sound warnings that should spark action on your exit strategies.
If you are busy enough to need to hire a law clerk, you are probably too busy to wade through stacks of resumes from interested-but-unqualified applicants.
Investing in this four-step hiring process should speed up your hiring by improving your ratio of interested applicants to qualified candidates. You will have to (a) have a 21st century web presence, (b) create a job description loaded with meaningful, specific information, (c) make yourself known to the career services professionals at the schools where you will post, and (d) read resumes beyond GPA.