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Effective Strategies for Getting a Paralegal Job

published February 21, 2013

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
( 22 votes, average: 4.6 out of 5)
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You must think of yourself as employed when you are looking for a job. You are, in effect, working for yourself. When you look for a job, your employer is you, your paymaster is the future, and your profession is "effective job seeker." In reality, if you are doing it right, you are anything but unemployed when you are "unemployed." If you view this task as an occasional expenditure of your life's energies, your job search will be difficult indeed. Do not view your job as an effective job searcher as that of a "part-time temp"; you will not create enough activity. Do not view your job as a permanent position; that points to days in the unemployment line as your life's work. See yourself as a "full-time temp."
 
Effective Strategies for Getting a Paralegal Job

Armed with strategies and plans for an all-out effort, you should be an effective job seeker. Many job hunters approach the challenge of finding a job with the correct attitudes and a persistent determination to succeed in that role. But why don't we just admit going in that it is the most taxing of all jobs-the job of getting a job is the toughest job.


Merely facing that fact with a positive attitude will give you power. What can we learn from the job hunters who are doing it right? They are working. They have the right philosophies and the right information. They don't look at unemployment statistics or let negative fears slow them down. The paralegal job hunter is aided by the growth this profession is predicted to continue enjoying, but is challenged by the increased competition of viable applicants. Being educated in a profession as you have been is not enough to gain the entrance you seek to this professional world. There are areas of knowledge and philosophy that are important for each paralegal job seeker to know.
 
  1. Looking for a job is an emotionally grueling and psychologically demanding experience.
  2. But employment is worth the effort. We define ourselves by what we do. Employment is not only a necessity, it is our first and largest response to the challenge of living.
  3. The job hunt finds you at your worst when you need to be at your best.
  4. Since full-time work is what you need, turn finding a job into a job. See yourself as an employed "Full-Time Temp," with the goal of being an effective paralegal job seeker.
  5. Strategies and plans that work in the legal profession over the long-term are essential to this full-time temp job.
  6. The paralegal profession is growing and provides constant new opportunities for the candidate.
  7. The effective paralegal job seeker must have a level of sophistication and understanding to be considered a viable, employable paralegal candidate. You must look, act and sound like an employable paralegal.
  8. Though fortune and misfortune are real factors in the job hunt, more effort and increased contacts maximize good fortune and decrease the significance of bad fortune.
  9. You need only one job. You must work as hard as you can on your job search, because you never know what contact will lead to that one job you need.
  10. The effective paralegal job seeker needs strategies.

As a professional paralegal job hunter, you must have the 'Look and feel" of a potential employee; you must approach the prospective employer with the right language and the right image, speaking the necessary meaningful "buzz words." The more you look like the professional that they are envisioning, the less likely it is you will suffer early disqualification. But before we talk about effort, good luck, bad luck, timing and "striking while the iron is hot," we must address just who you are as a future paralegal.

Elements of the Job Hunt

Your particular stage in life is not as important as your awareness of the need to use the right vocabulary and have the right approach in the legal job search process. In addition to all the techniques and approaches that are particular to the legal job hunt, there are the invigorating challenges of the job hunt itself. It is in ova first moves that the job hunt's success can be foreseen. No matter who you are or where you come from, you must fit into a broad, general category of employable paralegal candidate. A well-placed and effective effort using tried and true first moves and strategies can be very persuasive.

Now let us address those things that affect the "well-placed and effective effort" The following elements can affect your job hunt

" good fortune and bad fortune

" number of contacts

" you only need one job

" you never know what contact will lead to a job

Remember: you only need one job

One key element separates job hunting from sales. In sales, you must perform and succeed and meet quotas every month. In job hunting, you just need that one job. Once you get that one full-time paralegal job, your job search can go on "hold." After an arduous job search, I once received two offers in one day. When the jubilation died down I stared blankly into the TV and listened to my wife's gentle admonition: "You can't show up at both jobs. You have to accept just one of them."

She startled me out of my partial paralysis on the evening I had to decide between two offers. This is the heartening, but ironic, twist to this process, if you are lucky enough to entertain multiple offers.

One graduate mailed 92 letters to her home state of Nebraska. Some went to Omaha, some to Lincoln. She also mailed letters and resumes to advertised leads. About three weeks after graduation, she was entertaining three offers in a three-day period. Two were in Omaha and one in Lincoln. She decided to turn down the Lincoln offer because it was just a little lower than the one in Omaha. On the day she was leaving her apartment (she was staying in Lincoln at the time), the Lincoln firm called her up and said, "We are not going to let you get away from us. How about $2,000 more per year?" This example demonstrates that one piece of good fortune can play off another. She was able to maximize all of her good fortune and end up with a pleasing result. But, in the end, she could only take one of those jobs.

Which contact will lead to a job?

Maximum effort is necessary because you never know what is going to work! Ask the woman in Lincoln about the original 92 letters she sent out. Ask her if 75 would have worked, or just 20. She cannot know. Efficiency cannot be a goal in the job search. Only after the fact can you see what worked and what did not work. The only thing you can do is work your hardest. You never know what contact will lead to that one "NMC job you need. If you are half-hearted in your effort, you will always wonder how much more effort might have worked. Effort is the pure and simple answer to the fortune/misfortune factor. Work hard, so then you can feel secure and poised to take advantage of the results. Before we go into detailing effective job search strategies, let's review the necessary first moves:

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Alternative Summary

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

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About LawCrossing

LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.LawCrossing.com.

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