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Summary: If you want to move laterally, you first need to impress the recruiters.
As a lawyer, making a lateral move can come with some difficulty.
There is the pay, the workload and culture to consider when moving from one law firm to another, or when joining a general counsel.
But before these items are mulled over, an attorney needs to first consider how they might appeal to a law firm’s recruiter.
Keep reading to find out how you can best impress a legal recruiter if you are considering a lateral move.
We all know what recruiters do. As outlined in a recent article that appeared on Inc.com, a recruiter's primary task involves screening a large group of candidates in order to narrow these individuals down to only a few choices.
At times, a hiring manager will also whittle down a large group of job seekers, but in most cases, this is left up to recruiters as hiring managers are usually too busy to review the resume of every applicant.
This is why hiring managers rely on recruiters whether in law or any other profession to seek new talent as well as to save time.
Also, whether in law or another profession, this truth holds firm: The higher you are on the talent spectrum within any business sector, the more likely you are to get a call.
What is the talent spectrum?
In recruiting, the “talent spectrum" is a grid that visually explains how candidates are seen in terms of their employability. Think of it as sort of standing sheet akin to what a baseball manager and other team principles might use to rate prospective players.
And like strong baseball players, in the talent spectrum the higher up one seeking employment is the more in-demand they will be.
A large part of a recruiter’s responsibilities are to review applications sent in by candidates by which the recruiter makes an educated guess as to where the candidate falls on the talent spectrum.
Recruiters know that those who seem "ambitious," "arrived" and "locked" are the sort of talent hiring managers will be most impressed with.
Of course, the main goal for any recruiter in any business profession is to be the first to find that highly desirable talent, and with that, the first to propose a job offer to that talent.
Needless to say, everyone should want to ascend to a high perch along the talent spectrum, particularly if you’re starting a new job search.
In that, here are 3 ways to move yourself up the talent spectrum.
Hold onto your current position for a while.
Inc. com suggests workers stay in their current position for a while longer until they get promoted.
This is good advice because it brings about job security for you, the seeker, but also respect from recruiters who enjoy career progression in a candidate.
Getting promoted means a company thought you were good enough to give you more money and responsibility.
Try to be a generalist with a specialty.
Recruiters appreciate candidates that can perform every aspect of their job yet also have an advanced set of skills that can help solve particular problems within your industry or type of work
For a lawyer, this can entail having expertise in two practice areas, or having experience as a litigator as well as understanding family or tax law.
Being a strong lawyerwith a winning track record is one thing. But a lawyer who has a winning track record beyond what they were originally hired to do can make you a much stronger job candidate.
Quantify yourself as much as possible.
The more numbers and statistics you can provide as facts to validate your accomplishments such as a high number of cases you’ve won or a long list of clients you might possibly bring with you, the better.
Legal hiring managers want legal recruiters to prove the law firm candidates they're being presented with can not only do the job, but hopefully bring a little extra to the table.
What to expect if you rank on the lower end of the talent spectrum.
When you rank lower on the talent spectrum than you'd like, you might think the solution is to "fake it until you make it."
The Inc.com article states that even though you may believe you have the ability to succeed, that won’t necessarily promote you farther up the talent spectrum.
There have been many frustrated job seekers who feel that missing out on a position they wanted is unfair, particularly as they believe they gave themselves the best possible shot they could.
To that end, an effective job search requires customized strategy and tactics. Each candidate, whether they are in the legal industry or not is unique. It is for that matter that their search should also be unique.
If you feel like you're trying your hardest, but not getting results, it's time to examine your strategy and tactics as well as where you are on the talent spectrum.
In other words, you have to be self-aware throughout your legal job search and completely honest with your talents when the subject of a talent spectrum comes up and where you rank on that spectrum.
While the job market remains tight and employers can hardly staff many of their open positions, this isn’t necessarily the same case with professional jobs which include law.
Employers in the legal world can afford to be a bit more picky when it comes to their staffing. They want professionals who can do the job plus a bit more to really make an impression with a legal establishment.
If you as a lawyer can fit this profile as you seek to change firms or become part of a general counsel, you’re as good as hired.