Legal job search mistake: hiding behind your resume

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I was recently asked to review a new lawyer’s resume. I wrote back to the new attorney and offered to set up a meeting at my office to go over the resume and the lawyer’s cover letter. The timing of the meeting did not work out. However, instead of trying to reschedule, here is the response I got back:

Thank you for agreeing to review my resume. I am working full time for another week at a seasonal position, and then will be out of town for several weeks. Also I see that your office is on Colorado Springs, and I am in Denver. Despite these scheduling problems, I would still like to have your feedback on my resume. Is there a way we could review it electronically? For example, you could use the Word “track changes” feature to show your edits. Old fashioned paper and pen would be fine as well. Please let me know your thoughts.

I get the importance of making your current employment a priority. It shows loyalty which is a trait all employers want. And sure, I don’t expect you to change your travel plans. But, “send me your revisions”? I am not reviewing your resume to see if your spelling is correct or if you are using active verbs. Your law school career services office can do that.

I want to do a meeting to see if the resume, and even more importantly, your cover letter, conveys your strengths and individuality. Does it capture who you are and why you should be at the top of your prospective employers pile of applicants? Your resume is not is applying for a job, you are.

I consider trying to suss out what makes a person valuable and original to an employer, something worth showing up for. As someone out of law school for more than a decade, and who looks at resumes from an employer’s perspective, I can provide insight.

Also, I prefer to do an in person meeting because we can communicate faster and, hell, we can do revisions during the meeting. I like techie stuff as much as the next uber-geeky lawyer. However, I do not feel we can get as much done, or done as well, by swapping revisions.

Plus, you’re looking for a job and you don’t want to make another connection in the legal community? Really? Even you if you are only looking for work in the city you live in, you never know where a job lead, or introduction, will come from.

So, the next time you want help with your job search and someone wants to meet with you, JUMP AT THE CHANCE!

What do you think? Agree? Disagree?

Creative Commons License photo credit: nasrulekram