Do you struggle with getting interviews? What if there was a way to bypass the interview completely? Your network plays a key role in this. Check it out below.
How to Hustle and Expand Your Network
While online applications is critical to cover yourself, getting in front of people is far more important. It helps you do three things:
- Develop your interview and conversational skills
- Create’s a personal connection with whomever you are speaking with
- Expands your personal circle of contacts
Thomson Reuters published an article to guide firms to find the right associate. They recommend the following hierarchy in your decision tree by going through the following steps:
- Hire someone you know
- Hire someone you know knows
- Then… go “Pan For Gold” using word of mouth and online resources
Here’s the rational, it’s very expensive to train someone and if an attorney knows the person has the capabilities to get the job done, and will work well with the team, it will go a long way (Note: some firms like Kilpatrick Townsend are looking beyond things like grades, and conducting interviewee offsite projects as a group).
So, it’s important to build out your group of connections and show them your abilities to make sure you’re the one they turn to when they need someone.
Normal Avenues for Building out Your Network:
We’re going to make the assumption that up to this point you’ve worked with your career center, you’ve tried On Campus Interviews (OCI), and more importantly, you exhausted your Friends/Family/Colleagues and their connections. If you have not done that yet…. GO DO IT! It is one of the best, most effective ways to find a job. The reason is because when you know someone, you have a reputation with them, and a personal connection. If you have that personal connection, and that person will be an advocate for you, you have a better shot at getting hired.
Here’s a couple of stats to help you see this. LinkedIn has been working on a project for the last few years called “The Economic Graph” a project to map the global jobs, workforce, and skills needed to attain those jobs. They released a study in 2015 that identified on average (no matter what industry you were in) 16% of new hires were already connected to someone at the company before they came on board! Also, they determined that the more highly specialized skill set needed, or if there was a reliance for relationships to drive deals, then the more employers tended to rely on their network (You can read more here). How does this apply to law? Each area of law is really a focused industry and so creating that familiarity with others and building out your reputation is essential.
So let’s get to the meat of it… How do you find contacts to expand your network?
Featured Tip: Create a Google news alert on the specific area of law you want to get into. Not only will this keep you up to date on industry trends, but you can also see what new cases are coming out and reach out to those attorneys to see if they need help.
Step 1: Go to Google and type of law that you are interested in
- For this example, lets use Slip and Fall Litigation. Check both the general search results and news tabs.
Step 2: Find out What is Happening Right Now (Break it down to Big and Small Cases/Deals)
- Once in the news section, look for cases, deals, negotiations, whatever your area is going on right now and read those articles. Sample below.
Step 3: Find out who the attorneys are on the case and categorize them into groups
Once you know who is working on the case, break it down into groups. It is a good idea to split the results into Big Cases with Big Firms, and Big Cases with Small Firms.
Step 4: Find out What Their Needs Are
Each law firm/company/department/individual is going to have their own unique situation, with their own needs and problems. Your job, is to ascertain what those needs and problems are, and provide them with a solution.
Step 5: Reach out!
While this may feel like this is the hardest part of the process, it is actually easier then you think. You’ve done the research on your potential employer, and you should have a general idea of what their needs may be.
Remember these 3 things when reaching out:
- Be genuine – if this is truly an area you are interested in, it should be easy to show interest in whatever project they are working on
- It’s not about you… it’s about them!
- Tailor your message to their needs (give them the white glove treatment!)
So reach out and try to make that connection!