The National Jurist - Spring 2017 - 38
job search hotline
7 steps to take if you don't
have a job by spring break
by Hillary Mantis
1. Create or update your LinkedIn profile. If you are a
student, you may not see the need for a LinkedIn profile.
But it can help you land
networking opportunities and interviews. Two
especially great features of
LinkedIn are: the alumni search feature, which
allows you to search for
alums of your school; and
the Connections section,
where you can see if any
of your contacts (or their
contacts) have worked for
an employer that interests
you. Having any sort of
"in" can help you get an
interview. If you already
have a profile, update it
now and add more contacts.
2. Have your resume and
cover letter critiqued.
Contact your school's
career services office and
set up an appointment to have your latest resume and cover
letter critiqued. The sooner you go, the better. They get
busier as the spring semester progresses. Check your career
center's web page for examples of resumes and cover letters to
get you started.
3. Line up your recommenders. If you will be applying for
summer internships or permanent post-graduation jobs, no
doubt you will be asked for references. If your references are
from jobs you held a long time ago, get back in touch with
them and update them about your current career goals. Let
them know if they are about to get a call from a potential
employer; tell them about the position you're being considered for, so they won't be caught by surprise. Think about
additional recommenders to add to your list.
4. Get in touch with professors. Is there a professor who
might have ideas or contacts for your job search? You might
be surprised how well-connected many of them are. I've
known numerous law students who have found internships
or jobs through an employer a professor suggested. It's an
ideal time to get in touch with former professors, say hello,
and ask if they have any suggestions, especially if you want to
go into the practice area in
which they specialize.
5. Add something new to
your resume. Is there a new
club you could join? A student blog you could contribute to? A professor who is
looking for a research assistant? An opportunity for
volunteer work? This is a
great time to take on something new and make your
resume more current.
6. Meet with alumni. You
can find alumni through
either LinkedIn or your
school's alumni directory.
Also, check into alumni
mentor programs offered by
your school. Don't hesitate
to reach out to alumni; they
might be thrilled to hear
from you. Many alumni are always looking for ways to
reconnect with their alma mater - and many love to talk
with current students.
7. Consider taking a career test. If you are having trouble
deciding which practice areas would make you most happy,
you may want to take some career self-assessment inventories.
It's likely that your career services office offers them. Some
schools offer them online. There are many career tests out
there that can help steer you in the right direction.
Hillary Mantis works with law students, pre-law students and lawyers. She
is director of the pre-law program at Fordham University and author of
career books, including "Alternative Careers for Lawyers." You can reach her
The NaTioNal JurisT
t's spring, and yikes! You still don't have a job. But don't
panic. There are many easy steps you can take to amp up
your job search.
Here are a few ideas to get you started: