CBA Record July-August 2020

LPMT BITS & BYTES BY ANNE HAAG Job SearchingDuring a Pandemic

Do all that you can to prevent this during your opportunity to shine. Beyond the issue of technological com- petency, however, you want to be sure that you’re comfortable with the rhythm of a virtual conversation. If you haven’t already gotten used to this in the past few months, practice conversing with friends or family. You can’t rely heavily on body language or other subtle conversational clues on Zoom, so it’s a different conversational landscape. The more comfortable you are with the technology, the more likely you’ll be able to impress the interviewer. Lastly, don’t let polite details fall to the wayside. Now might not be an ideal time to send a handwritten thank-you note after an interview, as your interviewer might be working remotely and will be unable to receive it. An email thank-you might have to suffice for now, but always be sure to express gratitude for being considered for a position. This conveys humility to the prospective employer and makes it more likely that you’ll leave a positive impression during the decision-making process. These are daunting times for everyone, but particularly for those facing unemploy- ment. If you’d like to schedule a LinkedIn profile review session, you can do so on the CBA website. As the CBA’s Practice Management Advisor, I’m here to help during this stressful process. The CBA also offers assistance to members through the Career Advancement Program led by Kathy Morris. For more information, visit the careers area of the CBA’s website.

L ooking for a job during a pandemic is certainly not an ideal situation, but it has become a reality for many lawyers. Though some practice areas like labor and employment have seen boosts in activity, many firms have been forced to furlough staff, cut partner and staff com- pensation, and reduce or eliminate summer associate positions. If your job search can be postponed, it might be worth considering instead ways to make your current role more palatable. If that is not feasible, consider shifting your search priorities – for example, instead of looking for your dream job, now might be the time to find work that will meet your more basic requirements for the immedi- ate future. If a job search is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to help better your odds and ease the stress of the search pro- cess. First, evaluate your LinkedIn profile if you have not done so already. Make sure your profile is complete, up-to-date, and accurate. Keep in mind that a professional profile doesn’t have to be boring. Your profile photo, cover photo, “about” section, and volunteer experience in particular are areas where you can inject some life into an otherwise fairly clinical look at your pro- fessional path. Your leeway here might be influenced by your practice area or desired employer, but even the most professional profiles can benefit from some personal- ity. Keep in mind that recruiters look at hundreds of profiles and resumes, so find Anne Haag is the CBA’s Law Practice Management Advisor, a certified crisis intervention counselor, and a volunteer withResilienceas a trauma- informed ER advocate for sexual assault survivors.

creative ways to make yours unique. Once your profile is squared away, think about how you can use LinkedIn to expand your professional network. LinkedIn offers a month-long free trial of their Premium subscription, which allows you to send personalized invitations to connect (among other benefits such as expanded searches and additional insight into job postings). Just approach these networking efforts with empathy, as many individuals are dealing with significant life stress at the moment. You never know who has lost a loved one to Covid-19, so don’t be offended if your request goes unanswered or the recipient is uninterested in finding a time to schedule a time to chat. Professional advice for your resume has not been impacted significantly by the pandemic, though it never hurts to make sure that your resume is in top shape. Keep things clear, simple, and concise. There’s a strong tendency to overthink resume formatting, but always aim for simplicity over aesthetics. Imagine someone taking 10 seconds to skim over your resume. What will be their key takeaways? Are you using concise language that immediately illustrates why you’re a great fit for a spe- cific role? New considerations surrounding the remote work environment must be taken into account. Phone interviews aren’t neces- sarily new to the hiring landscape, but now interviewees are likely forced to rely solely on phone or Zoom interviews instead of anticipating an eventual in-person session. Remote interviewing can be an unnerving prospect for many. The best thing you can do for yourself is to get comfortable with the technology. You want to have a clear understanding of how the technology works so you don’t have to worry about technical difficulties the day of an interview.

Formore informationon job searching during the pandemic, watch the free member video “How To… Get Hired” at (0.5 IL PR- MCLE credit). CBA LPMT Advisor Anne Haag provides best practices related to your resume, LinkedIn, interview- ing, and more.

46 July/August 2020

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