What’s an Employer Looking for?

slacker 2I cannot speak for the others in my trade, but I know what I as an attorney want in a paralegal.

Not everything I want has to do with their training or education.  Some of the things I look for have to do with who they are as a person.

  • Honesty
  • Personal Integrity
  • Self-motivation
  • Professionalism

Often, I like to bring someone on first as an intern to see their work ethic in motion. Nothing like observing paralegal at work to determine whether he or she will fit into the team.

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Job Interviews

The following is a link to a good article on job interviews:

Top Executive Recruiters Agree There Are Only Three True Job Interview Questions

Published in: on February 28, 2012 at 5:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Portfolios . . . why have one?

Having a relevant and well-polished portfolio can push you to the top of the heap in the interview process.  It may help to make you memorable to the interviewer (for good reason rather than because you were annoying or ill-prepared as many applicants can be)

Of course, a portfolio alone will not land you the job, but having a well-developed portfolio with examples of work product that you are capable of creating with limited instruction/supervision will speak volumes about you that your resume may not.

When you bring your portfolio to an interview, it may be best to hold it for the end of the interview rather than letting it be a distraction too early when you want to be able to create a strong first impression.  As good time to bring it out is when you are asked the question, “Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?”

You can respond (humbly, of course), “Well, I did bring some samples of my work.  Here is my portfolio.”  I would offer to leave them an electronic copy of the documents in the portfolio.  Don’t leave the original.  You should invest in having great presentation for the hard copy original of your portfolio,  and it would be too expensive to leave every potential employer an original, but do allow them to go through it, and be ready to discuss the work that you have produced.

Interviewers love portfolios!  It gives them something more on which to base their evaluation of you and recommendation to hire you.  Of course, the caveat is that you should only include work you did and are capable of doing.

Published in: on February 14, 2012 at 1:03 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Legal Ethics – Conflict Screening

The following is a good discussion of the issues related to screening for a potential or actual conflict of interest and how it affects one changing jobs.  In California, attorneys cannot represent clients where there is an actual conflict of interest.

Conflict Screening and our right to job Mobility

Interview Questions . . . be prepared

In a tough job market like candidates are facing today, it is important to be prepared for whatever an interviewer throws at you.  Consider how you would respond to some of the following questions that have been asked during job interviews:

  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • Do you have a problem with working 45 to 60 hours per week?
  • What do you have to contribute to our legal team?
  • Why are you leaving your current position?
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • What is your ideal work environment?
  • Why should we (the firm) hire you?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • What is the most significant challenge you have faced in the last year and how did you overcome it?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?  10  years?
  • What do you feel you bring to this position?
  • Give me five adjectives you would use to describe yourself as an employee.
  • Tell me a little about yourself.
  • Describe a situation where you were unable to meet a deadline and how you handled it.
  • What type of management style do you prefer?
  • How do you resolve conflicts?
  • What do you have to offer that other paralegals (or applicants) don’t?
  • Do you have any questions for us?

These are just some of the questions you might be asked.  It may be a good idea to ask your friends and colleagues what types of questions they have been asked at recent interviews.

Preparing your Resume

The following article has some good tips on what to do and what not to do.

Resumes, Cover letters, and Interviews:  Oh, My

Paralegal Jobs

Looking for a job?  Check out the new Legal Recruiters website.  They also have a group on LinkedIn which you could join.

Published in: on December 17, 2010 at 8:55 am  Leave a Comment  
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What attorneys wish their paralegals knew

The job market is tough out there.  Take a look at this article for some tips on what attorneys are really looking for.  The author did some research which will help you hone in on what a potential employer may want to see.

What attorneys wish their paralegals knew

Why aren’t you getting hired?

The link below is to an article that talks about some reasons why you might not be getting hired.

Potential Reasons Why You are Not Getting Hired

How to Ask for a Reference Letter

Having written a ton of letters of recommendation, I certainly appreciate the suggestions that this blogger gives for making it easy on the recommender when you ask him or her to write you a letter.  I have a one letter of recommendation policy.

Check out this link for good ideas when asking for a letter . . .

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2010/04/how_to_ask_for_a_reference_let.html?cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-management_tip-_-tip071910&referral=00203&utm_source=newsletter_management_tip&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tip071910

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