Oct. 27, 2020 - Recent alumni of the University of Houston Law Center learned about successful job search activities and strategies for securing post-graduate positions during the Career Development Office's presentation, “Recent Grad Training: Job Searching in the Era of COVID-19," on Oct. 12 held on Zoom.
Among the topics discussed were how to organize a job search, updating application documents from student to law graduate, tailoring a graduate resume and cover letter to become a competitive applicant, applying to job postings, using networking and cold-calling to find a hidden market of employment and following up with contacts and employers to gain a recruiting edge.
Speakers included Assistant Dean for Career Development Tiffany Tucker and Graduate Employment Statistics Consultant Anne Elise Doise. Associate Director for Career Development Chandria Jackson was also in attendance.
Tucker said that despite the unique circumstances for job seekers in the legal market, the good news is that many firms are still hiring. She noted that many employers are hiring on a rolling basis and will begin interviews shortly after receiving applications.
"When applying to posted positions, you want to do this early and often," Tucker said. "You can't just look one time and look back another week or two weeks later. If you're really being aggressive about your search, you should check job postings on a regular basis and apply as soon as you possibly can."
Tucker said that she receives common feedback from employers about how a tailored cover letter can make the difference between securing a position or not.
"Use the job posting itself to help structure the focus of your cover letter," Tucker said. "Review the employer's website and promotional materials to understand its priorities. Create a list of employer needs from the posting and create a roadmap of your experience that addresses those needs."
Doise said to keep contacts in mind who may also be able to help young attorneys land a position.
"Your network are the people you have worked for in the past, your professors, the CDO, your friends and anyone and everyone you can reach out to in your job search and tell your story," Doise said. “The more people who know what you're looking for you and are rooting for you, the more traction you're going to get."
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