Most experienced job seekers know not to make the most obvious mistakes, like letting typos slide on a resume or pausing during an interview to take a phone call. But even experienced job seekers can make mistakes that may cost them a job offer.
If you’re searching for a job in the legal support field, here are five common mistakes it’s wise to avoid – and how working with an experienced recruiter can help.
- Relying too much on your past achievements (no matter how impressive they are).
Your career to date is something to be proud of. But during an interview, it’s best not to rely solely on your past achievements to make you look good. Hiring managers want reassurance that you’ll continue performing in the future as well as you have in the past – or better.
Instead of simply pointing out your achievements, relate each one to something the prospective employer wants to achieve. For instance, if the employer has a practice area in family law, the interview is great time to point out your work on a particular family law project for your previous employer.
Not sure what the employer you’re interviewing with wants to achieve? Ask your recruiter for insight into the firm’s or legal department’s background and goals.
- Second-guessing the hiring manager’s questions.
Interviewing can start to feel like a battle, especially if you’ve attended several interviews with no offers. But when you start trying to guess what the interviewer is “really” asking, you risk coming across as suspicious or combative – which won’t put you in your best light.
To learn more about interviewing, read about the process or talk to your recruiter about identifying and improving your own interview weaknesses. Approach the interview as your chance to learn whether this employer is right for you and to show off both your skills and your enthusiasm.
- Offering too much information too quickly.
Telling the hiring manager everything you can think of may sound like a great way to impress with your skills and accomplishments, but it can also mean that the most important information gets lost in the noise. Streamline your resume, focus your cover letter on the requirements listed in the job description, and practice your interview skills to stress your accomplishments and abilities in the context of the employer’s needs and goals.
- Ignoring your online presence.
Recruiters vet and prescreen candidates for employers, but when it comes time to decide between several highly qualified candidates, many hiring managers turn to the Internet for a “quick glimpse” of a candidate’s reputation and presence on social networks. Having no Internet presence can be as damaging as having a bad one (filled with unprofessional content). Take control of what’s said about you online by joining social networking sites and thinking carefully about what you post in your profiles. Consider adjusting privacy settings on networks you are active on day-to-day, such as Facebook and Twitter.
- Failing to connect with your network.
Whether online or in person, your personal and professional networks offer far more than just the occasional dropped word about a potential job. They’re also “Team You” – the people who know your accomplishments and personality best and who are in the best position to talk about how great you are. Don’t forget to connect with them regularly during your job search and to ask for help when you need it.
At Kent Legal, our experienced recruiters can help you find the legal support job in Toronto that you’re looking for. Contact us to learn more about our legal recruitment services, or search our open legal support jobs today!