Lawyers are almost always conservative by nature. Though they zealously represent their clients, when the need to represent themselves arises I have seen even the best lawyer cower in the corner. However, just as with business development, a job search requires you to make yourself uncomfortable if you desire success. Put aside the belief that hearing “no” from someone equates to failure. You will hear no over and over again both in business development and during a job search, but it only means you have hit one dead-end – not reached the end of the line.
Most important in this process is continuing to send resumes and continue your planned reach outs. Pushing ahead again and again no matter how introverted you are is a must for success. As you move forward, remember to finetune your approach. Go as far as recording yourself during phone calls and write a variety of emails while monitoring success rates. The more confident you become the more the process will become second nature and the chances of success will increase.
Take the time to find relevant contacts at companies and firms with attractive opportunities. Doing your research will greatly increase your chance of receiving a response from prospective employers. Before you do the research, you should ask yourself if this is a job you are qualified for and desire. Applying for 100 positions without much thought is worse than applying for 1 position with a well crafted resume and well executed plan.
Once your resume has been sent, follow up! You won’t get anywhere without follow up and though painful to think about, it is a must. Do not believe that because someone did not respond to your call or email that there isn’t interest. Life and work are extremely busy and things are missed or simply put off.
Knowing when to follow up is tricky. Think to yourself, how much time would I find acceptable if someone sent me an email or left me a voice message and then followed up with another. Allowing for a reasonable amount of time is a must, but do not let too much time go by either. Typically, a good rule of thumb is waiting roughly two weeks prior to following up.
Lastly, do not think as follow up as moving from civility to annoyance. Many of your overtures will not solicit a response. But do not assume this means there is no interest on the part of the recipient. You can not know why you haven’t received a response as the possibilities are endless. Do not be dissuaded. Remember, life is busy and email inboxes are always overflowing. Many of the people you are targeting have been in your shoes and while they may ignore you once, likely they wont ignore you twice!