Searching for and securing a new job can end up feeling like a job in itself. Tasks including formatting your CV, navigating slow or competitive job markets, attending interviews and negotiating salary and work schedules can cause trepidation for some.
Forming a good relationship with a recruitment consultant can take the mental load off your shoulders, streamline the process and help you to spot and obtain your dream position.
Here are some key strategies to help you build a good working relationship with a legal industry recruiter so you can find your next job sooner.
Do your research
Before reaching out to a legal recruiter and applying for a legal assistant job, do some research so you have an idea of the values and goals of the firms you want to apply with.
It will also help to find out a little about the recruiter if you can; that way you will understand which locations and areas of the legal industry they specialise in. If there isn’t a lot of information on their website, a LinkedIn search should reveal more about your recruiter and their company.
Care about your communication
From the initial contact to follow-up emails and phone calls, you need to maintain a high level of professionalism when you interact with your recruiter. Use courteous language and proofread your emails for any grammatical or spelling errors. Reply to calls and emails promptly.
A professional tone will demonstrate your seriousness and commitment to finding a legal assistant job. Your recruiter will be more confident to refer you to others when they see first hand that you communicate well.
Clearly articulate your goals and expectations
Your recruiter won’t be able to match you with your ideal job if you’re not clear about what it actually is. While you may not find a role that ticks every box, it will help if you can articulate your preferred work environment, career goals and deal breakers.
In terms of salary, be realistic but don’t sell yourself short. Your recruiter should advise you of what kind of package to expect for your experience level and the current state of the job market. They will also help you negotiate so you are paid what you deserve.
Choose quality over quantity
Your recruiter should be direct in their communication as well. If you are left feeling confused or uneasy about the process, don’t hesitate to ask them for clarification.
A recruitment consultant should always be clear about the details of the job opportunity (or opportunities) they are briefing you on, and should always confirm the name of the employer. They should never, ever send your CV to an employer without your permission.
If you aren’t satisfied with the interaction then you do not need to give them permission to send your application, nor do you need to engage any further with the recruitment consultant or agency.
Working with one or two recruiters that you trust rather than multiple recruiters that you don’t know well or trust will ultimately be better for your job search and peace of mind.
Keep a submission list
It’s a good idea to keep a list of the employers that have received your CV (either from you, a friend, or from a recruiter), along with the date of submission.
In the flurry of several applications or recruiters, you’ll want to avoid sending multiple applications to the same employer. It’s a common misconception that multiple applications to the same job will show your interest; in fact it makes the employer question your communication skills and professionalism.
Keeping a list can help you research each opportunity and keep each clear in your mind when preparing for an interview. Additionally, you may find that you apply for a different job with the same employer over a period of months or years and it’s helpful to refer to that when preparing your application.
Be responsive and proactive
Recruiters are highly driven to help people but they are also very busy. If you want to get the most out of working with your recruiter, make responding to their calls or emails a priority. If you can’t respond in detail straight away, at least aim to touch base and tell them when they can expect to hear from you.
You don’t want to miss out on your ideal job opportunity because you were too slow to return a phone call.
In addition to being responsive, don’t be afraid to reach out and touch base if you haven’t heard from your recruiter for a while. It’s not likely they have forgotten about you but they may be distracted by other tasks on their to-do list.
Seek feedback and keep in touch
Not every job application process results in an offer but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay in touch and work with the same recruiter to find your ideal legal assistant job.
In fact, even if you do secure your desired position then keeping touch is a great idea. You may find in a few years’ time that you’re ready for another move. Working with a recruiter that knows you and your capabilities and preferences makes the process easier.
If you miss out, ask for feedback from the employer via the recruiter. There may be some critical skills you are missing, or you may need to work on your confidence in an interview situation. If you know why you missed out, you can change your approach and address any concerns raised.
Working with a specialist recruiter makes so much sense when you are looking for a legal assistant job. You can even keep the relationship going for the long term and work with your recruiter as you progress in your career.
Looking for legal assistant jobs near you or overseas? Connect with Barratt Galvin today.