- On May 31, 2020
I read with interest this recent CNBC article on how recruiters purportedly select and interview candidates during the pandemic. Since legal recruiting is so specialized, I would say to disregard half the advice given:
- Do not “get creative with tech.” Law is a traditional field, and resumes of top candidates look polished, not edgy. The article suggests you go out and hire a graphic designer “to make your resume look like a potential employer’s product packaging or submit a catchy audio recording or video snippet.” Do this at your own peril.
- Do not expect interviews by AI. The article talks about “AI-driven tools (i.e. chatbots, or software programs smart enough to pass for human), which can screen candidates, ask interview questions, and answer questions that they may have on the fly more frequently.” These tools are NOT used to recruit lawyers, who are hired to provide nuanced counsel, so I don’t think a bot would ever be the right instrument to gauge that skill set.
- Do not “become a wiz at text messaging.” Text-based recruiting is apparently taking off in other industries, but it’s not with law. Because I need to understand your entire skill set and how you communicate, I’m NOT going to lean heavily on texting. I will instead have an in-depth phone or video conversation with you. Another suggestion the article makes is taking advantage of text based recruiting to “showcase your personality by using emojis, Bitmojis, pictures, and GIFs where relevant.” Not a good idea.
The more standard advice I absolutely agree with:
- Communicate concisely and effectively, especially via video conference, the new platform for interviews. Yes, you should “practice answering questions with 20- to 30-second quick-hit responses [though I would say 60-90 seconds is the right length for lawyers], using three or four sentences maximum to get your thoughts across. When speaking, be sure to look at the camera, and maintain (virtual) eye contact with your interviewer as well.” Agreed, and see my video interview tips.
- Research the prospective employer so you can explain your relevant experience. Indeed, “the more concrete information and real-world examples you provide, the more successful you’ll be.” And when submitting a resume, include targeted keywords the employer is looking for.
- Use your network. Update your LinkedIn profile with recent experience, and get recommendations from colleagues/clients. Look for people within your network to tell you more about prospective employers so you can perfect your presentation to them. And I absolutely agree that you should “volunteer to help others, which helps you meet more people and pay things forward.”