More on 1st Impressions

January 9, 2014

An aspiring paralegal posted to my LinkedIn group asking for advice about finding that elusive first job.

I know I can be snarky – it’s okay, I own it – but I genuinely want to help others find their way in this economy.  When I reply to someone directly, my goal is to teach and to be helpful.

This is what she wrote:

Hello Ms. Starr:
My name is ——- and I just move to the atlanta area in August. I was wondering do you have any suggestions on place that may be hiring entry level paralegals or criminal justice majors. I recieved my degrees but find it had to get employment. Any suggestions would be apprieciated

Here is my response:

Welcome to the group and to paralegal life. I do not have any leads at this time; perhaps someone else in the group may know of something.

My first suggestion is that you make sure you are making the right first impression. As paralegals we need to make sure that our writing, whether in a pleading, email, or letter, and yes, even in social media, reflects our education, professionalism and attention to detail. Competition for jobs is fierce. There are experienced paralegals applying for entry level positions simply because they need the work.

You asked for suggestions – so here we go. I noticed that your note contains several typographical, spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors – potential employers will make note of these things and very quickly lose your application. Take another look at your message to see if you can spot the errors.

Now, what can you do to get ahead? Since you’re in Atlanta, I recommend that you join GAP – Georgia Association of Paralegals. Members have access to their job board and LinkedIn group. Brush up your resume; highlight skills from other jobs that can be as useful in a law office. Think outside the box – not all paralegal jobs use the title ‘paralegal’ or legal assistant’, nor are they limited to law offices or corporate legal departments. And, above all, be persistent and patient.

I offer coaching as a sideline; please contact me directly for more details.

See, no snark … I’d like to think it is useful advice for any job seeker.

For more information about Career Mitigation© services with Sessions with a Starr
email: [email protected].

2 Responses to “More on 1st Impressions”

  1. Angie

    I believe you are being helpful . I hope she took your advice.

  2. Pamela J Starr

    I can only hope she did…