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New Year, New Job? Our top tips for January job seekers

  • January 2, 2018

The relaxation afforded by the Christmas break gives many busy legal professionals an opportunity to reflect on their careers. And, of course, January is a time for fresh starts and resolutions about the direction you want to take in the New Year. So, if you plan to make a career move, here are our top tips for lining up the right job.


Firstly, assess your current role and responsibilities. What are the positive aspects and what do you find is lacking? Now think forward to the end of next year. What would you like to be doing career-wise at that point? Are you seeking a change of organisational culture? Also consider your current strengths and achievements: where have you added value? Which areas do you need to develop? Do you need more training or experience in order to compete with other candidates? Many jobseekers find it helpful to talk to a specialist recruitment consultant about the current market and the prospective options available to them.


Once you know what you’ve got, what you want and why you want it, you can move onto the next step of identifying potential employers that will help you to achieve your future career goals. Research and create a list of firms that you would like to work for, as well as making notes on what they can offer you and what you can bring to them. Again, if you have a recruitment consultant, they can help you shortlist firms that could be the right fit for you based on their network.


The end of a year is a good time to revisit the basics and make sure that your CV and online presence reflect your achievements. Take time to update your resume and ensure that your LinkedIn profile is complete: add new specialisms and adjust the key words in your profile so that they reflect the aspects you wish to be associated with going forward.


Before applying for a role, it makes sense to put yourself in the best position to compete. Think back to when you assessed the areas in which you could develop. Recognise and utilise training opportunities provided by your current employer, or find a local or online short course in a relevant area. Consider how you could gain additional exposure and opportunities to demonstrate your skills and knowledge, such as writing pieces for your company website or a professional publication, or by volunteering on a committee. Think about where you are active outside of work: now might be a great time to find professional associations or groups where you can attend meetings and network with people who are in the field. Attend seminars and thought leadership events to ensure you are at the forefront of your industry and able to take advantage of the opportunities that are available.


The final step is to find that job. If you haven’t already, register with a good specialist recruitment agency and discuss precisely what you are looking for so that they can contact you as soon as an opportunity arises. Revisit your shortlist of potential employers and see who is posting jobs, or make speculative applications. Let your network know about your job search as this might reveal an opportunity which hasn’t yet been advertised. Dedicating just ten minutes a day to, say, emailing a contact who works in a field of interest, could be fruitful.

If you’re looking for a new challenge in the New Year, get in touch today to see what opportunities we have available.

You may also like to download our guide on How to Develop Your Legal CV.

Take a look at some of our other blogs to gain more insight into the legal sector.

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