You Need a Montage: PSJD Career Search Tips in Practice

Sam Halpert, PSJD Fellow 2014 – 2015

Man in "Karate Kid" Silhouette Photo: Nicolò Bonazzi – CC License

As regular readers already know, between now and the end of the semester we will be blogging about how to make the most of the winter holidays to upgrade your job search tools and hone your job search skills. It’ll be a collaborative effort, but each of us will be in a separate role. When it comes to career development, Christina’s the coach, the drill sergeant, the Mr. Miyagi—choose your favorite metaphor. I won’t be providing knowledge, but raw material. In my own job search efforts, I’m the struggling player, the fresh-faced recruit, the Karate Kid—again, take your pick. (Just so long as you picture Ralph Macchio and not Jayden Smith.) And Christina’s winter goal is to get me—and you—into fighting form.

But wait! (You may very well say.) Sam, what are you doing at PSJD.org if you aren’t a job search guru? Truth is, I bring a fair amount to the PSJD Fellowship: my past experiences have made me an adept web developer, a proficient public speaker, and a comfortable manager. But I’m not adept, proficient, or even comfortable when it comes to looking for work myself. In the last thirty words, I think I’ve already eclipsed the cover letter I wrote last Spring to get this job. I’m comfortable speaking and writing, but not about my own accomplishments. I can advocate for causes I believe in, but I feel awkward asking people I respect to take time away from their important work to help me out with an informational meeting or a job recommendation. I worry so much about whether my materials are perfect that I often run the risk that they won’t be timely-submitted.

In short, if you’re reading PSJDblog to figure out how to improve your job search results, you and I are probably more alike than you think. I believe I’m fairly qualified for my chosen career, but many qualified people are struggling to find work in public interest law right now. If you’re looking for a job next year, so am I—and if you’ve had as much trouble meeting your job search goals this Fall as I have, you have my sympathy.

This is where Christina comes in. Between now and the end of finals, I’ll be putting myself where PSJD’s mouth is. Starting with a resume makeover later this week, I’m going to be trying out each of the ten tips we suggested for our readers; Christina will be critiquing my efforts. We’ll share the results with you here on PSJDblog. I’ll talk about which changes feel most significant, which feel non-intuitive, and how easy or difficult each tip is to put into practice.

Until next time: wax on, wax off.

1 Comment

  1. The PSJD Blog » You Need a Montage: Cover Letter Makeover Scene said,

    December 3, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    […] So last week I confessed to you all that in my own job search, I’m figuratively far from a master. However I work a mere foot away from one. Christina Jackson, NALP’s Director of Public Service Initiatives and Fellowships, will be putting me through my paces for your benefit from now until next semester so you can see how PSJD’s 10-Step Program for keeping your job search warm over the holidays works in practice. […]

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