Landing the Job: Top 5 Ways to Spend Your Spring Break

by Kristen Pavón

Spring break is right around the corner and while most students will be relaxing it up on the beach or lounging around in their PJs, you should take this time to intensify your job search. Sure, it’s not the ideal way to spend your week off, but your efforts will pay off.

1.  Meet with contacts!

Set up lunch or coffee meetings with former employers, professors and colleagues. You never know where your next job lead may be hiding. Also, always remember to ask your contact for 2-3 other people that can reach out to.

2. Shadow attorneys.

Spend the week shadowing a local attorney in a field you’re interested in. Of course, call ahead to see if shadowing is possible.

3.  Update your job search spreadsheet.

You’re using a spreadsheet, right? If not, see #3 here. Well, this is the perfect time to make sure it’s up-to-date.

4.  Hand deliver application materials.

If you’re applying to a local position, make the effort to hand deliver your materials. This way, you can make an impression on the receptionist and maybe even get an opportunity to meet with staff.

5.  Recharge.

Once you’ve gotten through 1 through 4, take a step back and breathe. Take some time for yourself — read a book for pleasure, take a day trip, go for a hike, whatever you’re into.

Are you planning on continuing your job search during Spring break? What will you be doing?


Want to Work in the Federal Government? Which Agency is the Best Place to Work?

Thinking about working for the federal government? Well then, the Partnership for Public Service’s new report on the best places to work in the federal government is worth a look.

The report rates agencies on 1) employee skills/mission match, 2) strategic management, 3) teamwork, 4) effective leadership, 5) performance based rewards and advancement, 6) training and development, 7) support for diversity, 8 ) family friendly culture and benefits, 9) pay, and 10) work/life balance.

However, one caveat is that the report does not reflect data on attorney satisfaction. It gives a broad look at the agencies. A quick glance at the percent change column shows that most agencies’ scores went down a bit. Hmm.

Check out Partnership’s list here and make sure to browse through the scores by category (or view the list with all the categories on one page here).

Department of Justice, the largest employer of attorneys in the nation, made it to #11 on the overall score list — out of 33 large agencies.

Also, check out score analysis over at The Washington Post.


Resume Rework: Tips to Impress in 15 Seconds or Less

by Kristen Pavón

The consensus by recruiters is that they spend 15 seconds or less glancing over resumes to make the first cut for an opening. Sucks, huh? Well, I’ve gathered some useful resume tips for you from several articles on Work Goes Strong that will hopefully help you catch recruiters’ eyes!

1. Say no to the Glamour Shot.

There’s really no good reason to put a picture of yourself on your resume, unless you’re an actor auditioning for a theatrical gig. Save your head shot for your social/business networking profiles — where it’s completely appropriate.

2. Keep formatting sleek and simple.

Use the same font throughout your resume, use consistent formatting and use white space to your advantage. The goal is not to overwhelm.

3. Make sure your email address is professional.

Yeahhhhh, better to leave strictly for close family and friends.

4. Keep it to 2 pages at most.

This is something I have yet to do. My resume is still a one-pager. However, recruiters say a two-page resume is fine if that’s what it takes for you to present your work history, talents and accomplishments in an easy-to-read and-scan way.

5. Keep your references out of it.

Your references’ contact information should be in a separate document and should only be given on request.

6. No fibbing.

Seriously, don’t lie on your resume.

7. Lose the jargon.

As a Work Goes Strong writer put it, just speak English. “Dense resumes filled with buzzwords, acronyms and corporate-speak are boring.”

8. It’s okay to include relevant personal information.

“A lot of people shy away from any kind of personal information, but that’s often the section on a resume that can give the reader an idea of who you are as a person.”

9. Think of your resume as a sales document and less like a chronological work history document.

I think this tip is particularly helpful because I’ve never thought of placing my work history in a more advantageous order! “Your resume is a brochure about you, and it needs to look good, read smoothly, and tell the reader why you are a great candidate for their specific position.”

10. Sell, sell, sell!

Being humble on your resume will not help you land an interview or a job. “You absolutely must be able to blow your own horn! As Muhammad Ali aid, ‘It ain’t braggin’ if you really did it’ and if you don’t tell them in shining terms about how great you are, who exactly do you think is going to do it?”

There are other great tips here, here and here.

Do you have any other tips for reworking your resume?