How to Stand Out During the Job Search Process


By Jamy J. Sullivan, JD, Robert Half


What effect did the pandemic have on the legal job search process, and what do I need to know to stand out from other candidates in today’s job market?



Despite recent headlines, the overwhelming majority (97%) of managers at law firms and legal departments told Robert Half they’re struggling to hire skilled talent in 2023. And while candidates have leverage in the current environment, finding ways to stand out from other job seekers is a worthy objective. After all, if an open position looks good to you, it will likely also look good to others. Here’s how to give yourself an edge in the job search.

1. Showcase your remote work skills

Being remote-ready allows you to expand your job search beyond your local area, giving you access to opportunities that match your experience and abilities. When applying for remote positions, tailor your resume and LinkedIn profile to emphasize your telecommuting skills, including asynchronous collaboration, time management and self-motivation. To shine as a remote interviewee, prepare and dress like you would for an in-person interview.

2. Highlight your adaptability and resilience

The pandemic forced legal professionals to deal with unprecedented challenges and uncertainties. Showing you adapted well to these disruptions could give you an advantage over candidates who found them more unsettling. To do this, provide examples of how you handled challenging situations (such as the sudden shift to remote court proceedings), learned new skills or solved problems creatively during the pandemic.

3. Emphasize your value proposition

Good candidates can articulate what makes them special and unique. Great candidates can articulate why those qualities make them an excellent fit for a specific role. 

Research potential employers through online resources, news articles and (if you can) speaking with current and former employees. Then use this knowledge to explain why you’re the right person to help the firm achieve its goals, meet its clients’ needs and grow its business.

4. Combine virtual and in-person networking

The popularity of virtual networking skyrocketed during the pandemic, as legal professionals leveraged LinkedIn and other online platforms to connect with potential employers, mentors, peers or clients. Thanks to its flexibility, virtual networking remains a vital way to find opportunities and obtain referrals. However, try to combine your online outreach with attendance at in-person events, where you can make deeper connections and leave more lasting impressions. 

The pandemic disrupted the legal profession in many ways. By showing potential employers that you have the skills, agility and resilience to meet these challenges head-on, you’ll be a hard candidate to beat. 

Jamy J. Sullivan is executive director of the legal practice at Robert Half, the world’s first and largest specialized talent solutions firm. Robert Half offers contract, temporary and permanent placement solutions, and is the parent company of Protiviti®, a global consulting firm. Visit