Network Your Way to a New Legal Job

I’m trying to find a new paralegal job, but given the ups and downs of the local job market, would it be better to postpone my search?

The start of the new year is packed with professional networking events that offer ample opportunities to make new contacts and discover hidden possibilities.

Here are a few tips for networking your way to a new paralegal job:

1. Get your resume in shape
If a friend or new acquaintance is ready to recommend you to a potential employer, will you be ready? The first step to being hired is tospruce up your resume and polish your LinkedIn profile. The last thing you want to do when someone asks for your resume is to stall for time while you update it.

2. Put on your extrovert hat
A good way to find a new legal job is to deepen friendships and make new acquaintances, which is hard to do when you stay home! So, when you’re invited to a networking event, a party at a friend or neighbor’s, a gathering after work or a celebration at the nonprofit where you volunteer, make plans to attend. You never know which friend or contact knows of a job opening or can make a helpful introduction.

3. Do your homework
If possible, find out who will be attending the event, where they work and what they do. Practice yourelevator pitch so you can give your name, background and some important details about yourself in 30–60 seconds. Before you launch into it, have some conversation starters prepared. At this time of year, you can always start with something simple like, “Have you seen any good movies lately?”

Don’t put your paralegal job search on hold just because you think the timing might be bad. In fact, ramp it up by taking advantage of all the networking opportunities you are offered.