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December 11, 2006

Review your email signature block

From the Office of Professional Communications:

Please create a useful and informative signature block to use for email that goes to everyone who is not a Close Personal Friend.

Include COMPLETE contact information (name, address, phone). Please do not include philosophical musings or clever sayings which might detract from your professional image.

Without a signature block, you are a ghost in the machine to an employer who may need to write a letter or to call you. Also, please use a professional e-mail address – squeakybird@gmail.com is not professional.

December 10, 2006

Ask for what you want...

Sales professionals -- people who live and die by their results -- know that you have to "Ask for the Order." Job searching and networking are no different -- you have to ask for what you want.

Interviewing and Job Searching -- 7 out of 10 people walk out of an interview and the interviewer has no idea if the candidate is actually interested in the job. Look the interviewer straight in the eye, shake hands and say "I am very interested in continuing in the interview process, and hope to work for you in the (summer; fall; next judicial term)."

Networking -- After slaving over the text of a letter or email explaining who you are, don't neglect to ask for what you want: a 20-minute meeting next week, a ten-minute phone call by the end of this week; a chance to shadow a prosecutor or defender; or an invitation to a bar association committee meeting.

Think of it this way: Telepathy is not a job search tool -- unless you are applying for one or two jobs in Las Vegas. You have to ask!

December 7, 2006

Productive Informational Interviews

The following is from a student e-mail I received regarding his experience conducting informational interviews:

"I thought you might like to know that my informational interviews in [Northern City, MN], Thursday and Friday of last week went very well. Everyone was very helpful in describing what their experience has been like practicing in [Greater Minnesota], and most were willing to give advice on what else I could do and other attorneys I should speak with. I even got invited up again to meet with the rest of the attorneys at one of the firms! If nothing else, I got a lot more names of people to get in touch with in order to keep expanding my circle. I also got the feeling that it would be a great area to live and practice law in, and am encouraged by the fact that it seemed like many interesting employment possibilities exist in the area." (Note that this e-mail extract was used with the student's permission.)

Feel free to stop by the CPDC and learn more about securing and conducting informational interviews. Please let the us know if you have additional informational and/or networking advice you'd like to share.