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How Overqualified Attorneys Can Market Themselves Competitively
by Diane Rifkin, Rifkin Consulting
We didn’t fall over the fiscal cliff, but our economy is still not on solid ground. As the economy still struggles forward, the legal community has seen some high profile law firm collapses that sent shockwaves through the industry. The legal industry is struggling and attorneys are struggling to find their place within the industry. When the only jobs you can find are new Associate positions, how does a seasoned attorney find a job?
To many seasoned attorneys, junior positions are starting to look good when it means you can put food on the table for your children. But how does an overqualified attorney go about marketing themselves for a junior position? As an experienced legal recruiter, I often hear the laments of overqualified attorneys. In my 25 years of experience, I have found that nothing is impossible if you create the right plan of action and know how to effectively market yourself. The key is to understand your limitations, know the bumpy road that lies ahead, and realistically prepare yourself for a fight to prove you shouldn’t be overlooked. Yes, you’re going to have to learn how to assess the landscape and market yourself for the position accordingly.
Understand a Hiring Manager’s Challenges to Hiring an Overqualified Attorney
Things are rough in the legal industry. With more attorneys on the market than there are available positions, it can feel like a battle to get your foot in the door. Often, responses to your applications are few and far in between, if only to tell you that you’re overqualified for the job. The whole process can seem maddening. But you need to understand law firm hiring managers’ challenges in order to effectively be able to counter them.
Despite these challenges, there are law firms who recognize your years of experience and would value the opportunity to gain a seasoned attorney at a lower cost. There are also hiring managers who are willing to see what you have to say. In these instances, you have one shot to market yourself strategically as the answer to their problems.
How to Market Yourself Strategically
When it comes down to securing an attorney position, it’s all about marketing. When a law firm is already resistant to the idea, you need to be able to market yourself effectively to overcome the presumption that you wouldn’t work out. Keep the following techniques in mind:
When you’re overqualified, you are not out of luck. With some persistence and patience, you can get noticed, get interviews, and convince hiring managers that it’s a smart bet to bet on you. The key is to be realistic, know your value, and don’t give up.
Diane Rifkin is an attorney and CEO of Rifkin Consulting, a premiere Orange County attorney recruiting firm. The Rifkin difference is an international network with hands on boutique style personal attention. You can find Diane Rifkin Esq. here at http://www.rifkinconsulting.com
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