Thank you for your interest in the Alternative Careers blog. Moving forward, the separate Career Services Department blogs will be hosted in one place, Career Crossroads. Follow the Career Crossroads blog for the latest career and professional development information, including alternative careers. Simply use the appropriate categories and tags to select posts that match your interests. For example, if you are searching for a job in alternative careers, scroll to the right-hand side of the blog under the Categories header, click on “Job Opportunity” and then click “Alternative Careers” under the Tags header. Click here to be redirected to the Career Crossroads blog.
Check out the CSD’s updated Guide to Alternative Career Resources! Students and alumni can access the guide in Symplicity under the Document Library tab! This comprehensive guide includes links to job banks, industry-specific resources, and professional associations organized by industry, including business, healthcare, and nonprofits (just to name a few).
If you are thinking about pursuing an alternative career, a Career Services Counselor can work with you to develop a customized job search plan. Call 904.680.7744 to schedule an appointment today!
Next Tuesday, May 21st, the Jacksonville Business Journal is hosting “The Business of Sports Power Breakfast.” A panel of business executives, including representatives from THE PLAYERS Championship and the Jacksonville Jaguars will discuss economic impact and how deals get done. If you are interested in an alternative legal career in the sports industry, you don’t want to miss this educational and networking opportunity!
Tickets are $35 if you RSVP by Friday, May 17th and $40 if you miss the RSVP deadline. Click here for full details!
The winter break is an ideal time to establish or enhance your social networking presence. Social networking is no longer the wave of the future, it is our reality today! Lawyers are joining the major social networking sites at a faster rate than ever before. It’s no secret that it is challenging to land the job of your dreams in today’s market, but developing a strong professional social networking presence is one way that you can distinguish yourself from the competition. The first step is to establish profiles on each of the top three social networking sites – Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Facebook: While Facebook has not historically been used for professional social networking, there has been a shift toward using Facebook for professional purposes, and many law firms and companies now have Facebook pages that you can follow, so I recommend updating your profile to ensure that all pictures and posts project a professional appearance. Then, start following law firms and organizations that interest you.
LinkedIn: Since LinkedIn is recognized as the primary site for professional social networking, you are at a distinct disadvantage in the job market if you do not have a LinkedIn profile. Create a profile and include a headshot that looks professional (it does not have to be taken by a professional photographer – you can use a nice amateur photo and crop it so that it only shows your face). Write a summary that highlights your accomplishments in law school and your future goals. Include all relevant prior employment and experiential learning, including clinics and externships. Then, research and join groups that match your professional interests and groups that are in your target market. Don’t forget alumni groups from your undergraduate institution and Florida Coastal. And start making connections! Connect with people you know and people you want to know, and be sure to customize your invitation so that people know why you want to connect with them. The goal in making connections on LinkedIn as a student is to establish meaningful relationships with practitioners who can be resources for you, even if they do not have job opportunities within their organizations. The best way to turn someone away is to come right out and tell them that you are connecting with them because you are looking for a job. Under the News tab on LinkedIn, you can also follow specific industries and publications, and LinkedIn will customize the articles that you see based on your preferences. This is a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of the industries that interest you.
Twitter: Twitter is another site that is being used by more and more lawyers every day. It offers a vehicle to connect with people and follow the latest news in any given industry. You can use Twitter as a hybrid of professional and personal social networking. I follow professional contacts, companies, and legal publications as well as sports programs, celebrities, and local organizations. Creating a Twitter profile is simple, and you can use the same picture that you use for your LinkedIn profile. Check out the people that I am following for ideas of who to follow (@afourmangator). Also, click here to read an article from InsideCounsel discussing why all lawyers should use Twitter.
Once you are up and running, remember that the key to social networking is meaningful activity. If you want to be noticed, you have to join the conversation. Stay on top of the latest news and offer insightful comments, ask questions, answer questions, and share relevant articles. As a former legal recruiter, I know firsthand that people are landing jobs everyday based on connections made through social networking. You could be next!
Stay tuned in the Spring semester for a CSD workshop focused on social networking, and stop by the CSD library to check out our resources on social networking.
If you have obtained a job through social networking – either through a connection made on a social networking site or through a job posting that you found on a social networking site – please contact me so that I can feature your story in a future blog post. I can be reached at email@example.com.
Finals are almost over, and you are one semester closer to graduation! Definitely take some time to relax and enjoy yourself after all of the hard work that you put into this past semester. You deserve it! But also make the most of your downtime by dedicating some time to career planning. The holidays are a great time for networking. Use your time away from the classroom to get out and meet people in the legal community or in the industry where you plan to pursue an alternative career. Florida Coastal alumni association events are a great way to meet people with whom you already have something in common. The Florida Coastal alumni association chapters in Washington DC, Pensacola, South Carolina, and Atlanta are all hosting holiday events over the break. If you are interested in working in any of those markets, don’t miss out on the opportunity to establish connections with Coastal alumni who could be valuable resources for you throughout your career. Click here for a listing of alumni association chapters and links to their Facebook group pages. If your city does not have an alumni association event over the break, look for events through the local bar association or other professional associations. In addition to holiday networking events, you can use your time in your target market to reach out to professionals for informational meetings. An informational meeting is an opportunity to get information and advice about a specific practice area or an alternative career. It is also a way to build a relationship with someone who is working in an area that interests you, and you never know where it might lead. Check out the Career Handbook for a step-by-step guide to informational meetings. If you don’t have a copy, stop by the CSD and pick one up before you leave for the break. Stay tuned for part two of making the most of your winter break, where I’ll discuss ways to incorporate social networking into your job search.
Florida Coastal has an extensive network of alumni working all across the country in traditional and alternative legal careers. Our alumni are a valuable resource that students often overlook. As the holiday break approaches, now is the perfect time to start reaching out to alumni and scheduling informational interviews in your hometown. Informational interviews will provide you with unique insight into specific practice areas, alternative careers, and/or what it’s like to work in a particular city or region. They also allow you to establish professional connections that just might lead to an employment opportunity.
Throughout the semester, I have been interviewing Coastal alumni who are pursuing alternative careers, including risk management, contract management, procurement, and tax resolution. These alumni have been in your shoes, and they can answer your questions about the advantages and challenges of pursuing an alternative legal career. If you are interested in connecting with a Coastal alum who is working in an alternative career, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will be happy to assist you with locating and contacting alumni and preparing for informational interviews.
Also, if you are interested in learning more networking tips and tricks, plan to attend the next Networking Club meeting tomorrow, Thursday November 1st at 5:15pm in Room 555. All students are welcome to attend! The Networking Club will culminate with networking receptions in Atlanta, Orlando, and Washington D.C. at the end of the Spring semester.
Do you have questions about how to incorporate social networking into your job search? Have you received conflicting advice about whether to create a LinkedIn account and whether to delete your Facebook profile? Then mark your calendar for Tuesday, October 16th at noon in room 455. Amanda Ellis, author of The 6Ps of the BIG 3™ for Job-Seeking JDs (2010), will be here to answer all of your questions about incorporating social networking into your job search! This presentation has been approved for 1 CPE credit.
The 6Ps of the BIG 3™ for Job-Seeking JDs teaches lawyers and law students how to get hired through relationships they develop and cultivate on the three most popular social networking sites–Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter (collectively, the “Big 3”). Many job seekers maintain a presence on the Big 3 sites. But, a mere presence is not sufficient to get hired—it’s only one element. The 6Ps of the BIG 3™ for Job-Seeking JDs teaches law students and lawyers how to incorporate the 6Ps (Professionalism, Profile, Privacy, Performance, Practice, Protocol) and outlines over 60 ways to use the Big 3 sites to get hired.
Amanda Ellis is the Vice President of Search for Special Counsel. Prior to her current role at Special Counsel, Ms. Ellis worked as an Attorney Search Director at Special Counsel and her own search firm where she placed attorneys in law firms and corporate legal departments. Amanda Ellis Legal Search also publishes Something Different, a monthly e-newsletter that outlines a new or different service or resource available to legal professionals in each issue. Prior to entering the legal recruiting field, Amanda practiced commercial bankruptcy law in Massachusetts and Texas. Amanda is a graduate of The University of Texas School of Law and Centenary College of Louisiana.
RSVP TODAY ON SYMPLICITY. The first 48 students to RSVP will receive a free copy of The 6Ps of the BIG 3™ for Job-Seeking JDs! You must attend the presentation to be eligible for a free copy of the book.