Improving attorney quality of life one complex litigation project at a time

Virtual Paralegalism

The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism

Legal Secretary Says Persistence Key to Landing Job

Ohio legal secretary Denise Radovick didn’t stay in bed feeling sorry for herself when she was laid off from her job as a paralegal office manager in October 2008. Instead, she got up early every morning and devoted herself to a full-time job search.

“Your job is to find a job when you don’t have a job, and I was spending at least 40 hours a week job hunting,” said Radovick, 56.

She believes that persistence, flexibility, staying “linked in”, making good use of your time and staying busy are crucial when you are unemployed.

A graduate of the Cleveland Academy of Court Reporting, she has landed a new job as a legal secretary at Weltman, Weinberg and Reis Co., L.P.A, which specializes in collection services. While admitting her new commute to Cleveland is a challenge, she is excited about her new job responsibilities.

Check out Denise’s very professional videotaped interview about her layoff and job search at Cleveland.com. She says that she also attended networking groups and accepted part-time employment while searching for a full-time job.

6 Responses to Legal Secretary Says Persistence Key to Landing Job

  1. I gotta make this quick b/c the library computer will kick me off in less than 4 minutes.

    Thanks for this posting. I need to get my own self in gear for my own job search. I've kind of allowed myself to accept my career status. Need to keep plugging away.

    Keep up the good work.

    Colin

  2. Thanks for the comment, Colin. I think it's important to share positive job search experiences in this economy, and especially one as professional, positive and focused as this one.

    If you haven't already, have an experienced resume or legal professional look at your resume, and make sure it reflects skills transferable to a legal career. Also, make sure your Microsoft Office Suite skills, at minimum, are top notch.

    Best wishes in your job search endeavors,
    Lynne

  3. Hi Lynne,

    My fiance has what I think is a pretty good cover letter. His resume is concise and encapsulates many specific skills and knowledge. He has worked at an immigration law firm for 5 years and now wants to switch firms due to upper management issues. We've searched Craigslist postings and found several jobs that seemed right up his alley. He has applied 3 times and followed up twice, but no calls! I'm not sure what his cover letter or resume are lacking – especially since they even asked for proficiency in a certain language which he has. I'm at a loss and he has been getting more frustrated because he doesn't know what more they could want. Can you help? Thanks for any feedback!

  4. Hey, Caramello: Without seeing your fiance's resume and cover letter, I can't give you feedback on them in particular – but I've got a couple of thoughts. First, he may want to have someone in his chosen specialty area and/or a career professional give him some feedback on his resume and cover letter.

    If his resume and cover letter are well done, and he has an excellent reputation within the local legal community, then there may be other factors at play that he won't have much control over, such as how many qualified applicants the employer is considering, whether the employer may fill the position from within or even hire a contract paralegal or attorney instead of an in-house paralegal, or whether the employer is going through the hiring process very slowly!

    I know it's hard not to take a lack of response personally, but no response is a chief complaint among job seekers. Also, employers are receiving tons of applications for every opening, including from many very experienced people who've been laid off and may be ready to report to work tomorrow.

    If he's not already doing so, your fiance should concentrate on networking, personally and online, including making sure he has a terrific LinkedIn profile with recommendations if possible. It may take some time and concentrated effort to move into another job. He should continue to be a valued employee at his current position, while raising his professional profile in your community.

  5. Thanks for your reply, Lynne! I think having a profile on LinkedIn is a great idea. Oh, I forgot to mention that he quit his job already to study full time for the LSAT in September (his goal is to attend law school eventually). So currently, he IS available to start work tomorrow if necessary. Should that be included in his cover letter? I'd be happy to forward you his letter/resume if you, a professional in the field, would be willing to take a look-see. Also, this particular firm has posted 4 times within the last 2 months (new post today, in fact) which signifies to me that they still have not found the right fit. I'm just wondering why they won't just give him an interview. It is stated in the post their firm name and location – would it be a terrible idea to show up and inquire about his application status? The post states "no calls about this job" but that's not calling, technically… and might show initiative on his part? Thanks for your advice.

  6. Caramello – I'm happy to take a look at his resume if you want to send it my blog email address. He is definitely going to have to address the reason that he left his last job, at least briefly in his cover letter to get past the gap in employment, which will be an obstacle in many screeners' eyes, and in more detail in interviews – so yes, he should be be ready to address it. In any economy, it is a more prudent course of action to make a job change while you've got a job and to not voluntarily walk away from any reasonable employment unless you've got a job in hand – and that is even more true in a down economy like this one.

    Other professionals may disagree with me, but showing up in person without an appointment may not be helpful, especially if he has submitted his resume several times and followed up on it. If that is the case, they are likely very aware of his interest in the position, but you can't force them to offer an interview.

Leave a reply

Contact Info:

Lynne J. DeVenny, N.C. State Bar Certified Paralegal

Owner & Virtual Paralegal, DeVenny Paralegal Services

Email: lynne.devenny[at]gmail.com

Telephone: 336-582-0003

Inquiries are welcome, with free quotes available.

Meet Lynne:

Lynne DeVenny is a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal with over 27 years of experience working on complex litigation cases, including medical malpractice, personal injury, workers’ compensation, and Social Security disability.

Disclosure: I am not a lawyer and cannot provide legal representation or legal advice.

Website design by T.Marie Hilton-Girly Girl Geek Designs