People have taken time off work for a number of reasons; the need to care for family members, suffering from burnout, made redundant, or simply taking time to travel and self-reflect.
Although the thought of job searching can be daunting, giving a reason for any gap in your work history and showcasing willingness to get back into the arena (by following some of the tips below) will help you land the job you want.
Research the area of law you specialised in previously or that you want to enter into:
There have likely been a number of changes since you were last employed, even if your hiatus was for a short period – law is always evolving! To make yourself more marketable to potential employers, it is advisable to review articles, legal bulletins and the news for developments in the area of law you used to practice in. If you are unsure of the area of law you wish to specialize in upon your return to the work force, research the current expanding areas of law and see where the demand lies. An example is the increase in the demand for cybersecurity and cryptocurrency lawyers.
Take a course/obtain a certificate:
Since it may have been a while since you worked, it is ideal to hone your skills and knowledge and ultimately showing interest in your field by taking a course or obtaining a certificate in that area of law. Taking advantage of advocacy and writing courses will also show a potential employer that you’ve been keeping your skills sharp. This is especially helpful if you haven’t been working due to redundancy. Joining relevant associations is also a great way to get your name out there.
Use those contacts:
Get in contact with colleagues or recruiters you may have worked with before, even if it has been a while since you have spoken to them.
Reconnecting with a recruiter who is aware of your strengths is ideal as they will be able highlight them to potential employers, and assist in alleviating worries the prospective employer may have of you not sticking around. Not to mention, the recruiter will be privy to positions that fit your qualifications.
Meeting with a recruiter will also serve as a practice interview; treat it as such, and request feedback in order to improve for when you’re invited for a job interview by a law firm/company.