4 Tips to Get an Entry-Level Legal Assistant Job

Thought about entering the legal field but don’t know how to begin? Whether you’ve studied for law school your whole life or your professional experience amounts to watching Legally Blonde a few times, you might be surprised at the opportunities available to you as a legal assistant. Washington, D.C. and other major metropolitan areas are ideal markets for entry-level legal assistant jobs. Being a legal assistant is different from being a paralegal, but you will still provide invaluable support to attorneys while gaining experience in the field. Here are our tips on how to land this great position.

A man dressed in a suit with a watch

What is an entry-level legal assistant?

Before explaining how to get an entry-level legal assistant job, let’s start with clarity on what it is—and what it isn’t. Although every law office or agency has its own regulations and expectations, there are some general guidelines when it comes to this type of position.

Legal assistants should be able to:

  • Organize files for the office
  • Compile facts for cases
  • Follow up on details relating to specific clients or interactions
  • Handle client or witness communication
  • Conduct research
  • File legal documents in court
  • Draft documents for litigation
  • Process, prepare, sort or proof legal documents
  • Maintain client files and information

Essentially, this position assists the lawyer. An entry-level legal assistant job will involve all varieties of legal work in a supporting capacity. They act primarily as case managers, although some legal assistants also function as legal secretaries. Although they work alongside lawyers, they do not have the same authority over the legal documents and presentations.

How is a legal assistant different from a paralegal?

Legal secretaries serve on the administrative side, performing duties such as greeting clients, answering phones, scheduling appointments, and maintaining the calendar. Legal assistants can also fill these secretarial roles while supporting the lawyer in other ways from investigating to writing. Paralegals perform more in-depth preparatory work and function more similarly to an attorney. For example, a legal secretary might type minutes, while a legal assistant might prepare the case brief and the paralegal could work to develop the ruling with the lawyer directly.

Before applying, you can explore more details about these different job categories so you can determine where specifically you feel best suited.

Tip #1: Demonstrate effective communication skills

If you want to get an entry-level legal assistant job, you need to show that you know how to communicate effectively. Whether you’re managing the lawyers’ schedules, compiling facts for cases or drafting documents for litigation, you must get your point across clearly and effectively. 

Many individual lawyers or larger legal institutions are more than happy to train entry-level workers on the minutiae of their processes and applicable laws, but they need the employees to come in already knowing how to express themselves in appropriate and precise language. 

You can demonstrate your effective communication skills in your resume and interview. Legal assistants are often the ones to handle communication with clients and witnesses, as well as to facilitate communication across the office, so it’s imperative that you show you could fill that role.

Tip #2: Highlight the experience you do have

Yes, we’re talking about an entry-level legal assistant job, but that doesn’t mean that you’re going in with nothing. Don’t worry if you don’t specifically have a legal background. You will have other experiences or traits that can make you a good fit for the position, so make those aspects of your application clear. Maybe demonstrate how you’ve already managed large schedules in the past or that in your schooling you served in an administrative capacity or leadership position for an extracurricular group. 

An office organizer with bright papers and highlighters

Tip #3: Express a willingness to learn

When it comes to entry-level legal assistant jobs, it’s important to recognize having the right attitude matters more than knowing the ins and outs of the law. Legal expertise is appreciated but unnecessary when you’re just starting out. Teachability, however, is required. 

In our experience in Washington, D.C., most entry-level legal assistant jobs require an eagerness to benefit from the law firm’s expertise. Present yourself as a competent communicator ready to learn how the lawyer wants things done rather than showing up as a legal expert already entrenched in a specific structure and process. 

Tip #4: Go through the experts

Once you’ve polished your resume and prepared for your interview by demonstrating effective communication skills, highlighting the experience you do have, and expressing a willingness to learn, it’s time to land that entry-level legal assistant job. You can go through the job search yourself and play the waiting game, but it’s easier, less stressful, and more effective to go through the experts. 
At Whitman Associates, Inc., we are celebrating 50 years of providing expert staffing in Washington, D.C. and the surrounding area. Start by emailing your resume to resumes@whitmanjobs.com to see what doors can open for you.

What to Expect from Entry-Level Administrative Assistant Jobs

Are you looking for a versatile job position that provides opportunities for growth and training? Working as an administrative assistant can be a challenging yet rewarding pathway, and many companies are hiring now in this position. Here’s our guide about what to expect from entry-level administrative assistant jobs.

A male administrative assistant writing notes while working on the computer

What do administrative assistants do?

“Administrative assistant” is a fairly vague job title. This position often acts as a “catch-all” for a variety of internal and customer-facing tasks. Broadly, administrative assistants control the office efficiency. They are responsible for ensuring operations run smoothly. This can involve:

  • Answering and directing phone calls and emails
  • Organizing and scheduling meetings
  • Ordering office supplies
  • Assisting with special projects
  • Producing and distributing correspondence
  • Greeting customers or clients
  • Booking travel arrangements

The Washington, D.C. metropolitan area is a perfect market for this role with so many private businesses, consulting firms and government contractors needing entry-level administrative assistants to ensure jobs are completed on time. While some of these descriptions sound more like a secretary or receptionist, there are some distinctions in those titles.

How is an entry level administrative assistant job different from a secretary or receptionist?

In general, receptionists serve as the first point of contact for an office, secretaries do clerical work and administrative assistants keep the office running smoothly. All of these job categories overlap and work together. In some offices, being an administrative assistant will look very similar to the role of a secretary or receptionist. Other times, often in larger companies, administrative assistants are more of efficiency specialists, like project managers, who oversee and ensure that overall work operations flow smoothly.

For example, rather than directly manning the phones, an administrative assistant may provide a receptionist with a flow chart of how to more effectively direct calls. Working an entry-level administrative assistant job could, in that context, also include serving as a go-between for the receptionist and the higher levels of leadership in the office. 

When applying for an administrative assistant job in Washington, D.C. or the surrounding area, it’s important to understand the industry, company structure and work culture. Depending on the company’s needs, the role may look different from one place to the next. Many companies look for candidates with a willingness to adapt and take on new responsibilities.

A desk with a computer, keyboard, phone and office supplies

Making your own system within the established structure

Administrative assistants work in a delicate balance. The position can be one of the most versatile in an office because there are so many administrative tasks that need to get done. Often managers will expect administrative assistants to bring their own ideas and systems to fit within the established structure.

For example, maybe the traditional protocol is that the administrative assistant will make calls to confirm the next day’s appointments. The administrative assistant may have the freedom to make notes in a client’s file or update calendar meetings in a manner that they find most efficient and helpful for the senior staff. Managers often appreciate assertive, independent assistants who can complete core tasks without asking too many questions.

Day-to-day management with a broad perspective

To be successful in an entry-level administrative assistant job, prospective candidates have to recognize that they will be responsible both for the fine details of the day-to-day office management and the larger picture of the company’s goals and objectives. A detail-oriented mindset and the ability to concisely summarize key takeaways are both important.

Administrative assistants often deal with putting out lots of little “fires” that pop up throughout the natural workday, but they need to maintain a broad perspective so urgent tasks don’t replace the important components of the role. Fast-paced markets like Washington, D.C. expect administrative assistants to keep up with action items and prioritize effectively, even in an entry-level job.

Serve as an assistant, not a manager

While administrative assistants do track and monitor efficiency, ultimately this is a supportive role rather than leadership. This means that administrative assistants work directly under some sort of higher management or leadership in the office. Administrative assistants will typically not have to make the tough calls themselves.

Administrative assistants have a specific hierarchical place in the company that may vary depending on the industry, company size and other factors. Regardless of the specific structure, administrative assistants typically work very closely with the leadership they work to assist. In this role, you could expect plenty of formal and informal meetings and check-ins with one or several leadership personnel at the office.

Get a specific snapshot of your possibilities

Each administrative assistant position looks a little different. If you have the related skills of multitasking, prioritizing, organizing, and making sure others stay on task, an administrative assistant job could be a great fit for you. Whitman Associates, Inc. helps place candidates in entry-level administrative assistant jobs in Washington, D.C.  and the surrounding area. We have more than 50 years of expert staffing experience. When you’re ready to start your new career path, send your resume to resumes@whitmanjobs.com. We’ll provide a specific snapshot of your possibilities as an administrative assistant.

WMATA Metro Commuter Tips

If you are one of the thousands who commutes via Washington D.C. public transportation, learn how to make your commute easier, safer, and all around more enjoyable by following the tips below:

dc metro station

1. Stand right, walk left

This rule of thumb applies to riding the escalators. If you are standing, stand to the right, this leaves the left side open for walking passengers to pass by you unobstructed.

2. Load your SmartTrip Card onto your phone

Don’t worry about keeping track of your WMATA metro card, just tap your phone for metro or bus fare!

3. If you’re using a physical SmartTrip, keep it handy

While you want to keep your SmartTrip card somewhere safe, you also want to have it easily accessible so that you don’t have to hunt through your entire purse or wallet to find it when exiting the metro.

4. Wear comfortable shoes

Commuting via Washington D.C. public transportation typically means that you will have to do a bit of walking to get to and from the station, so wear comfortable shoes and bring your work shoes in a separate bag if necessary.

5. Be considerate of priority seating

On both WMATA metro and buses there are seats reserved for the elderly, disabled, or pregnant. Be a conscientious commuter and be sure to free up those seats if someone needs them.

6. Hold onto your bags at all times

Holding onto your bags will not only protect you from theft, but it’s also considerate for other passengers to keep your bags off the floor and seats.

7. Report any suspicious behavior or unattended bags

WMATA Metro police request that passengers report any suspicious behavior or unattended bags they notice to a uniformed metro worker or police officer. This action will help keep you and other riders safe while on the metro.

8. Plan your trips ahead of time

If you are a daily commuter, you probably know what time your train arrives every morning, but it’s always a good idea to check for any delays or alerts before you leave the house to avoid any interruptions to your routine.

The 6 Best Jobs For College Grades With No Experience

Finding a job just after graduation can feel challenging if you have no internships or prior professional experience. You’re often competing against people with a fuller resume and years of work experience behind them. It’s very easy to feel like you’re caught up in a catch-22 situation where you need work experience to find work.  

However, the fact is that there are numerous opportunities open to people with minimal or no experience. There have to be, or else no one would ever be able to build a career. Plenty of companies out there make it a point to take in entry-level candidates for job categories that are a perfect fit for recent graduates.

What’s more, they’re not necessarily stingy with the pay either. We often have the stereotype of a broke twenty-something, but some of the best jobs for college grads with no experience provide fair compensation for candidates with the right skills and commitment. Here are some of the roles you can look into if you’re in the middle of finding a job after graduation:

  1. Salesperson

Sales jobs often get a bad rap, but they’re a great way to build vital skills that will be invaluable to you later on in your career. They can help you get over a fear of talking to people, develop your soft skills, and teach you how to deal with rejection. It also makes you a good listener and an effective communicator in any situation. 

It’s one of the best jobs for college grads with no experience because most companies out there need salespersons to sell their products and services. Not all sales deals happen at the same level, but the skill sets involved are the same. Moreover, salespersons are on the ‘frontlines’ so to speak. They’re the ones interacting with the customers every day and they often have a better understanding of their pain points, industry dynamics, and the pros and cons of the company’s products. This is knowledge you can use to make a lateral shift into other company departments, such as marketing or product development.  

  1. Data Analyst

It’s one of the best jobs for college grads with no experience because data analysts are ubiquitous. Everyone from financial service companies to consumer goods manufacturers, healthcare organizations, and hospitality companies need them.  

A data analyst interprets and structures data into information that a business can use. Responsibilities include collecting, interpreting, and organizing the data and then analyzing the results to pull business insights. It’s ideal for people with a head for numbers, but it’s also a job that requires creativity and business acumen. The way you present your data and how compelling your insights are can make a big difference to your business. With the right company, it can be one of the best paying jobs for college grads with no experience. 

  1. Real Estate Agent and Broker

Property management can be a rewarding career even if you’re an entry-level candidate finding a job right after graduation. In most cases, all you need is a high school diploma and a state broker’s license to get started. You might have to put in a little bit of time prepping for the real estate exam that gets you your license, but it certainly doesn’t dissuade the millions of Americans who opt to try their hand at real estate. 

If you’re personable and willing to work hard, it’s one of the best jobs for a college grad with no experience. In a recent survey, 85% of real estate agents said they were happy with their career choice and 71% of them were attracted to the earning potential of the job. 

  1. Project Manager

A quality project manager can be an indispensable commodity for a business. From troubleshooting problems to clearing bottlenecks and ensuring cross-functional communication, a project manager is a vital cog in the enterprise machinery. As with many of the other best jobs for college grads with no experience, project management can teach you a range of skills, such as diplomacy, risk management, communication, and more. 

Moreover, it’s often something that requires a learning curve even for experienced candidates. In most cases, project managers have to adapt to the processes, structure, and dynamics of the company in question, which makes it ideal for candidates to find a job after graduation.

  1. Nonprofit Assistant

Nonprofit organizations often have limited budgets, which means that this may not be the most high-paying job right out of the gate. However, these organizations often look for commitment and a willingness to work hard more than anything else. If there’s a cause you particularly identify with and feel you can contribute to, this might be one of the best jobs for you, even as a college grad with no experience. 

It’s also a chance to meet a lot of different people and get some real life experience under your belt, which is always going to stand you in good stead later on. There are lots of different kinds of nonprofits to choose from, including public health advocacies to legal aid offices, social rights groups, and diplomacy nonprofits.

  1. Client Relations

Managing client experience is a very important function for any business. Everyone from IT firms to consultancies, marketing agencies, and more employ people to manage client relationships. As jobs for college grads with no experience go, it’s one of the best ones out there. All you need is a positive attitude and a nimble mindset to succeed. 

Unlike sales, you don’t have to worry about bringing in new clients and meeting quarterly targets. Client relations is more about maintaining existing relationships and ensuring compliance with contractual agreements. In this role, you’re often the primary point of contact for the client, a supplier and partner interface, and bridge to service-level teams in your company. 

It’s a myth that the best jobs are off-limits for college grads with no experience. Finding a good job after graduation is all about identifying your priorities. What are you really after? Higher pay? A relaxed lifestyle? Experience in a specific industry? With a targeted approach you can find a job that both fulfills your goals and offers you professional exposure. 

At Whitman Associates, we’re proud to serve as the go-to staffing experts in the D.C. area. If you’re a recent graduate, don’t hesitate to email your resume to resumes@whitmanjobs.com. Check out some of the best jobs for college grads with no experience on our job listings page. Browse through our career advice for entry-level and experienced professionals in the job market.

Interview Prep and Tips

While every interview situation is different, we have created an ultimate interview prep guide to help you learn how to prep for an interview and will increase your chances of impressing the hiring manager and successfully landing a job offer.
Women interviewing

  • One of the first interview tips is to always arrive on time. Plan to arrive ten minutes early for your interview. Potential employers will assume you have bad time management skills if you are late for a scheduled interview. This is almost more important with video interviews. If you have no commute or traffic, being late is inexcusable. Don’t forget to test out a video link prior to your interview, so there won’t be any technical difficulties to hold you up.
  • Talk positively about your former employer. Talking positively about a former employer will show loyalty and respect, which are both traits employers look for in potential candidates. If you didn’t have the best experience at your previous job, a good way to interview prep is to talk about the positive aspects, and frame any downsides in a respectful manner.
  • Another way to nail your interview prep is not to forget to bring a few copies of your resume with you. Even if you are not asked to bring a resume with you, you should always have a few copies on hand just in case you need them. If you are on a video interview, be sure to have your most up to date resume ready to share via email.
  • In interviews, you should avoid oversharing personal information. While it’s important to share your work experience and skills in detail, you should avoid talking too much about your personal life and opinions.
  • Another first interview tip is to get your interviewer’s contact information so you can follow-up. It’s always a good idea to follow-up after an interview with a note thanking them for their time and consideration. Be sure to get the hiring manager’s business card, LinkedIn or email.

two women job interview

  • You should make consistent eye contact with your interviewer. Displaying confident body language and making eye contact will help you further engage with the interviewer.
  • Avoid wearing a lot of cologne or perfume. As in-person interviews are on the rise again, you don’t want to aggravate your interviewer’s allergies or distract them with an overabundant fragrance.
  • It’s important to present yourself appropriately. This includes everything from dressing professionally for an interview, to choosing a neutral virtual background and good lighting for a video interview. Being dressed inappropriately or having your background be a distraction is one way to discount yourself from consideration.
  • Don’t be shy about conveying your interest in the company and position. Although you know you’re interested in the job, you have to convince the hiring manager. Potential employers want to see just how dedicated you are to working for them. Be sure to do your interview prep by researching the company, so that you can speak with confidence.
  • Avoid chewing gum, snacking, food or other distractions. Chewing gum during an interview is rude, and it can be distracting.
  • Our last piece of advice on how to prep for an interview is to remember to turn off your cell phone. You don’t want your phone ringing in the middle of an interview, so make sure you turn it off before the interview begins. Even silenced cell phones can vibrate or make noise, so turn your cell all the way off to avoid any unwanted distractions.

5 COMMON RESUME MISTAKES

Having a great resume is key to being successful in your job search. Your resume is typically the first impression an employer has of you, so it’s important that it properly represents you. To help, we’ve listed 5 common resume mistakes that job hunters make.

Pause breath resume tiles

1. Spelling and grammar mistakes

  • The most common resume mistakes are errors in spelling and grammar. Errors like this are easiest way to get your resume rejected because employers are likely to assume you are careless or sloppy in your work.
  • Make sure to edit your resume several times before submitting it. It also helps to have someone else read it over, a new set of eyes are more likely to pick up on any small resume mistakes.

2. Length

  • While it’s important that your resume is not excessively long, you should not exclude relevant work experience just to fit everything on one page. You don’t want a potential employer to discount you because you left off relevant experience.
  • At the same time, you don’t need to include every position you’ve had since the beginning of your career. Some of your past jobs might not be relevant to the current position you are applying for. Feel free to leave off the coffee bar you worked at through grad school if you have more relevant experience to include.
  • You also want to avoid having too short of a resume. If you are a recent college grad or just out of high school and have only worked at one or two positions, try to expand upon your responsibilities to lengthen your work history. Also, you can include extracurricular activities you participated in if the experience you gained seems relevant to your career.

3. Too much personal information

  • Employers are going to hire you based on your work experience, not on your favorite hobbies. It is a common resume mistake to have a “Personal Interests” category. In a job interview, if your interviewer mentions their love of volleyball, then that would be an appropriate time to mention you share the same interest.
  • It’s not necessary to mention your marital status or children on your resume. Again, a potential employer is only interested in your professional background.
  • Don’t include your picture on your resume. The exception is if you are applying for an acting or modeling role.

Writing a resume

4. Too busy

  • Another common resume mistake is using more than two fonts. Keep it simple, so that an employer’s eye can easily follow your work history down the page. There is no need to go crazy with bold and italicized fonts in different colors.
  • Avoid using borders and underlines to separate sections on your resume. As long as you have everything labeled appropriately, an employer will be able to understand it.

5. Missing critical information

  • Make sure the header of your resume includes your full name, phone number and email address. You can also include a link to your LinkedIn profile or your address. If an employer doesn’t have your contact information, they won’t be able to reach you to set up an interview or offer you a job.
  • Always list the month and year you started and finished each position on your resume. Job seekers avoid adding dates to their work history for various reasons, but this is a huge resume mistake! Omitting dates makes employers feel that you are hiding something.
  • List the appropriate job title for each of your positions. New employers will most likely get employment verifications on your work history, so it’s important you have all the correct information. If there is a discrepancy with your job title or dates of employment, your new employer will be suspicious.
  • Lastly, one of the biggest common resume mistakes is leaving off software or programs that you’ve used. Be sure to list these, especially since an employer may be screening resumes electronically, and you don’t want to be overlooked because of what you left out.

Keep these five easily avoidable resume mistakes on hand next time you update your resume and you’ll be sure to land a great job in no time!

Ace Your Phone Interview with these Tips

Phone interviews are common because they provide a great way for hiring teams to narrow down their pool of applicants prior to in-person or video interviews. For that reason, preparing for a phone interview is important if you want to move on to the next round. The following are our initial phone interview tips to help you prepare for your next interview.

1. Avoid Distractions

  • While on the phone with a potential employer, you should limit distractions. A good phone interview tip is to make sure you have a quiet and distraction free environment in which to talk to the hiring manager.

2. Be Articulate

  • Your voice is the only tool you have to express yourself on a phone interview, so make sure you speak articulately and clearly. You also want to avoid trailing off or rambling when answering the interviewer’s questions. Pause occasionally so that your interviewer can process what you are saying and digest the information fully.

3. Prepare

  • An initial phone interview tip is that it’s a great time to ask any preliminary questions you might have about the job opportunity, so you should have a list prepared before the call. Also, keep the job description handy and be sure you’ve researched the company to ensure you are fully informed.
  • While preparing for a phone interview, it helps to brainstorm examples of your past experiences that you can talk about. For example, compile a list of examples where you took initiative, demonstrated your organizational skills, or worked as a team player.

4. Be Yourself

  • It can be difficult to convey your personality over the phone in an interview, but don’t forget to be personable and friendly. While you want to maintain professionalism, you also want to be yourself.
  • Try not to come across as if you are reading a script when having a phone interview; you want to come across confident and friendly, not rehearsed. Smiling while you talk can help improve the sound of your voice and put more energy into what you’re saying.

5. Express Interest

  • At the end of the phone screen, be sure to thank your interviewer for their time and consideration. If you are interested in moving forward with the interview process, don’t be afraid to say so! Hiring managers will be more inclined to move forward with applicants who are visibly interested in and excited about the position.

We hope these tips will help you with preparing for that next phone interview. Check out the rest of our blog for additional job searching and interview tips.

Being Punctual

man checking watch

Being punctual is a critical quality for any professional to have. While this may seem obvious, a lot of professionals struggle with being on time in this busy modern world. Even unemployed job seekers need to be aware of timeframes and deadlines when interviewing for and applying to jobs. For now, we will focus on the importance of being punctual for a job interview and provide some rules to help make sure you are always on time in the future.

Rule #1: Don’t be late.

  • If you realize ahead of time that you are running late for an interview, call your interviewer immediately and let them know your situation. Be sure to apologize for the inconvenience.
  • In a tough job market, hiring managers have their pick when it comes to capable candidates. Even showing up five minutes late for a job interview could disqualify you for a position.
  • If a hiring manager can’t trust you to show up on time for an interview, they have no reason to trust that you will be on time for work or meet project deadlines.

Rule #2: Being too early is the same as being late.

  • Do not show up more than fifteen minutes early for a job interview unless you were otherwise instructed. Being punctual is better than being too early.
  • Showing up too early for an interview can make you appear desperate to hiring managers. Think of a job interview as a first date—you wouldn’t want your date to think you were overeager or desperate either.
  • The same as if you were late for an interview, a hiring manager will attribute you showing up a half hour early to your bad time management skills.

Rule #3: Know where you’re going ahead of time.

  • If you have time and are unfamiliar with the area, visit the company’s office prior to your interview so that you know exactly where you’re going and how long it will take you to get there.
  • If you don’t have time to physically scope out your route, use the Internet to plan it in advance.
  • If you’re driving to your interview, make sure you know where you’re going to park. You don’t want to be late because it took twenty minutes to find a parking space.

Rule #4: Show up early, but don’t go in.

  • The best advice we can give you is to intentionally allow yourself extra time to get to your interview. Cautious planning will support you in being punctual even if you run into unforeseen trouble such as traffic or delays on public transportation. If you don’t hit any delays and end up outside of the office twenty minutes early, don’t go in! Find somewhere nearby you can kill time prior to your interview, such as a coffee shop or deli. Use the extra time to review your notes one last time.

Additional Guidance & Advice

At Whitman Associates, Inc., we’re rooting for you! Our goal is to help you find the perfect fit in your next job position. Being punctual is just one of many attributes that potential employers are looking for. For more insightful career advice, explore our blog for additional tips and guidance. Want some more personalized job hunting strategies? Reach out to us today!

Why you need a business card if you are unemployed….

hands exchanging a business card

Many times, people wrongly assume that if they are unemployed or a recent graduate that they do not need a business card. This is a very bad assumption. If you are unemployed you should most definitely have a business card on you at all times. You never know who you might meet that could lead you to a job. A business card is, if nothing else, a big reminder on a tiny card. Most people keep business cards and go through them periodically.

If you’re wondering about what to put on business cards when you’re unemployed, where to get them printed or how to format the best design, explore our advice here!

What to Put On Your Business Card When You’re Unemployed

Business cards when you are unemployed are a little more complicated than the average creation. You have no official title or position, no logo or branding, and no official business phone line. But, you’ll need to create a professional image if you want to provide people with your information, fast track your job search and put yourself out there in the market.

It’s also important to include your industry or degree on your card. For instance: “International Relations” or “Automotive Repairs.” If you have a specialized license or certification, include that as well, even if you haven’t had a job as a “Licensed Social Worker” or “Certified Business Analysis Professional” yet.

All business cards should have the following information:

  • Full Name
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number
  • Degree or Industry

Additional items you could list include, if applicable:

  • Website or LinkedIn URL (if applicable)
  • Note: You can put a link to your site within a QR code.
  • Job Title

Where to Get a Business Card

You can save money and buy the paper from an office supply store and print them yourself using Microsoft Office or a similar program. If you want more professional cards, you can check out Moo, VistaPrint or other similar companies. Whichever route you choose, you may want to explore traditional templates and designs to ensure your business cards look professional, even if you are unemployed.

Who You Should Give Your Business Card To

Everyone! Ok, maybe not everyone, but networking is the key. If your friend says, “My uncle works in that industry, you should talk to him,” ask if you can give him your business card. When you see an opportunity to hand out a business card if you are unemployed, don’t hesitate. Doing nothing is the worst thing you can do. Always make sure you have plenty of cards on you when you go to any type of networking event, career fair or interview.

More Advice from Whitman Associates, Inc.

Looking for a little more guidance before diving into the job searching pool? Whitman Associates, Inc. is always here with advice and support. Explore our blog for job seekers or reach out to us for more personalized strategies today!

Good luck and happy printing those business cards.

How To Answer The Inevitable Interview Question: ‘Tell Me About Yourself’

two men sitting at a table for a job interview

It seems that just about every job candidate waits on pins and needles for a single and inevitable moment in the interview … that moment when the interviewer says, “So, tell me about yourself.”

It strikes fear in the hearts of fine job seekers everywhere. In reality, though, the question is an excellent opportunity for job candidates to shine. It’s just a matter of choosing, adopting and owning a strategy that highlights the candidate’s finest qualities, experiences and goals with confidence — without coming across as arrogant. If you want to learn how to answer the “tell me about yourself” question, explore the strategies from the experts at Whitman Associates, Inc. today!

The Winning Answer Strategy

Are you facing a series of interviews with hiring managers who probably can’t wait to learn more about you via the disarmingly pointed “tell me about yourself” question?

If you are, there is no reason to worry — you can handle this.

With the right strategy, you can ace this question, relieving you from stress and self-doubt while giving you handy tools to help you communicate important background information and desired professional traits. Use your job interview ‘tell me about yourself’ answer to share with the interviewer how you are essential to the position.

The Present-Past-Future Formula

Some time ago, recruiting professionals recognized the struggle that job seekers consistently face when they need to answer the “tell me about yourself” question. Over the years, the present-past-future formula has become a leading strategy recommended to earnest job candidates by hiring professionals.

The formula is perfect because it provides you with a simple, three-part “script.” It is concise, comprehensive, easy to remember and sure to fill you with confidence — which is often more than half the battle.

Most importantly, this strategy gives recruiting managers a panoramic image of who you are, how you work, and what your goals are — especially related to their organization — in a three-point snapshot.

Take a look at a few good present-past-future sample answers to the “tell me about yourself” question to get an idea of what might work for you:

  • I currently work for a small business — with a staff of 30 — as the office manager. The whole team is fantastic, but I feel like I’m ready — and incredibly eager — to take on a busier office environment. Since you house 150 employees at this location alone, I think this is the perfect place for me to up my game.
  • After receiving my communications degree, I knew I wanted to work in public relations. While searching for the perfect job, I worked as a server for a catering company where I made many great connections, including my last employer that owned an advertising agency. Although I have learned the finer points of marketing and advertising at my current position, I crave the experience of managing talent’s public images. I believe I could become a solid and reliable resource for your local media and sports clients.

While the second example was not in the official order, it still hit all the same points of present, past and future. Mix it up, but make sure that your answer is something you can easily tap into.

A bad example answer to the “tell me about yourself” question might look like the following:

  • I have worked at my current job as a receptionist for three years and have built some good relationships. I learned a lot, too. In my spare time, I paint in watercolors and am a long distance runner. I think I can easily learn the ropes here and help as an executive assistant.

This answer does not work for a number of reasons — including the issue that the answer seems disjointed, unprepared and disinterested. The interviewer might wonder whether this person had not prepared well or simply did not want the job.

Do You Need More Help Preparing for Important Job Interviews?

Do you feel like your job interview ‘tell me about yourself’ answer sounds a little robotic, uncertain or insincere? If you’re having problems with any phase of the interviewing process, our recruiting team at Whitman Associates is here to help hone your skills. We’re happy to sit down with you to work out strategies tailored to your strengths and comforts while helping you avoid any pitfalls.

Contact us today to talk about interviewing issues, any of our listed jobs that interest you, or whatever else we can do to help you land your dream job.