Wednesday, 12 June 2019

A CV isn't an afterthought. It is the thrust of your attempt at employment.

Article by Marc Evan Aupiais

Lawyers are document specialists. If your curriculum vitae is not perfect, you will struggle to get a job at a law firm. A CV isn't an afterthought. It is the thrust of your attempt at employment.

When I was looking for my first job as a candidate attorney, I spent two or three months perfecting my CV, carefully looking for any spelling error, or weakness in the flow or content of my writing, and the formatting of the document. A CV to a law firm should display mastery of written English wording, effective communication, and perfect grammar. Those are your primary tools as an attorney.

I then got out a copy of Horters, and carefully emailed the directors of many firms in my area. Secretaries in law firms often throw the CVs of candidates for jobs, who walk in, in the bin, and delete those sent to them via email. Sending your CV to a secretary is thus usually a bad idea.

Your letter of motivation is likely your most important part of your CV as a new law graduate. You should make a firm want to scoop you up as an asset to them, though by showing, not telling. Listing your subjects later in your CV, (but without your marks,) can also show them you are worthwhile. Unless they are asked for, don't attach transcripts or scans of your ID and degrees. Say they are available on request.

My email had a heading stating what job I was looking for, the email explained a bit about me and my desire for a job at their firm, and then referred to the attached PDF with my letter of motivation, CV and two letters of recommendation inside of it.

I asked that if theirs was not the desk that dealt with human resources that the email be forwarded to that desk. I sent to about a dozen firms a day, until I got interviews at a few firms. Don't CC a hundred firms in your emails, send to each individually. Also, send from a professional email address.

I still got replies to my CV to be a candidate attorney, years later, when I had already qualified and been admitted as an attorney.

Saying a CV is not important, is like saying your particulars of claim or plea are not important. Your documents need to be perfect long before you argue at trial, and your CV must be top notch, so that when it gets you interviews, you are entering an interview, having already made a good impression with your accuracy and good form in document creation.

Advocates may specialise in arguing on court. Attorneys are primarily about the paperwork. If your paperwork, in the form of your application to a firm for a job, is lacking, you have missed your first opportunity to show that you have the skills to do the primary job of an attorney.

Would you rather receive a professional, polite, nicely emailed application from a candidate for a job you need done, or would you rather have a sweaty graduate, in casual wear, walk into your firm, hand your secretary a scrubby, badly drafted document, and say they demand a job? Or, worse, demand to speak to you, taking you away from your work and clients, to demand a job? There is a reason people often prefer email to phone calls, it allows them to go over what is said to them, such as why you would be an asset to their firm, at their own pace, and in comfort. Seeking a job at a law firm is best done by email.

If you want a job in law, foremost is your documentation, in getting one. Email a good CV out to a lot of firms. If you aren't getting replies, then you really do need to spend a few months perfecting your CV.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Peace and deafening sounds

Peace and deafening sounds

Article by Marc Evan Aupiais

Have you ever truly wondered who you are, what thoughts are yours, and what is just parroted from others, friends, family, culture.

We are told to ignore our internal critic, the voices of doubt within our own minds. Yet, if we do that merely because others tell us to, we aren't thinking much at all. But what is thinking, really, truly?

I will often sit in my home office, alone, in the dark. I sit here, white noise, or calming music on, and I let my mind wonder. The same can be done in the early hours of the morning before the world awakens or late at night. Solitary, with this entity that is me.

At first, I hear nothing in my thoughts. I am silent, still waves upon an ocean. But dive with the whales and the sharks. Go deeper in, and the stillness on the surface is illusory. Currents and rip tides pull back and forth. It is so noisy, every straining worry rushing within my head, I cannot hear a thing in this deafening cacophony of competing thoughts, concerns.

Like a Great White Shark, the doubts and fears eat into me, but I do not put them out of mind. I sink deeper still. I hear them, I lend my ear to them, to my many concerns. I let myself sink deeper, still. I look with more depth, a deep dive into fear, anguish, concern. I let my mind make its painting of the future. I let my fears flow through me. I let my hopes touch upon the sword of the night, and swim towards the pieces which still remain after the fears and concerns have fed upon a frenzy.

I sink deeper still, and I look at my thoughts in depth, both fears and hopes under the microscope.

I sometimes surprise myself in conversation, whether with my own internal voice or with other people. I will say something I did not know I believed, but upon tearing it apart, I realise I really do believe it, it makes sense to me. It is easy but pointless to deny such nuanced thoughts are the real me, and I find, often, upon expressing them, they make more sense than more defensible positions, and they convince even me.

A defence mechanism of human beings is to truly believe our motives are more noble or more 'rational' than they truly are. A wise man however will not hide from the darker thoughts and resentments within. These are not overcome by suppression, and nor are our fears. We hide who we truly are, even from ourselves, for fear that the true us would become a prey item, or be chased from the village with spears, as a predator. But, however often we vocalise our false narrative within our cranium, the true us knows what we truly believe, and we would become aware of far too many more truths if we listened to it, to truly be able to risk ignoring what we actually, deep down, think.

When I have doubts, I listen, because it is me who is speaking. I softly float upon my doubts and interrogate their substance. I do the same with my hopes, I expose them to the light of my critical internal eye. I discover who I truly am, by observing myself. By seeing my behaviour, how I act, who I am in the wild, and in past scenarios. No matter how noble I may present myself to myself to be, I look at my past and the record within that, and unless something has truly changed since then, I expect I know what I really aim for in life, and oddly enough, my real motivations, what I truly hope for and fear, are far more convincing to myself and others than the noble lie my mind may otherwise make up within me.

As for those thoughts I gain from others, I can look back in my own life to see the terrible destruction many of these have wrought upon me. Ideals and oversimplified lies of the land are not often beneficial. Other thoughts of others, however, I have tested and found true. But we cannot blindly accept the thoughts we think are ours. Most are not original to us. So often I have made a deep and witty observation in my mind, only to hear someone else make it just a few minutes later. Clearly, it is not me who originated that thought, but something else, culture, perhaps. A widely read mind, or one which hears many diverse worldviews, is more likely to hold unique thoughts, as compared one with little exposure, which accepts mere opinions as fact.

I continue to sink into my thoughts, and to softly interrogate them, for the concerns which are truly mine, and upon those, I meditate and pray to my God, and also - to my own subconscious, probing and inquisitive questions, I ask, and find that thoughts emerge within me which I can interrogate. Because I know that the real me is far deeper than the voice and images I produce within my mind. The real me is hidden from me, and it is that which the conscious me desires to truly know and communicate with, and it is that me that is really in charge of my life, and which, in communication with the part I type with now, with that, it often surfaces the thoughts of my mind, and, I interrogate those thoughts, I weigh them, against truth, and the nature of my soul, of my blueprint, as I have observed myself in the history of my own memories, and the recollection of my mind, even that which is less certain, less clear, for that memory which is only subconscious.

And into this, I calmly sink. For who I am is not the vocalisation in my head, that vanity is a product of an over-busy modernity. The true you is a stranger, whom you have a lifetime to interact with and to get to know. But as long as you think you know yourself, you will never set aside the time you need to, to truly build and know your soul.

Marc Evan Aupiais

Marc Evan Aupiais

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