Breaking into a new career is exciting. But when you are also new to the industry you may feel discouraged or overwhelmed. Though you may be confident in your knowledge and expertise, there is still the fact that you don’t have industry experience to set you apart from others who may have a world of experience backing them.

Be honest. Although you may be tempted to embellish your resume and tell people you aren’t new to the industry, this is not going to do you any good. First of all, you can’t really back it up. And secondly, lies are never a good way to start a business relationship or career – as they are bound to come out at some point.  The legal industry is very small.  Everyone seems to know everyone.

Be confident. Effective communication is the key here. Nothing inspires confidence better than a good speaker. To inspire confidence, you should be knowledgeable about your field of work and be able to effectively communicate what you plan to do. In order to convince somebody that you will be a good hire, you must first believe in yourself.

Utilize your network. Networking has always been an effective way to find work. People trust the people they know, and this is why they typically hire someone who has been referred to them. Utilize the network you know, from your former professors/mentors, to your colleagues, and even your friends. These people know what you are capable of, and they can be invaluable in helping you land that first job. Even your social media network can help you reach out to potential employers. LinkedIn, for example, is an excellent professional social networking tool for finding leads and prospects. You can join groups related to your industry, answer questions to show off your expertise, and follow companies. The connections you form there may be the ones who will introduce you to your future employer.

Join an association or group. Joining groups that are related to your industry is a great way to expand your network. Attend events, be helpful, answer questions, and contribute to the discussions. By doing so you will be able to meet new people, build relationships, and hopefully earn some recommendations.

Starting out can be tricky. But if you’re honest and inspire confidence in your potential employer, then they just might be willing to give you a chance. Remember to utilize your connections through your various networks, be active in your industry community, and don’t be afraid to ask people you know to recommend you.

And most importantly – be referable. As long as you deliver on what you promise, then people will recommend you. In the end, it doesn’t really matter whether you are new to the industry, or you have years of experience to back you up, as long as you do the work well.

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