Our First Blog

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March 2015

We must have a blog apparently, and because I wasn’t thinking on my feet fast enough the job has fallen to me.  How many words, I said? We don’t care, they said, just make it interesting and relevant. Brilliant.

My first task was to surreptitiously google ‘blog’ when no-one was looking.  Apparently, a blog is a ‘regularly updated website or webpage typically run by an individual or small group, which is written in an informal conversational style’.

Assuming that those who read this blog want to get rather more from it than a page worth of my observations, brilliantly insightful though they may be, I will try and keep it topical. That said, with everything, it is always best to start at the beginning. So bear with me.

A rather shocking by product of setting up Pennell Hart has been the realization that Victoria and I have been doing this job rather longer than we care to admit.  But we’ve had to admit it, our marketing literature frequently references our combined years of experience (40 – shudder) which whilst I hope demonstrates that we know what we’re doing, it also, unavoidably, highlights that we’re not spring chickens.  

When Vics and I worked with each other in London back in the day emails were on the horizon, but not widely used. CVs were posted or faxed to us, which we in turn used to fax our clients. We would spend literally hours on the phone, chasing down leads, begging for company information so we could better sell an organization to our candidates, harassing clients to allow us to come and visit them. 20 or so years on and all that has changed. The internet has opened up the world, and allowed the dissemination of information quicker than we could have ever imagined back then. 

None of this will have come as news to anyone, but when I was reflecting on what advice I gave to my candidates back then, compared to now, I was prepared to say that not much has changed in spite of all the technology. The legal industry is by its nature conservative and subsequently a conservative approach is advised in all your dealings with it. This, however, is no longer limited to your CV presentation or your behavior in an interview.  And, because I hope I have now satisfied the word count, I give you, Pennell Hart’s quick tips for successful job hunting in the modern age!

Check your facebook settings – who can see your profile? And on that, remember, once it’s on the ‘net, it stays on the ‘net. Is that picture on your profile on Linkedin appropriate? Whilst you in shades, sitting in a Ferrari with 24 hours of designer stubble may impress your friends, it could possibly have the opposite effect on the beady eyed resourcing manager who has looked up your profile. Be mindful of who you send your CV to, and how many times. Mailshotting your CV to agencies or organisations multiple times unfortunately only conveys the impression that you are unfocused, rather than enthusiastic and open to everything. If you’re dealing with a reputable agency who can genuinely help you, all you need to do is send them a short email quoting the reference number. There is no excuse for poor preparation, unless you’re trying to crack MI6, most organisations provide plenty of information about themselves on their websites. Read it, check the profiles of the people who are interviewing you on Linkedin and do your own digging. Forewarned is forearmed as my old mum used to say!