Frequently Asked Questions About Lawyer Cover Letters
In this article, we wanted to address frequently asked questions about lawyer cover letters. In this digital age, there are a lot of questions about whether lawyer cover letters are still important, and if they are, what should be included in them.
1. Is a Lawyer Cover Letter Still Necessary?
Employers still ask for them, and if you feel, that your lawyer resume does not fully showcase your potential, despite having fleshed out your experience and strengths as much as possible, then a lawyer cover letter might be necessary to get your point across. While your lawyer resume should contain everything that’s vital to your candidacy, there are some things that just cannot be fully expressed by a resume alone. An effective lawyer cover letter will step in where your lawyer resume leaves off and further highlight your strengths and diminish your weaknesses.
2. What is Right Length for a Lawyer Cover Letter?
Your lawyer cover letter should never exceed one page. Within that limit, the length of your cover letter should be dictated by how much you absolutely need to say. If you need four paragraphs to convey pertinent information, so be it. If you need only two sentences, so be it. As a general rule, if your lawyer resume is fairly long, your lawyer cover letter should be fairly short, and vice versa. You do not want to bombard someone with a lengthy resume and then have him/her read a long letter on top of it.
3. What is the Proper Tone for a Lawyer Cover Letter?
The impressions your lawyer cover letter gives to prospective employers about you often have a tremendous bearing on your ability to get an interview. Your lawyer cover letter should be well written, and you should sound enthusiastic and confident about your ability to add value to the company, without sounding pretentious.
4. What is the Protocol for Requesting an Interview?
Should I tell the employer that I will contact him/her at a certain time, rather than asking to be contacted? Some experts may tell job seekers to make the first phone call rather than wait, but it is not always in the job seeker’s best interest. Employers do not want to be hounded by job seekers. They will contact you if they are interested.
5. Do I Need to Show I Have Researched the Firm/Company?
The more you know about a law firm or company you are applying to, the more knowledgeable you sound. But do not inundate the employer with facts he/she already knows in your lawyer cover letter. They most important aspect of your lawyer cover letter is how well you are marketing yourself, not the law firm or company you are sending the cover letter to.
6. Should I Mention Salary Requirements in my Cover Letter?
No. When it comes to salary requirements, it is best to be flexible and leave them off you lawyer cover letter. Why risk mentioning a level that is below what you could get after they have met you?
7. Is There a Specific Lawyer Cover Letter Format I Need to Use?
As with your lawyer resume, the format of your lawyer cover letter should be dictated by your particular experience. Ideally, the format of your lawyer cover letter should mirror that of your resume, in terms of font and overall look.
8. What is the Best Way to Deal with Employment Dates that Could Possibly be Construed as Having a Negative Connotation?
Dates that show you are currently unemployed, prone to hopping jobs, or not the typical age of someone who might be considered ideal cannot be avoided. However, this is something you will need to address in your lawyer cover letter. A professional legal resume writer can help you put the correct spin in your lawyer cover letter, and put you in the best possible light.
9. If I Have Been Laid-Off/Fired/Quit, How do I Broach this Subject?
You have to put it in the best possible light. Casting aspersions on your former employer will not make anyone want you aboard, for fear you may exhibit similar behavior if/when you leave them. This is where engaging the services of a professional legal resume writer might prove useful.