After missing the OCI meeting yesterday, I eagerly attended the one today that was focused on firm recruiters and alumni coming in to tell us what they look for in OCI candidates and how their firms handle hiring.
Here are the highlights...organized by category for your reading pleasure.
- Resumes should be no longer than one page long. Your class rank should be displayed in 87.5 point font on that page. You won't need another page because everything else about you is unimportant to us.
- Typos will be punished with death.
- Your resume will be put into one of three piles: Hell No, Probably Hell No, and Excellent Grades
- Cover letters should be used to highlight things that make you stand out. For instance: excellent grades, really good grades, and outstanding grades. If you have excellent grades you may use your cover letter to expound upon any other interests you have as long as they are entirely mainstream and in no way interesting or offensive to anyone, even babies.
- You should not chew gum, wear inappropriate attire, or call your interviewer by the wrong name during the interview. We do not think it is ironic at all that even though we only want to interview the top 10% we still have to tell them basic stuff like this. We do not believe in professional natural selection.
- The above goes double for cutesy email addresses and stupid voicemail greetings. The fact that you got the most outstanding grades means we are totally willing to overlook the fact that you don't know email@example.com is not an appropriate email address for your resume and we will continue to tell you to change it in the simplest possible terms at least 5,673 times between now and August. If you forget, that's OK. Smart people can be so disorganized...smile.
- Ask "hardball" questions during your interview. For instance "How important are grades to this firm?" and "How often do you hire someone not in the top 10%?" That way we can all have a laugh at the expense of the "other half"...er..."other 90%."
- If you do get an interview make sure that whatever happens you don’t act like yourself, unless you got good grades in which case you may act like yourself for the first five minutes and then not at all ever again.
- Be honest, but not about anything important. Read our bio's before interviews and then like whatever we like...see, isn't that better for everyone?
Alternative Ways to Get Hired/Atmosphere
- If your grades are bad one thing you could do is go find a job at "another" firm, by which we mean someone with no standards that would hire a "bottom 90%" person, and then come back and apply laterally in three or four years.
- All firms are different, we're not sure how, but it's true.
- Don't wear tongue-rings, it confuses the interviewers because that's all they can pay attention to. (I swear they said this...against all odds, I will refrain from commenting).
- Students from your law school are just as competitive as people from Harvard. No seriously. Quit laughing.
- Students from your law school have a reputation for being a little too relaxed in interviews. This is detrimental because there are a lot of people from the East Coast that want these jobs. (Once again, I'm not even exaggerating this one for humor).
Best Question of the Day Award goes to one of my (presumably) regular readers who asked, out loud..."What advice would you give people with average grades and no particularly outstanding talents?"
Answer: "If you have life experience by all means put it on your resume. But, try to do it in one page. We hate to read more than one page. We are very busy. And don't mention what high school you went to. Even if it's Exeter. What is up with these Exeter people? Oops..I hope I didn't offend anyone in here who went to Exeter"
Me to person sitting next to me: "What's Exeter?"...to which the five closest people turned around and looked at me like I had stepped off a spaceship...with a probe.