So like most unemployed people, I was excited when I saw a job prospect on Craigslist. I know, I know, Craigslist isn’t the best place to search for a job, and don’t worry, it’s not my only source, but there seems to be some good stuff every now and then.
There are so many emotional ups and downs to being unemployed and looking for a job that I won’t even go into detail on that, but I will explain my dilemma: I’m either not experienced enough for some jobs (see old post on that) or I’m over qualified because I graduated law school. SO, I was pretty excited when I found the following post on Craigslist today:
“Attorney Needed (Bilingual)
Looking to hire an attorney who has recently passed the bar . . Applicant must be able to work in a fast paced environment. Must be meticulous in calendaring and MUST work well with deadlines. Experience is not a must. Please email resume as soon as possible. We are looking to hire immediately.”
A few things that jumped out at me: 1) I’m bilingual, 2) I recently passed the bar, 3) I like the idea that experience is not a must. So I spend some time making a general cover letter that is not overly specific on any area of law (since none was stated) but highlighting my general skills and experiences. I was pretty excited when I checked my voicemail a few hours later and already had a call back requesting that I come in and interview tomorrow. So I call them expecting to leave a voicemail (since it was already past 6:30 p.m.), but I actually had the pleasure of speaking with someone.
They answered their phone in Spanish (so fast, in fact, that I had no idea what the guy said), so I was pretty happy I was not lying about my bilingual skills, and asked (in Spanish) for the lady that had called me. Through my conversation with Lady, we set up a time for me to come in tomorrow to interview, and I request their address so I know where I’m going. Then she inquires “You are bilingual, right?” Well yes, I know my all-American name probably doesn’t help, but I have it in bold on my resume, and I applied for the job, and I was able to get her on the phone, right?
Then I ask what area of law they practice. Granted–they didn’t mention this in the job post, and they said experience wasn’t necessary, but I thought it might be a good idea to do a little research before I go in tomorrow. “Bankruptcy, chapters 7 and 13. Do you have experience with that?” Uh…no. Thoughts going through my head in the split seconds before I have to formulate a response: my resume mentions NOTHING about bankruptcy–it’s actually all immigration and public interest law, so there’s no mistaken the fact that I have no experience in bankruptcy law and yet they called ME; I can’t even pretend to have experience in that area because I really have no clue; and finally: it doesn’t matter right? They said experience wasn’t necessary. So I’m honest and I tell Lady that no, I don’t have experience in bankruptcy.
“Oh…well…that’s a problem. We won’t need you to come in tomorrow then…I’ll check with the attorney and I’ll call you if he changes his mind.”
Huh. Really? I have a feeling she is going to have many similar calls. If you want experience in something from your applicants, you should state it in the job post, and you should look for it on their RESUME.