The Problem with Being a Jack-of-All-Trades

February 4, 2014 Legal Industry News

being a jack of all tradesMost people would think a “Jack-of-all-trades” would be beneficial when looking for new employment. The person who knows a little bit of everything would seem like an asset to any type of job search or career change. In recent times, being a person who has skills in multiple fields does not always help when it comes to looking for a new job.

 

Jobs over the past few decades have narrowed their search by becoming more specialized, especially in the legal world. When a law firm has a job opening, what they really have is a specific problem that needs to be solved. The person who they choose to hire is the one who can solve this problem accurately and is knowledgeable of the issues that can arise.

 

When you market yourself to dozens of practice areas or positions, it can be overwhelming to hiring managers and recruiters. In fact, it can be distracting to the point where he or she is unable to help you find a good match. Jack-of-all-trades can appear to be overqualified for positions, come with the assumption they are overpriced, and, as a result, their resumes can be lost in the “no” pile.

 

Is there a solution?

If you think you are one of these “jack-of-all-trades”, a suggestion is to revamp your resume or Linkedin profile to appear more like a “Swiss Army Knife”. A “Swiss Army Knife” person is clear with his or her key skills and can demonstrate them with precision.

 

Be sure to identify your top five skills you think will give you leverage when looking for your next position. What skills are you most passionate about? Display them on your resume at the beginning, and give examples of your strengths during the interview. Also, clarify how these skills can help solve problems for the employer, and/or make the firm more profitable.

 

Once you have revamped your professional identity, network with people in that field. Cities across the United States have legal conventions, lawyer events, and socials to attend; it will be beneficial to go, meet people, and brand yourself as a specialized lawyer with set, needed skills. Being a Jack-of-all-trades is a good thing, but adjusting yourself to focus on a specific set of skills that are your strengths can further enhance and improve your legal career.

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