Beginning Next Week: InsideCounsel will become part of Corporate Counsel. Bringing these two industry-leading websites together will now give you comprehensive coverage of the full spectrum of issues affecting today's General Counsel at companies of all sizes. You will continue to receive expert analysis on key issues including corporate litigation, labor developments, tech initiatives and intellectual property, as well as Women, Influence & Power in Law (WIPL) professional development content. Plus we'll be serving all ALM legal publications from one interconnected platform, powered by Law.com, giving you easy access to additional relevant content from other InsideCounsel sister publications.

To prevent a disruption in service, you will be automatically redirected to the new site next week. Thank you for being a valued InsideCounsel reader!

X

More On

The power reference: Get your foot in the door

A more proactive and strategic reference can help you long before an offer is made

Most people think of references as a list of three people you hand over to a prospective employer after the company has decided it wants to hire you. But a more proactive and strategic reference can help you long before an offer is made, especially if you might need help getting in the door for an interview.

The power reference (PR) is someone who can make a difference. In rare cases, it will be a star, like a well-known general counsel or, for example, a U.S. Senator. Fame is not a pre-requisite, however. The essential ingredient to a power reference is the relationship between the PR and the hiring decision-maker who receives the PR’s call. The relationship between you and the PR does not need to be nearly as strong or in-depth as you think.

In fact, all you need the PR to say is this: “I don’t know Mike well, but based on my (fill in the blank) experience with him, Mike seems like a solid person, and I encourage you to give him a shot.” I realize the PR cannot be a total stranger, but even the slightest nexus, plus the guts to ask the PR for help, is all it takes.

To find a PR, research the employment history and charitable service of the CEO or general counsel who holds the keys to the position you want. Identify those organizations, and see if you know someone who your future boss might recognize. If you are reconnecting two people who have a positive history with each other, they will both appreciate the effort on your part and enjoy the phone call. Or, I suppose, email. Calls are better, but I realize they are going the way of dinosaurs and I am adapting. But I digress.

Regardless of the medium, once your PR and your future boss catch up on old times, I can predict the next communication. It will be a call or email from the recruiter (internal or external), inviting you to come in for an interview.

Contributor

author image

Mike Evers

Mike Evers recruits attorneys for corporate legal departments throughout the United States. Please visit www.everslegal.com. His...

Bio and more articles

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.