Kissing a lot of frogs doesn’t always get you your prince

As recruiters for the legal profession we see pretty well every job-seeking strategy there is. Some work, and some don’t. A few work spectacularly badly. One of these is the scattergun approach; the candidate who applies more or less indiscriminately for any position that looks remotely suitable. It seems to be inspired by the old adage that “you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince”.

Let’s have a look at that.

The frog-kissing business may have some validity, but these candidates don’t even take the trouble to ensure that everything they kiss at least starts off as a frog, even if its future transformation into prince may be uncertain. For instance, we saw a candidate the other day who applied for two vacancies in the same firm – one for a litigation secretary, and the other for an HR position. Both jobs had been well-described in the ads, and nobody who had read the ads carefully could seriously have considered themselves suitable for both. So these guys kiss salamanders, toads, water-boatmen; anything vaguely yukky that looks as though it lives near a pond.

Don’t let your Prince catch you kissing your frogs

Worse still, in this case, the candidate had inadvertently revealed their sloppy methods to the prospective employer, diminishing their chances for either position.

Choose with care the jobs you apply for. Look for well-written ads that clearly describe the job and the qualities the employer is looking for. Target only those for which you are well- qualified. Be intelligently ambitious – look for challenges, but challenges you believe you have the knowledge and experience to meet. Then make sure your application addresses the terms of the job ad as fully and persuasively as possible – you have fewer frogs, but they have far greater prince-potential, and you have the time to lavish on each one.