For larger firms which are not coming to OCI, you will want to apply to them on a similar timeline as your other OCI applications. Thus, you will want to have your applications in to them by mid-July, so you can get out-of-state interviews scheduled before school starts. The timing of OCI varies regionally, and some regions have OCI before their fall semester begins. To compete with local students, you need to get in early! Apply to employers in the places you would like to work. Follow up with targeted employers to let them know when you will be visiting their city and request an interview. (You might suggest several dates if your travel plans are flexible.) Once you have the first out-of-state interview scheduled, contact additional employers to tell them that you will be in town interviewing with another employer; try to arrange additional interviews. This tactic has worked well for our students seeking out-of-state interviews in the past.
If you can’t tell what applications materials are required, or there is no job posting and you are applying “cold,” a larger employer will typically want to see a cover letter, resume, and unofficial transcript. A great reference letter or list of references can be included. Definitely provide a writing sample if the employer requests. If they don’t, you can seek PDO’s advice.
Don’t hesitate to call employers, but please don’t contact them just to ask, “Did you get my résumé?” Large employers who receive volumes of student applications may be annoyed by this. Instead, have a more specific question or purpose, such as letting them know that you will be visiting from out of state, or sending an updated resume with new grades.
If you are traveling or living outside Utah this summer, network to expand your contacts. Review the following handout, which can be found in the “Document Library” in Symplicity: “Job Search – A Few Tips for Landing a Job Out of State.” Below are a few tips from this handout.
- Stay in touch with and expand your own contacts in the area where you want to work. Take them to lunch, let them know of your situation and goals, send a thank-you email to them, and request advice.
- Make use of any holiday/vacation visits by planning meetings and interviews in advance. Plan in advance to do networking during your vacation.
- Meet with Alums (contact PDO for information), professors, and administrators with contacts in the area. Discuss your interests and get their ideas on your resume and job search plan.
- Join a local bar association, community organization and/or serve on a board. You will meet other community members, receive bulletins regarding events, and have opportunities to serve others.
- Seek out short-term/pro bono projects from area attorneys/agencies. Even if you have not yet landed a job, you may be able to seek out short term research or pro bono projects which will allow you to meet practicing attorneys and showcase your talents.