Legal Career

You’re worth it: How to become irresistible to employers

As you navigate your legal career – gaining fresh skills, strengthening your expertise and resolving matters – your value to employers, peers and clients will shift.


So whether you’re just getting your career off the ground, changing direction or looking for a step up, you need to know how to communicate your worth.

Because when you do, you’ll gain greater fulfilment, direct your development and be compensated for the value you deliver.

We spoke to three experts – Susan Pincus, Ruth Beran and Jahan Kalantar –who share 6 tips to promote yourself to employers. And get them chasing you.


1. Know your value proposition

A value proposition is a concise and persuasive statement that communicates your worth to an employer or peer you want to connect with.

As Ruth, National Careers Advisor at the College of Law, explains, “It should convey aspects of your experiences, skills and achievements that will make the person go: I want to learn more about you. I want you on my team.

And it’s not always a verbal pitch. Your LinkedIn profile summary is another opportunity to showcase your value proposition. Here are the key elements to include:


  1. Who you are
  2. What you've done and achieved
  3. Where you want to go


“When I’m talking to young lawyers, l like to reframe their elevator pitch as a barbeque pitch to make it less rigid and formal,” says Susan, National Careers Professional at the College of Law.

“Start by introducing yourself in a natural way. Remember, even though it’s a pitch, keep it conversational, sincere and avoid jargon.”

2. Read the room and tailor your pitch

Think about your audience – always.

For a job interview, find out who’s on the panel and consider what they will want to know about you. A recruiter or HR manager will have a different focus to a partner.

So do your research into the organisation and learn about your interviewer’s background ahead of time. Remain alert to the flow of the conversation.

Remember, the interview isn’t just about the facts on your resume. It’s about whether you appeal to them. How are you going to get them excited about you?

3. Your passion is good. But results and details are better.

You need to support your areas of interest with substance.


So make your pitch tangible – and authentic. Include concrete examples of your achievements. Talk about specific metrics. And support your strengths through real-world situations.


For example, don’t tell employers you’re interested in social justice. Showcase it through your volunteer work. And don’t just say you’re good at time management. Describe a situation where you navigated competing time pressures.


Some metrics and associated capabilities you demonstrate could include:


  • How many people you have managed (demonstrates leadership)
  • How much money you have saved an organisation (demonstrates problem-solving)
  • How many cases/projects you have worked on at any given time (demonstrates time management)
  • The dollar value of a large case you have worked on (demonstrates level of responsibility/legal skills)
  • How many stakeholders you worked with on a particular case/project (demonstrates communication skills)


Note that each of these metrics could come from a career prior to law (eg retail).


4. You’re the solution to their problem


“Successful lawyers are busy lawyers. They already have enough problems. They’re just after solutions,” says Jahan, Partner at Executive Legal.


“What problem can you remove from their world that they go: I need this person in my life?”


So pay attention to what they need and tailor your responses accordingly. For example:


  • Do they want to grow a new team?
  • Are they understaffed?
  • Are they looking to branch out into new areas of law?


Qualify and quantify how you will support what they do. Walk them through how your skills and strengths will make their job easier and less stressful.

5. Form a memorable connection


One key to leaving a lasting, positive impression with an employer is by forming a rich, memorable connection. How might you do that?


Introduce a detail about yourself that’s a little unusual or could serve as an ice breaker. Perhaps you like to rise at 5am to take sunrise photos. Or you worked abroad in Europe for a year.


You’re not a robot. So look for opportunities to humanise your pitch.


And consider including a storytelling narrative or using the STAR approach (situation > task > action > result). Try to paint a vivid and real-life picture of how you overcame a particular challenge – one that the employer will recall long after you’ve left the room.


6. Be confident, but remain honest


“Talk to your capabilities, but be prepared to share a development need or an area you’d like to grow in - particularly if you are asked about your weaknesses,” advises Ruth.


“If you try to position yourself as infallible and perfect, the person on the other side of the table will see straight through you.”


When gaps in your skills or experience come up, acknowledge them. But then use that as an opportunity to convey how you’re looking forward to growing in that area – or how you’re eager to find a mentor who can help you develop professionally.


So, by all means, paint a favourable picture of your worth. But keep it real. And honest.


Practice and preparation are key


Underlying each tip is a core technique: putting in the effort to practice and prepare.


Like anything, developing your value proposition is a process. It will take time to refine your pitching skills.


So do your research. And practice variations of your value proposition to different audiences. Consider, how might you present yourself to a junior peer and then to a partner?


You might even record your pitch on your phone and watch it back to review how you come across. Assess your confidence, brevity and whether you appealed to someone else’s needs – not just your own.


And for some final words of wisdom?


“Be courageous,” advises Susan. “Have faith in yourself. Most people will want to have a conversation with you. So push yourself out of your comfort zone. Soon you'll get used to it and build your confidence over time.”


Jahan says, “The legal industry is so all-encompassing that you need to enjoy what you do on some level, otherwise you’ll burn out or drop out.


“So double down on what you're good at, rather than what you think will make you money. And be true to yourself. When you do, I promise you that the law will have a place for you.”


Want to perfect your value proposition?


After one-to-one career advice and guidance from a professional careers consultant?


If you're a PLT student or recent PLT graduate (<12 months), you can book a FREE consultation with our National Careers Team.


Susan and Ruth can help you with career planning, interview preparation, personal branding and more. Book your free appointment today.