New York City Paralegal Association Inc.

Dedicated to the progress and advancement of all paralegals.

Mentor Blog

Welcome to our mentor blog. Here you will find posts from
industry professionals on such topics as:
  • Resume & Cover Letter tips
  • Interview Tips
  • How to succeed at work
  • How to get a Mentor
  • What every Mentee should know
  • I lost my job. Now what?
  • Healthy habits
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  • 14 Jan 2021 4:05 PM | Garth Harding

    Ms.Maria Friedman  ,the President of NYC-PA,helped me in 2016 with my resume in very,very great detail to secure an interview ,breakfast interview,with a HR Director from Louis Vitton Legal.

    My Paralegal Dean at Queens Plaza College- originally from New York Career Institute- Dean Lazarus recommended me to NYC-PA.

    I am interested in securing P/T volunteer work to retrain my skills to a professional level.For example,Disability Rights Advocacy, DRA or such.

    After studying the LSAT and visiting law schools for 6 years via LSAC.org and obtaining almost 8 recommendations letters for law school-I wanted to be a Public Defender Disabiity Attorney for children and youth and young adults-I can adamantly admit proudly I am a Paralegal by trade. That is satisfying enough.

    Sincerely,

    Garth Harding 

    hartinggarth@gmail.com

    347-876-9181 





  • 10 Jan 2021 1:49 PM | Samantha Vitone (Administrator)

    We can all agree that the year 2020 has changed our lives and one of the reasons is because of COVID-19. I know it did for me. In March, I got laid off from my very first paralegal job at a tax and foreclosure law firm in New York City. I was devastated not only because it was my first job working as a paralegal, but because I was only working there for about three months. During that time, many Americans like myself was feeling hopeless to finding a new job after getting laid off. Even today, many people are still looking for a job.

    At the end of June, I was fortunate enough to be hired as a Paralegal/Administrative Assistant at a trusts and estates law firm called Avelino Law, LLP located in Summit, New Jersey and New York.

    I did not know what to expect when starting the new job. What I first noticed was how busy everyone was with the back-to-back phone calls and the consistent e-mails flowing from clients. It then hit me as to why the firm was busy. COVID-19 is a huge threat to the lives and health of countless people. The virus has more people preparing for the worst. What I also witnessed at my job is those who almost died because of having COVID, called to do their estate planning documents.

    According to CNBC.com, the pandemic has produced a rise in estate planning however, majority of Americans still do not have a Will. The LegalZoom.com survey found that 62% of Americans do not have a will and, of those who do, 12% created them in the past 12 months — and 44%, in the last five years. The more I work at the law firm, the more I realize how important it is to having your own trusts and estates documents such as a Will, a Living Will, a Power of Attorney and other documents.

    I know it is scary to think about our own death but I do believe it is crucial to plan to protecting yourself as well as loved ones. Having proper estate planning documents will help control the disposition of assets at death and to enable other people to make our financial and medical decisions if we are unable to. Below are terms and definitions for basic estate planning documents in the state of New Jersey that can help you have a better understanding of what each term means.

    Last Will and Testament– a document that defines the distribution of the assets of a testator (a person who has made a will or given a legacy) will be distributed upon their death.

    Trust – a document that explains your assts are transferred to a trustee or trustees that you selected either while you are living or upon your death.

    Living Will – is a document that provides “instructions to the Declarant’s Medical team with regard to how they would like to have their end of life options honored when there are no medical options to extend a quality of life.”

    Power of Attorney– it is a document that allows you to appoint a person or organization to manager your financial, property or medical affairs if you become unable to do so.

    It is never too early or too late to plan for your future at any age. Consider hiring a trusts and estates attorney to assist your estate planning needs because he or she can help you save a lot of time, energy, and effort in building out your estate plan. If you have any questions or want to start your estate planning documents, please feel free to reach out to me or Avelino Law, LLP.

    Samantha is currently a paralegal and an administrative assistant at Avelino Law, LLP. Every day at her job, she is learning something new especially trusts and estates planning law. She is involved in the paralegal world by being member of a few Associations and she is the Social Media Coordinator of the New York City Paralegal Association, Inc. On her free time, she enjoys working out, walking outside, and spending time with family and friends.

    Work Cited

    https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/creating-a-last-will-pros-and-cons#:~:text=One%20of%20the%20greatest%20advantages,receive%20what%20from%20your%20estate.&text=You%20can%20create%20a%20testamentary%20trust%20within%20a%20last%20will,You%20choose%20your%20executor.

    http://avelinolaw.com/

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/05/op-ed-more-people-are-creating-wills-amid-the-pandemic.html

    https://eforms.com/living-will/new-jersey-instruction-directive-living-will/#:~:text=The%20New%20Jersey%20instruction%20directive,extend%20a%20quality%20of%20life.

    https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/what-is-a-power-of-attorney#:~:text=A%20power%20of%20attorney%20(POA)%20is%20a%20document%20that%20allows,become%20unable%20to%20do%20so.&text=Each%20type%20gives%20your%20attorney,a%20different%20level%20of%20control.

    https://www.nolo.com/technical-support-main/nolo-living-trust-how-a-living-trust-works.html


  • 04 Jan 2021 9:25 PM | Mariana Fradman (Administrator)

    Proof Not Praise | Employment Edification (wordpress.com)

    It seems that at the dawn of a new year someone always announces that for the coming 365-and-a-quarter-day cycle, there should be a new resume, and not just a new year.

    The worst example, which I must admit even I fell for (for a while), was the ridiculous video resume. When first approached to be an (unpaid – that should have been my first clue) advisor to a company whose name I forget, by people whose names I forget, they had a great reply to my comment, “It’s hard enough to get employers to read resumes; do you really think they’ll watch a video?” I forget their reply, but I remember attending a few meetings before regaining my senses. It can happen to anyone. It’s nothing of which to be ashamed, as long as you learn from the experience.

    I was recently reading a book that referenced the presidential election of Dwight Eisenhower. His presidential campaign was the first to utilize the services of an ad agency. He apparently did not like the idea, but he gave his approval. He was literally sold to the American people like a box of cereal. And, of course, it worked. General Eisenhower became President Eisenhower.

    If you want to get your dream job in the New Year, you need to do the same. Sell yourself like a box of cereal.

    When you purchase something, anything, the manufacturer’s marketing department makes certain to let you know about the product’s benefits. They make promises. And the smart ones provide proof. They back up their claims. In clinical studies it was shown that our soap does not dry your skin. Nine out of 10 dentists… You get the idea. And I would hazard to guess that those are the products you buy.

    And this brings me to the first paragraph – the so-called “Professional Summary” – of far too many resumes. They begin with adjectives. “Outstanding” is my favorite. It is amazing how many outstanding professionals can’t find a job.

    The most valuable “piece of real estate” on a resume is the top of the first page. Resume recipients are usually very tired from reading resumes. They (I admit it, we) are fed up with looking at resumes. We miss things. So for 2021 the new resume should be one which does not require the recipient to work.

    In journalism it is called “burying the lead.” It was a cool September night. The wind was blowing gently from the southwest. The moonlight offered a romantic glow to the pedestrians walking on Main Street. It also provided ample light for murder!

    That may be how a novel is written, but not a newspaper article. Murder comes first. It also, figuratively speaking, needs to come first on a resume.

    Have you ever gone to a networking event and introduced yourself thusly? (Now that is a good word with which to end a year!) Hi. I’m Jane. I’m an outstanding… Of course not. You’d sound like a total fool. So why do it on your resume? It doesn’t read any better than it sounds.

    No employer cares what you think about yourself. They want to know what you can do for them. The only way to convince them is by telling them what you have done for your current and past employers. So start your resume with a half dozen bullet points highlighting your accomplishments. Numbers are important. Quantification is important. Reduced employee turnover to record numbers doesn’t mean a thing. Reduced employee turnover to 3% from 12% in one year means a great deal. So don’t bury the lead with nonsense about how great you think you are. Show the resume recipient why others think you are great. Show them why they should interview you. Show them why they can’t afford to let you go and work for their competitor. Don’t praise yourself; prove your worth. That’s the 2021 resume. Everything else stays the same.

    Good luck and may 2021 be a year of Good Health, Happiness and Prosperity.

    Published on December 30, 2020 Proof Not Praise | Employment Edification (wordpress.com)

    Employment Edification.
    A Service of Hurwitz Strategic Staffing - www.hsstaffing.com


  • 02 Dec 2020 10:55 PM | Mariana Fradman (Administrator)

    Employee Evaluations

    (The following is based on a presentation I made to the Park Avenue Connections networking group.)

                Dick Cavett once asked Jerry Lewis about critics.  Not including his shtick, he basically said, and this is not an exact quote, but it’s close enough, “People who do, do; people who can’t, teach; people who can’t do either become critics.”  Then he was asked about his reaction to the critiques of the critics.
    READ MORE HERE


  • 03 Nov 2020 7:32 PM | Mariana Fradman (Administrator)
    The change affects any company that has borrowed money through rate-referenced debt or has an agreement that references the London Interbank Offered Rate.

    A lot of contract/legal agreement reviews to check out related clauses that need to be updated and amended. There are going to be a lot of LIBOR transition projects. Loads of paralegal work!!!  

    End of LIBOR: How all industries, not just banks, can prepare


    By Mark D. Mishler, CPA

    August 1, 2020 

    READ MORE

  • 22 Oct 2020 7:58 PM | Mariana Fradman (Administrator)

    I once had a boss who called me into his office. He wasn’t upset; he was jealous. One of our competitors had a full page article in the local paper. He asked, “Why aren’t we getting that type of coverage?”

    I smiled. I picked up the paper. I walked around his desk. I opened it and said, “Because we are getting this type of coverage…here…and here…and here…and here!”

    While our competitor got one page, we had four photos, with stories (captions), on four different pages. In fact, we were averaging 12 media citations a month in the local press, not including television coverage.

    The next day, the chairman of the Board was visiting. He called me into the president’s office. The president had just showed him the previous day’s paper. He asked me, “How do you do this?”

    Well, the chairman and I got along very well. I said, “In addition to my many positive qualities…” (He interrupted to invoke the Deity.) “…charm, chiseled features, rugged good looks, superior intellect, superlative education, modesty and humility…” (I paused while they discussed the termination of my services…) “I know my audience.”

    I then continued in a more serious vein…

    “Our competitor wants to please his Board members and wants to attract clients. So he no doubt badgers his contacts at the paper and finally gets them to send a reporter to write a story and take a photo. Who knows if the story is accurate? On the other hand, while I also want to please our Board members and attract clients, my primary audience, the person I care most about, are the editors of the various papers. If I give them what they need, “fillers,” they’ll publish my photos with the captions. I know the stories (captions) are accurate and that people are actually more likely to read captions than long articles. So I focus on the editors. I give them what they want. And we get what we want.”

    And, no, I was not fired!

    So what is the mistake that job seekers make? They focus on the wrong person. It’s human nature but it’s still a mistake. In other words, instead of focusing on the editors, they focus on the chairman of the Board and clients. They should be focused on the employer not themselves.

    First, candidates apply for jobs they want, not jobs for which they are wanted. There’s a huge difference. You see your dream job. You know you can do it. You really, really, really want it! And you apply. And you don’t even get an automated response for their computer system rejecting you. Why? Because they don’t want you. And if you had read the qualifications listed on the job description, through the employer’s eyes and not yours, you would have known you were not going to be considered because they don’t want you. And if they don’t want you, you are wasting your time.

    Now, that said, there is nothing wrong with introducing yourself to an employer. Maybe that are thinking about hiring someone for a position that is not yet advertised. And maybe you get lucky. So by all means, send your resume to employers who are hiring, just don’t apply for jobs for which you are unqualified. HR people don’t like that. Some even ask the questions, “Can’t this person read?” “Don’t they know what ‘Required’ means?”

    So Rule Number One is, Only apply for jobs for which you are qualified. You will save a lot of frustration.

    Now, to continue with our all too real hypothetical scenario, a candidate finds a job for which they are qualified. Now that have to open their tool box. Just as a carpenter, plumber, or electrician needs the right tool for the right job, so does the job seeker.

    The first tool in the job seeker’s tool box is the cover letter. The beauty of the cover letter is that, sadly, today, no one knows how to write. So if you write a well-written cover letter, that is short, sweet and to the point, you have already differentiated yourself from your competition in the best possible way.

    Now your cover letter needs to answer two questions: What do you want and why should they (the employer) want you? So you clearly state the job for which you are applying and then, in the second paragraph, in one or two sentences, you tell the employer what you have done for your current or previous employer that shows that you can not only fulfill the responsibilities of the job but exceed them. In other words, you don’t tell them why you want the job, you tell them why they should want you. That’s Rule Number Two.

    Then you go back to your tool box and remove the other tool you have: Your resume. Rule Number Three is that the resume has to be focused on the employer and not on the candidate. No employer cares what you think about yourself. So a “Personal Statement” or “Personal Philosophy” is simply silly and a waste of valuable real estate. And having an “Objective” is just plain stupid. Your objective should be to get the job for which you are applying. If it is something else, you should not be applying for the job.

    So how do you focus your resume on the employer and not on yourself. It’s really quite simple:

    Begin with a section titled “Selected Accomplishments.” These are bullet points that, like the second paragraph of the cover letter, tell the employer why they should hire you. It makes you a “safe” hire because they know, or at least they figure, if you did this for others you can do it for them. But it also makes them think: Do we want him/her working for the competition or us?

    Also, a good interviewer asks, “Tell me about a failure you had?” It’s a great question. So answer it on the resume. Following “Selected Accomplishments” have a second titled, “Selected Failure.” That’s “failure” singular not plural. Again, as a bullet point, briefly state what the failure was. Then write, in bold What I learned: And then, no surprise, tell them what you learned. This shows that you are self-aware and learn from your failures. Everyone has failed at something. The only time you should be ashamed is if you repeat your failures.

    And then there is a third section, “What I want to learn.” This will tell the employer something about you as a professional. It reinforces the fact that you are self-aware and indicates where you want to go with your career. So, for example, if you are in IT, you might include getting certifications. If you are a fundraiser you might want to mention learning planned giving. If you are a teacher, you could mention educational administration. Now with COVID the question will come up, if you have been unemployed for the past three-four months, how have you been spending your time? What have you been doing to achieve these educational goals? If you have not been doing anything to improve professionally, well you have made a very big mistake. I strongly advice that you start correcting it NOW.

    So when looking for a job, and applying for a job, keep focused on the employer. Before they will meet your needs, you have to meet theirs. That’s life. That is how the game is played.

    Oh, and it’s the same for the interviews. As far as I am concerned, the questions you ask are far more important than the answers you give. But this article is long enough and that’s a topic for another day.

    https://hsstaffing.wordpress.com/2020/07/23/the-biggest-mistake-job-seekers-make/

  • 22 Oct 2020 7:42 PM | Mariana Fradman (Administrator)

    Bruce Hurwitz 12:07 pm on July 23, 2020  

    The Biggest Mistake Job Seekers Make

    I once had a boss who called me into his office. He wasn’t upset; he was jealous. One of our competitors had a full page article in the local paper. He asked, “Why aren’t we getting that type of coverage?”

    I smiled. I picked up the paper. I walked around his desk. I opened it and said, “Because we are getting this type of coverage…here…and here…and here…and here!”

    While our competitor got one page, we had four photos, with stories (captions), on four different pages. In fact, we were averaging 12 media citations a month in the local press, not including television coverage.

    The next day, the chairman of the Board was visiting. He called me into the president’s office. The president had just showed him the previous day’s paper. He asked me, “How do you do this?”

    Well, the chairman and I got along very well. I said, “In addition to my many positive qualities…” (He interrupted to invoke the Deity.) “…charm, chiseled features, rugged good looks, superior intellect, superlative education, modesty and humility…” (I paused while they discussed the termination of my services…) “I know my audience.”

    I then continued in a more serious vein…

    “Our competitor wants to please his Board members and wants to attract clients. So he no doubt badgers his contacts at the paper and finally gets them to send a reporter to write a story and take a photo. Who knows if the story is accurate? On the other hand, while I also want to please our Board members and attract clients, my primary audience, the person I care most about, are the editors of the various papers. If I give them what they need, “fillers,” they’ll publish my photos with the captions. I know the stories (captions) are accurate and that people are actually more likely to read captions than long articles. So I focus on the editors. I give them what they want. And we get what we want.”

    And, no, I was not fired!

    So what is the mistake that job seekers make? They focus on the wrong person. It’s human nature but it’s still a mistake. In other words, instead of focusing on the editors, they focus on the chairman of the Board and clients. They should be focused on the employer not themselves.

    First, candidates apply for jobs they want, not jobs for which they are wanted. There’s a huge difference. You see your dream job. You know you can do it. You really, really, really want it! And you apply. And you don’t even get an automated response for their computer system rejecting you. Why? Because they don’t want you. And if you had read the qualifications listed on the job description, through the employer’s eyes and not yours, you would have known you were not going to be considered because they don’t want you. And if they don’t want you, you are wasting your time.

    Now, that said, there is nothing wrong with introducing yourself to an employer. Maybe that are thinking about hiring someone for a position that is not yet advertised. And maybe you get lucky. So by all means, send your resume to employers who are hiring, just don’t apply for jobs for which you are unqualified. HR people don’t like that. Some even ask the questions, “Can’t this person read?” “Don’t they know what ‘Required’ means?”

    So Rule Number One is, Only apply for jobs for which you are qualified. You will save a lot of frustration.

    Now, to continue with our all too real hypothetical scenario, a candidate finds a job for which they are qualified. Now that have to open their tool box. Just as a carpenter, plumber, or electrician needs the right tool for the right job, so does the job seeker.

    The first tool in the job seeker’s tool box is the cover letter. The beauty of the cover letter is that, sadly, today, no one knows how to write. So if you write a well-written cover letter, that is short, sweet and to the point, you have already differentiated yourself from your competition in the best possible way.

    Now your cover letter needs to answer two questions: What do you want and why should they (the employer) want you? So you clearly state the job for which you are applying and then, in the second paragraph, in one or two sentences, you tell the employer what you have done for your current or previous employer that shows that you can not only fulfill the responsibilities of the job but exceed them. In other words, you don’t tell them why you want the job, you tell them why they should want you. That’s Rule Number Two.

    Then you go back to your tool box and remove the other tool you have: Your resume. Rule Number Three is that the resume has to be focused on the employer and not on the candidate. No employer cares what you think about yourself. So a “Personal Statement” or “Personal Philosophy” is simply silly and a waste of valuable real estate. And having an “Objective” is just plain stupid. Your objective should be to get the job for which you are applying. If it is something else, you should not be applying for the job.

    So how do you focus your resume on the employer and not on yourself. It’s really quite simple:

    Begin with a section titled “Selected Accomplishments.” These are bullet points that, like the second paragraph of the cover letter, tell the employer why they should hire you. It makes you a “safe” hire because they know, or at least they figure, if you did this for others you can do it for them. But it also makes them think: Do we want him/her working for the competition or us?

    Also, a good interviewer asks, “Tell me about a failure you had?” It’s a great question. So answer it on the resume. Following “Selected Accomplishments” have a second titled, “Selected Failure.” That’s “failure” singular not plural. Again, as a bullet point, briefly state what the failure was. Then write, in bold What I learned: And then, no surprise, tell them what you learned. This shows that you are self-aware and learn from your failures. Everyone has failed at something. The only time you should be ashamed is if you repeat your failures.

    And then there is a third section, “What I want to learn.” This will tell the employer something about you as a professional. It reinforces the fact that you are self-aware and indicates where you want to go with your career. So, for example, if you are in IT, you might include getting certifications. If you are a fundraiser you might want to mention learning planned giving. If you are a teacher, you could mention educational administration. Now with COVID the question will come up, if you have been unemployed for the past three-four months, how have you been spending your time? What have you been doing to achieve these educational goals? If you have not been doing anything to improve professionally, well you have made a very big mistake. I strongly advice that you start correcting it NOW.

    So when looking for a job, and applying for a job, keep focused on the employer. Before they will meet your needs, you have to meet theirs. That’s life. That is how the game is played.

    Oh, and it’s the same for the interviews. As far as I am concerned, the questions you ask are far more important than the answers you give. But this article is long enough and that’s a topic for another day.

    https://hsstaffing.wordpress.com/2020/07/23/the-biggest-mistake-job-seekers-make/


  • 10 Sep 2020 9:32 PM | Mariana Fradman (Administrator)

    By: Lauren Frazer

    Lauren Frazer is a senior editor for Indeed’s Career Guide with over 15 years of experience in content creation, editorial and marketing. Based in New Hampshire, she thrives upon helping job seekers learn what they need to develop and grow.

    In the wake of COVID-19, the job market can feel difficult to navigate—especially if you have employment barriers, like gaps in your employment history. While the global pandemic has made in-person communication difficult, it doesn’t mean finding a job needs to be. In this article, we’ll offer tips for reaching and impressing employers virtually if you’ve typically had success getting jobs by connecting face-to-face.

    How to stand out in a virtual job market

    Here are a few simple ways you can stand out to employers during COVID-19 when you can't connect directly in person:

    1. Make yourself available.

    Due to the fluctuations in the economy, certain employers need to hire immediately. Being able to start working as soon as possible can make you a more desirable job candidate to employers and recruiters than someone who can’t. To find jobs available now, start with our guides:

    Tara Thompson McCracken, Director of the Western District of the Workforce Development Center for Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina, says, "The majority of job seekers we are working with—who often have various barriers to employment—are really ready now. They are applying now and ready to work now which meets a lot of employers’ immediate needs. Many employers are in immediate need to hire at the local—as opposed to remote—level and this can change from day to day which makes it a really great time for individuals with barriers to find employment.”

    McCracken recommends making yourself more available to work on short notice: “Make sure that you are expressing your open availability on the online application so that employers notice this right away.” You can communicate this both in your application, if applicable, as well as your cover letter.

    You can also indicate your readiness to work by toggling on the “Ready to work” option in the “About me” section of your Indeed profile. Doing so alerts employers that you can start work immediately.


    Related: How to Write a Cover Letter

    2. Review and tailor your resume.

    If you have potential employment barriers, ensuring your resume is as up-to-date, communicative, polished and customized to the job you want is crucial. McCracken says, “To get noticed virtually, make sure all of the documents that you put out there for employers are up-to-date, accurate and look top notch. This includes the basics like resume and online applications.”

    To do so, make sure your resume is:

    Up-to-date. An updated resume and cover letter highlight your most recent and relevant skills, accomplishments and experience. Make sure you’ve included all of the credentials that make you a great fit specifically for the job you’re applying for. These might include:

    • Paid or unpaid jobs
    • Extracurricular activities
    • Certifications
    • Awards
    • Specialized training
    • Courses
    • Internships
    • Volunteer work

    Include only the most recent 10-15 years of professional experience to make your resume relevant and readable. If you have more than five years of professional experience, consider removing the dates from your education section and relocate it towards the bottom of your resume. .

    To see examples of resumes and cover letters in your field, browse our free Resume Samples and Cover Letter Samples. You can also create an Indeed Resume to easily apply to jobs online with professional resume templates made specifically to suit employer preferences.

    Related: Guide to Updating Your Resume

    Polished and professional. It is critical to proofread and review your resume to ensure it is error-free with correct grammar, punctuation and spelling and formatting. Consider asking a trusted friend, family member or colleague to review your resume—they will likely find things you missed on your own.

    Customized. McCracken points out that “Although simple, many job seekers still don’t consider adjusting their resume and applications to meet the position’s needs.” Tailoring your resume shows the employer that you are interested in working for their company in particular and why you are the best fit. Most of the time, this information is not obvious from a generic template cover letter and resume:Resumes and cover letters are even more important in this virtual environment since that is the first impression.”

    Tailor your resume by carefully rereading the job posting. Include keywords in the skills, requirements, and job description sections that match your background.

    Related: How to Write a Resume Employers Will Notice

    3. Seek out and attend virtual hiring events.

    If you’re accustomed to seeking out managers and employers in person to prove yourself, there are alternatives to connect with employers virtually. McCracken explains: “I’ve seen an increase in virtual hiring events from various employers and on a larger scale, like virtual career expos. Staying up-to-date on these opportunities is a great way to get noticed.”

    One great example is Indeed’s Virtual Hiring Tour, which allows you to connect and interview with employers from the safety of your home. McCracken recommends searching for these events in the following online locations:

    • Local job sites
    • Facebook pages (events, groups and companies)
    • Employer-specific websites
    • Local chamber of commerce websites
    • Local job search resource websites

    If you don’t have a computer…
    McCracken adds, “If you do not have access to a computer at home, consider using a smartphone or seeking out the local library, local Goodwill career center or other job search resources that may be open for in-person assistance.”

    Another option is to attend drive-thru hiring events in your area. Doing so is a safe way to meet with and prove yourself to employers without needing a computer or internet.

    Most importantly, McCracken encourages job seekers not to feel intimidated by virtual experiences over in-person meetings: “Don’t be afraid to hop on a virtual hiring event! Employers are adjusting to the virtual world just as much as job seekers in some cases and hiring managers are being flexible!”

    Strengthening your network virtually

    SilkRoad’s applicant tracking data revealed that referrals accounted for 30% of all hires overall in 2016 and 45% of internal hires. In a highly-virtual world where you can’t as easily connect with people in person, it’s all the more important to know how to strengthen your network remotely.

    To do so, McCracken recommends both engaging in virtual networking to make new connections, and tapping into your existing network through friends, family and former colleagues: “Employers like to interview and hire people who they know or people who come with a recommendation.”

    Let people in your life know you’re looking for work and interested in learning about new opportunities they may come across. Using your networks is a great way to get noticed and possibly move your online application to the top of the stack.

    Related: The Complete Guide to Networking

    4. Show your personality and soft skills virtually.

    One of the most effective ways to win a hiring employer over is by demonstrating your personality and soft skills in-person. You can also communicate these attributes virtually. Here’s how to demonstrate the following qualities:

    Detail-oriented. Ensure your resume and cover letter are free of typos, formatted correctly and easy to read. Submitting application materials that are polished and error-free also shows employers that you value professionalism.

    Related: 27 Proofreading Tips That Will Improve Your Resume

    Reliable. Show that you’re a reliable employee by being on time—if not early—to your virtual hiring event interview. Following up and providing the recruiter or hiring manager with your application materials promptly also shows you’re reliable and responsible.

    Tenacious. Demonstrate your work ethic and determination by taking an Indeed Assessment. Going above and beyond what the employer may be expecting of you shows tenacity, a quality any employer would like to see in a potential employee.

    Enthusiastic. Employers want employees to be excited about their work. Convey your level of enthusiasm for the position by being engaged and alert during your phone and video interviews. Be on time, focus on your interviewer, make eye contact and ask questions to show that you are thoroughly involved in the conversation.

    Friendly. While you won’t necessarily be able to connect in the same way you would in-person, showing your personality can also easily be done virtually. Sit up straight, smile and speak clearly and confidently—you have valuable experience and qualities to offer the employer, so enter any hiring conversations with that in mind. Show the employer who you are by being genuinely interested in your interviewer, asking thoughtful questions and displaying gratitude for their consideration.

    Published on Indeed September 8, 2020

  • 09 Sep 2020 10:17 PM | Harvey Simon

    In looking for an Entry Level Paralegal Position in Civil Law, NYC Legal Aid Society has open positions in Tenant Advocacy. My prior NYC Gov't experience in the SCRIE Program and familiarity with DHCR, I believe, would make me a very valuable Teammember, even though my Paralegal experience in this context is entry level. How may I be succinct and effective in my cover letter, in this regard?

    Thanks for your time,

    Harvey L. Simon, (Paralegal and MPA)       

  • 27 Aug 2020 8:29 PM | Samantha Vitone (Administrator)

    By: Signe Whitson 

    The professional atmosphere of a typical workplace setting inhibits the direct and honest expression of emotions such as anger and frustration. Yet, even in the most business-like environments, employees experience these strong emotions over daily events. Couple professional pressure to mask emotions with the tone-obfuscating medium of email, and you have yourself a recipe for passive-aggressive behavior

     — the perfect office crime.


    In a recent survey, Adobe discovered the nine most-hated passive-aggressive email phrases used in the workplace. Below, I offer three steps that workers can take to avoid becoming entangled in no-win, passive-aggressive conflicts at work, along with suggestions for effective responses that de-escalate the bubbling hostility of a passive-aggressive office situation.

    Step 1: Know what you are dealing with.

    The first skill to effectively managing passive-aggressive email communication is to see beyond the sugarcoated phrasing and recognize the hostility that lies beneath. When you see the kind of  patterned wording cited in the Adobe study (e.g., “As previously stated” or “Please advise”), a red flag should be raised in your mind, and you should ask yourself if the sender of the message may be harboring some hidden anger toward you.

    Step 2: Refuse to engage.

    Once you learn to readily recognize the red flags of passive-aggressive communication, the next essential step is to resist the urge to mirror the sender’s hostility. The goal of the passive-aggressive person is to get someone else to visibly act out the anger that they have been concealing. Any time their covertly hostile email is responded to with overt hostility, the passive-aggressive person succeeds. Rather than mirroring passive-aggressive behavior and increasing the overall hostility quotient in the workplace, savvy professionals know to defuse the hostility instead with emotionally neutral, bland responses. For example:

    Passive-aggressive phrase: “Not sure if you saw my last email...”

    Don’t mirror the hostility by replying: “Not sure if you realize how busy I am…”

    But rather drain off some of the hostility by starting with, “Thanks for the reminder.”

    Passive-aggressive phrase: “Re-attaching for your convenience...”

    Don’t up the ante by replying: “I got the attachment the first time you sent it and don’t need you to clog up my inbox with your repeated reminders.”

    But rather model respectful communication by saying, “I appreciate that you re-sent the document.”

    Passive-aggressive phrase: “As previously stated...”

    Don’t jeopardize your own professionalism by replying with the first sarcastic thought that pops into your mind, such as, “Oh, did you state that previously? I must have missed it, because you talk so much that I usually just tune you out.”

    Rather, keep it classy and don’t take the bait. A simple, “Thanks for the recap” will go a long way in keeping a friendly workplace and rising above someone else’s covert anger.

    Passive-aggressive phrase: “Any updates on this?”

    Don’t engage in passive-aggressive behavior of your own by intentionally ignoring or delaying your response to their request for updates.

    But rather, offer a polite, factual response such as, “I don’t have any updates yet,” or even better, “I don’t have any updates at this time, but I will email you as soon as I do.”

    Passive-aggressive phrase: “Sorry for the double email.”

    Don’t respond with angry or aggressive language that will make you look like the office hothead (and help the passive-aggressive person look like your victim), such as, “That’s actually the third time this week you’ve bothered me with this, and if you email again, I’m going to break your typing fingers.”

    But rather, acknowledge the person’s persistence by replying, “I have received both of your emails and will respond as soon as I have an answer for you.”

    Passive-aggressive phrase: “Please advise.”

    Don’t give in to the urge to inundate the person with more advice and work than they ever bargained for, such as, “I’m going to need you to cancel your weekend plans and stay here at the office to thoroughly investigate the situation and submit a 100-page report by Monday morning.”

    But rather, take the high road, and offer the advice they are seeking. For example, “Yes, please proceed with your idea,” or, “We have decided to move in a different direction. Please hold off on making any changes.”

    Step 3: Acknowledge the anger.

    If you feel like a co-worker is chronically hostile and using passive-aggressive communication across most situations with you, it might be worth taking the next step, which is to respectfully but very simply acknowledge their anger. For example, you might say, “It sounds like you may be feeling angry,” or, “From your email, I’m wondering if you are frustrated about something.” 

    Nine times out of 10, the passive-aggressive person will reflexively deny that they are feeling angry — and that’s OK. Your respectful acknowledgement marks a change in the dynamic; the passive-aggressive person now knows that you are a straight shooter who will not shy away from trying to resolve a conflict. With consistent use of steps 1 through 3, the passive-aggressive person will have no choice but to begin to relate to you in a more honest way.


    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/passive-aggressive-diaries/201809/how-respond-passive-aggressive-emails-in-the-workplace

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