Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Scored an interview for a compliance position

It's not six figures. It's mid-5 figures, state government jmck210503/10/17
I hope you get it! Sounds like you did a good job selling yo perkinwarbeck03/10/17
I hope you get the job as well! Ps. I am trying to get a com c384412203/28/17
Hey congrats dude! I hope you get it. Please share some s isthisit03/28/17
Before I share anything else, I should tell you: I interview jmck210503/29/17
jmck2105 (Mar 10, 2017 - 9:13 pm)

It's not six figures. It's mid-5 figures, state government agency, involves in-state travel on their dime. Spun my e-discovery (on my resume) into "best practices pre-trial preparation services" and discussed "impact on millions of people who might be affected by the outcomes of some of these cases, which can hinge on the evidence we review." Leaned heavily on my Bus Admin degree (prior to law) and spun case analysis as being similar to compliance.

Was told they'll be making decisions in the next few weeks. Take-away: E-Discovery will not keep you from getting interviews for compliance.

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perkinwarbeck (Mar 10, 2017 - 9:35 pm)

I hope you get it! Sounds like you did a good job selling yourself. That's not a natural thing for me at all. When I finally got out of doc review was when I went into an interview determined to tell them the story I wanted them to hear, their f*cking questions be damned.

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c3844122 (Mar 28, 2017 - 4:53 pm)

I hope you get the job as well! Ps. I am trying to get a compliance job, I graduated last May and have not worked since. I am not licensed and was a history major undergrad. I have received rejection emails from various compliance jobs already. I did a few legal internships during law school. I need to find a job ASAP, and I always hear that compliance is a good JD preferred job. I am swimming in debt and my bank account is depleting quickly. Any advice? Maybe my cover letter is throwing them off, I basically slightly modified the cover letter I used for legal internships. Please feel free to share any sample cover letters fro compliance jobs.

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isthisit (Mar 28, 2017 - 5:04 pm)

Hey congrats dude! I hope you get it.

Please share some sample materials you used to get this far. It could be useful.

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jmck2105 (Mar 29, 2017 - 10:51 pm)

Before I share anything else, I should tell you: I interviewed three weeks ago and haven't heard an acceptance or rejection yet. I was told it could be a few weeks, though. I just don't want anyone to have the wrong idea that "this is a sure thing!" I won't copy/paste the entirety of what I used, for reasons of anonymity, but I'll summarize and copy some useful bits.

My resume itself is pretty standard. Education first, experience next focusing on E-Discovery and consulting, then law clerk experience, followed up with "other relevant info" where I first brought up using case analysis as a comparison to compliance.

My cover letter wasn't too out of the ordinary either. Three short paragraphs. I didn't do the usual "I went to this school and made this grade" but just gave a quick 'I've got these degrees, and I've got experience from x type of job leading and working with diverse groups, and experience from y job assessing cases which involved compliance" (landlord housing stuff, where evictions/foreclosures had to comply with that jurisdiction's regulations) in more persuasive and professional language. Then, for paragraph two, I made my sales pitch.

"In short, I have education, training, and experience dealing with researching and assessing compliance with government regulation, managing and leading diverse teams, and the not-so-glamorous "routine" business functions many people often fall behind in, as well as knowledge of why they are important. And I am interested in bringing that experience and education to work for you, and helping make sure the efforts to *insert agency mission here* are successful."

Lastly, it was the usual "feel free to contact me, looking forward to hearing back" lines.

I can't speak for if compliance is JD preferred. If I get it, this'll be my first real compliance job. I can tell you that I have a business admin degree and prior management experience, and I relied on that as a selling point as much or more than I did my JD. It's also not the first government job I applied to. I made it a point to apply to at least 1 or 2 a month while I'm working E-discovery, and a lot of them I got rejection letters from. The main difference I see between this one and those was in my cover letter - I adopted a much more cocky tone than the "neutral/professional" tone I normally use. And had that kind of "brass tacks/directness" paragraph.

Further, before I had the interview, I had to send in extra materials as part of their screening process. In those, I mostly tried to sell them on the idea that I'm interested in their work, in staying in the area, and personal and professional development and reassure them I could meet the demands of the job.

I'm really excited about the prospect of this job, honestly. I like the agency's mission and it's dealing with an issue I care about, and the compensation and perks are very reasonable in my opinion, so I really hope I get it. I appreciate the support and well wishes, guys. I hope this information has been useful to you.

If I had to give you specific bits of advice, it'd be these: keep an eye out on your state and local government job boards, they're often easier to get into than the federal government and more reliable about posting openings when they're actually available than private firms these days (even a lot of places that do compliance or in-house work don't reliably disseminate their information to people who aren't already in-network) and you can usually sort them down to jobs that pay a living wage, then look for ones you're qualified for. You've got some wiggle room with your qualifications, but don't go for some high-end supervisor job unless you've got the relevant experience from elsewhere. Look for something that's comparable to an entry-level law job, or judicial clerk in terms of responsibility. Don't be afraid to put a little bit of personality into your cover letter, either. Let them know a little of who you are, rather than making it another dull, forgettable memo to put through the shredder - but don't do some crazy fictional storytelling, either.

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