Author Archives: Jesse T

OCI Applications: Cover Letter, Resume & Final Tips

Since 5 PM on Monday August 21 is fast-approaching, our summer student group thought it would be beneficial to share some final tips of advice as you finalize your cover letters and resumes. We know the stress of uploading every document to the ViDesktop… making sure that every T is crossed and I is dotted.

Don’t fret! Considering the fact that all of us went through the exact same process last year, we thought we would share some of the key features/ elements of a successful cover letter.

1) Know yourself and be able to communicate your “theme” in your cover letter

The reader of your cover letter will be greatly impressed when they can draw connections between your resume and your cover letter. You want your cover letter to provide a strong sense of your personality, character, work ethic, and attitude. Every line you include in your cover letter should therefore have a purpose. Make sure you are drawing connections between the work experience and the skills you acquired during the experience.

For example, if you were a barista at Starbucks, do not waste valuable real estate on explaining the role of a barista. Everyone generally knows the roles and duties of a barista at a coffee shop. Do your best to communicate the lessons and skills you gained on the job, IE: “Over the past four years, I have worked as a barista at Starbucks Canada, where I was promoted from Jr. Server into a managerial role, overseeing roughly 15 employees. It was through this experience where I learned the value of working within a team-setting under tight deadlines.”

Already, as a reader, we would get the sense that you are team player who rose through the ranks based on hard work, dedication, and commitment. Do not be afraid to tell your story!

2) Be honest about your interests but do not pigeon hole yourself (if applying to a full-service firm).

At Cassels Brock, we are a full-service firm, which means that our lawyers practice all different types of law. Our advocacy and business groups consist of many sub-groups and practice areas. This structure is quite similar at other firms. As a reader, one would definitely want to see that you are interested in certain areas of the law. It shows that you have done your research and have selected courses that can somewhat prepare you for practice. At the same time; however, always keep an open mind.

Many of us wrote to Cassels something alone these lines: “I am interested in your franchise and intellectual property groups, but would welcome the opportunity to gain broad exposure to the various groups within advocacy and business law.”

3) Always include a paragraph on WHY the firm

We are sure that many, if not most of you, have attended various firm tours across the city over the course of the summer. While it may not be apparent to you just yet, you will notice (during in-firm interviews) that firms embody distinct cultures. Ultimately, many of you will be making decisions about your legal career based on a specific culture of a firm. If you have had the opportunity to speak with summer students/ articling students and/or lawyers from firms, be sure to mention some of the integral tidbits they shared about the firm in your cover letter. Always explain to the reader WHY you see yourself making a great addition to the firm and WHAT about the firm attracted you to apply. Do your best to communicate characteristics and/or features that are not directly mentioned on the website.

Were there certain diversity initiatives about the firm that you admired? Did a summer student speak about a work assignment that seemed exciting and intriguing? Did you speak to a recruiter about the unique qualities of the firm? Be sure to mention those key interactions/ conversations! It will benefit you in the long run, especially when you are able to put a name to a face during the interview process.

Resume

  • Use powerful active verbs such as “I managed,” “I facilitated,” “I organized.”
  • Maximum use of 3 bullets per experience.
  • Try to avoid high school involvement (unless it is inherently unique).
  • Be specific when describing your tasks.
  • Think carefully about your skills and interests section.

Final Tips

  • Be yourself! Everyone in this process values authenticity.
  • Know your personality- be able to recognize the type of firm/ working environment you are looking for (IE: smaller, medium, big, rotational summer program, flexible summer program, litigation, corporate, full-service).
  • Ask meaningful questions (Try not to ask lawyers questions that can be answered directly from the Cassels Brock website).
  • Use students as your resources from beginning to end (Call a friend who interviewed at Cassels prior to OCIs to learn more about the interview experience).

We wish all of you the best of the luck in the process. Our summer term ends Friday August 18th, 2017, but all of us would be happy to provide support and to answer any of your questions throughout the process!

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Fashion Files: August 11, 2017

With one week left for our Summer Students, we thought we would change things up a little bit with an outdoor shoot! Featured here are Ave Bross and Kojo Hayward…taking Bay Street to a whole new level!



Ave Bross

Suit-Strelson; Top- Strelson;  Shoes- Ecco

1) Who is your style inspiration?

I am definitely impressed with the outfits worn by Jacobin Mugatu.

2) What is your “go-to” signature item that you need to wear to work?

A nice tie and funky socks. It adds some character to the suit.

3) What advice can you give to students about choosing the right outfit for interviews?

The key for interviews is to wear comfortable shoes. You will be walking (and sometimes running) throughout interview week and the last thing you want is to be distracted because your feet are hurting and you have blisters. Invest in comfortable shoes so you can be ready for whatever comes your way!

4) What is your favourite store to shop at for business clothing?

The Bay and Banana Republic (for business-casual).


Kojo Hayward

 

Suit-Custom;  Shoes- Stacy Adams

1) Who is your style inspiration?

Dwayne Wade.

2) What is your “go-to” signature item that you need to wear to work?

A pocket watch.

3) What advice can you give to students about choosing the right outfit for interviews?

Don’t be afraid to look stylish, just save the most stylish (or loud) pieces in your closet for now. You can usually show as much personality as you want with socks, a moderate amount with your tie, but be as basic as your closet permits in your suit (Charcoal or Navy). If you have a simple shirt and tie combo, feel free to throw in a pocket square and/or tie clip. If you already “stand out” in your combo, consider ditching the pocket square and tie so your outfit does not appear too busy.

4) What is your favourite store to shop at for business clothing?

Nordstorms and the Bay at the change of seasons (Sales!).


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Fashion Files: July 27, 2017

We’re kicking off this rainy day (go away) with another fantastic edition of Fashion Files featuring Heesoo Kim and Tristan Davis. This dynamic duo certainly knows how to put an outfit together!



Heesoo Kim

Jacket-H&M; Dress- Winners; Shoes- Oak & Fort

1) Who is your style inspiration?

N/A.

2) What is your “go-to” signature item that you need to wear to work?

Rings.

3) What advice can you give to the students about choosing the right outfit for interview?

Prioritize comfort! It is hard to be your best self while being distracted by blisters or awkwardly fitting blazers.

4) What is your favourite store to shop at for business clothing?

Winners.


Tristan Davis

Suit-Tailored; Top- M2M by Indochino;  Shoes- Aldo

1) Who is your style inspiration?

Idris Elba and Mahershala Ali.

2) What is your “go-to” signature item that you need to wear to work?

A subtle cologne.

3) What advice can you give to students about choosing the right outfit for interviews?

It is important that your suit fits right. You will be interviewing in an environment where the majority of people are knowledgeable in business attire so you should invest in your outfit. It is best to have at least one quality suit and a couple well-fitted shirts. Also, do not be afraid to show your personality with your outfit! It may help you stand out.

4) What is your favourite store to shop at for business clothing?

Harry Rosen and Club Monaco (for business-casual).

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Fashion Files: Vancouver Edition!

Oh hey Blogwell followers! Our incredible Vancouver students Rebecca and Sean have been hard at work on the Westcoast/ Bestcoast. Take at look at some of the looks they have been spotting in the CBB Vancouver Office!



Rebecca Sims

 

Jacket-J.Crew; Dress- Simons;  Shoes- Nordstorms

1) Who is your style inspiration?

Jillian Harris and Meghan Markle.

2) What is your “go-to” signature item that you need to wear to work?

A dress

3) What advice can you give to students about choosing the right outfit for interviews?

Spend some extra time (and maybe money) finding an outfit that makes you feel confident and comfortable. Most sales associates in the bigger retail stores (Nordstorms, Holts etc) know what is appropriate for interviews so take advantage of their expertise and let them help you make an outfit that is both professional and comfortable.

4) What is your favourite store to shop at for business clothing?

Nordstorms


Sean Baraich

Suit-Calvin Klein; Top- Michael Kors;  Shoes- Aldo

1) Who is your style inspiration?

Connor McGregor

2) What is your “go-to” signature item that you need to wear to work?

Tie-Clip.

3) What advice can you give to students about choosing the right outfit for interviews?

Comfort is key. Sitting through numerous interviews is uncomfortable enough…it helps to be sitting through them in something easy to wear and comfortable.

4) What is your favourite store to shop at for business clothing?

The Bay.

 

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Fashion Files-July 5th, 2017

Can you believe it? We’re almost half way done the summer! In this week’s edition of Fashion Files, we present to you Tiffany Chiu and Joseph Hamaliuk. Tiff and Joseph offer you their best advice on how to prepare for firm tour fashion. Looking for the ideal suit? Summer Sales are happening everywhere…so take advantage before OCIs and In-Firms.

    


Tiffany Chiu

Suit-J.Crew; Top- Club Monaco; Tights- Wolford;  Shoes- Zara

1) Who is your style inspiration?

Meghan Markle.

2) What is your “go-to” signature item that you need to wear to work?

A pair of good heels.

3) What advice can you give to students about choosing the right outfit for interviews?

I’d recommend getting a well-fitted navy or charcoal suit with light-coloured tops or dress shirts! It’s great for those more formal meetings. Check to make sure the shirts are not wrinkled before your interview—iron them the night before or better yet, get non-iron shirts (for example, Brooks Brothers has a good selection).

4) What is your favourite store to shop at for business clothing?

Club Monaco for dresses; J.Crew for suits; the Bay or Holts for shoes.


Joseph Hamaliuk

Suit-Joseph Abboud; Top- Joseph Abboud;  Shoes-Joseph Abboud

1) Who is your style inspiration?

The Donald.

2) What is your “go-to” signature item that you need to wear to work?

Pants.

3) What advice can you give to students about choosing the right outfit for interviews?

High contrast between suit and shirt (eg. charcoal suit, white/light shirt).

4) What is your favourite store to shop at for business clothing?

Winners.

Until next time,

Your 2017 Bloggers.

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