Author Topic: Apply for job, or no? Lawyer --> Planned Giving  (Read 940 times)

hoodedfalcon

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Apply for job, or no? Lawyer --> Planned Giving
« on: February 12, 2018, 11:21:00 AM »
Hello MMM'ers! I would appreciate any advice anyone could give regarding a job I'd like to apply for....only I don't quite meet the minimum qualifications. The job is a planned giving officer position with a mid-sized regional foundation. It would involve marketing planned giving with financial planners and estate attorneys to educate and inform them of planned giving opportunities within the foundation, so that they can refer their clients to the foundation if they were interested in planned giving. I meet all the qualifications for the position (including having a JD) EXCEPT the big one - 3 years experience in estate or financial planning. However, I feel like I am better informed about such things that your average Joe or Jane. I mean, I spend hours on MMM, read financial books and blogs, and listen to all the podcasts. I just don't know how to translate that into something that would get me an interview. I know I could get up to speed very quickly, and as an attorney I am well versed in constantly teaching myself new subject matter.

So, thoughts? Anyone here have experience getting into planned giving? Should I just keep looking? I think I would really enjoy the work, but I just don't know how to sell myself in this arena.

rubybeth

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Re: Apply for job, or no? Lawyer --> Planned Giving
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 11:48:24 AM »
Based on your question, I'm going to guess you are female. I would encourage you to GO FOR IT and apply! You never know what the applicant pool will look like. If you have marginally related experience and are enthusiastic, that can make up for experience. Seriously. I believe I've read in a few places how men frequently apply for jobs for which they aren't exactly qualified and get them, whereas women prefer to have a "perfect match" in terms of the listing--but it's not always necessary. There's requirements and then "preferred qualifications," and if you meet the basic requirements, it's worth a shot. I would be clear in your cover letter why the position excites you.

I will share that I felt unprepared for my first job out of graduate school, because I had applied for various jobs but didn't yet have any "professional experience." I was hired for a great job anyway, based on my willingness to learn and other related experience. I still have the same job, but have gotten to adapt it to play to my strengths and challenge some of my weaknesses.

Best of luck!

hoodedfalcon

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Re: Apply for job, or no? Lawyer --> Planned Giving
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 12:27:44 PM »
Based on your question, I'm going to guess you are female. I would encourage you to GO FOR IT and apply! You never know what the applicant pool will look like. If you have marginally related experience and are enthusiastic, that can make up for experience. Seriously. I believe I've read in a few places how men frequently apply for jobs for which they aren't exactly qualified and get them, whereas women prefer to have a "perfect match" in terms of the listing--but it's not always necessary. There's requirements and then "preferred qualifications," and if you meet the basic requirements, it's worth a shot. I would be clear in your cover letter why the position excites you.

I will share that I felt unprepared for my first job out of graduate school, because I had applied for various jobs but didn't yet have any "professional experience." I was hired for a great job anyway, based on my willingness to learn and other related experience. I still have the same job, but have gotten to adapt it to play to my strengths and challenge some of my weaknesses.

Best of luck!

Thank you for your well wishes and words of wisdom, rubybeth! I agree with you that folks often get jobs based on qualities that aren't directly related to the task at hand! I didn't have any related experience when I applied for my current job, and even beat out folks who had actual related experience because my current employer was looking for someone who would "fit" in with the office culture more than have the perfect experience. I guess I worry that talking about personal finance as a hobby or just a personal interest will come across sort of....lame. I just need to figure out how to spin it I suppose and draft a really excellent cover letter. But you have encouraged me....

rubybeth

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Re: Apply for job, or no? Lawyer --> Planned Giving
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 01:51:34 PM »
No, I think it's awesome and unexpected to reveal you have a personal passion for something! My sister, for example, works in a medical field but minored in creative writing. That little bit on her resume has gotten some interesting reactions from folks doing hiring--and she spins it as showing her creative side, and ability to write. I am sure you write this in an interesting way that will intrigue a hiring manager.

cchrissyy

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Re: Apply for job, or no? Lawyer --> Planned Giving
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2018, 07:18:32 PM »
I don't think you need to mention your personal interest in personal finance, or somehow spin it to sound like more experience than it is.  It is completely OK to apply meeting most of the qualifications and simply not have that one.

specialkayme

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Re: Apply for job, or no? Lawyer --> Planned Giving
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2018, 07:40:05 AM »
Personally, I wouldn't try to put a spin on an interest in personal finance and attempt to translate that into 3 years of experience in estate or financial planning. I'm sure you're a very qualified writer, but the gamble is that it may come across as sounding like you read a few books and hung out on a forum, so somehow that makes you qualified. Depending on the reader, it could come across as a bad attribute.

What other experience do you have in estate or personal finance, of any kind? Did you take any classes in this area in undergrad or law school? I took wills and estates as well as Accounting for Lawyers in law school, maybe you had something similar? You could emphasize your good grades or passion in this area. Or if you volunteered, or did some pro-bono somewhere for the elderly? Our school offered VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) where they taught you how to do basic tax returns and then you did them for low income individuals. The proper spin could be put on this to make it sound more personal finance related. Or maybe you could sign up for this program now.

What about your current work, if you're employed? What practice area does it involve? Is any of it somewhat related to estates or personal finance? Trust account management, exemption planning, risk mitigation from a financial perspective, tax work?

What about extra-curricular activities, clubs, or hobbies? Ever serve as treasurer of an organization? Ever do any fundraisers? Ever work for any non-profits, even if its volunteer work, or for nursing/retirement homes? If you're looking to get into this area anyway, Order of the Eastern Star (if you qualify) may be a good club to join.

All ideas, hopefully it helps you somehow. Ideally you'd have 3 years working for an estate planning law firm, or a cpa. But if not, try and find as many connections that you can and emphasize them. I'd show your enthusiasm for the field in your cover letter. That type of business involves substantial networking and sales like tactics, so I'd be prepared to sell yourself. If you can get enough connections to the financial world across, you could get an interview.

Go get 'em!