How do I downplay my ties?

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How do I downplay my ties?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:14 pm

I feel like my strong FL ties are holding me back. I went to undergrad & got my masters in FL and worked in FL full time for 3 years. However, I am now targeting DC/NYC and never plan on returning to FL ever again because FL is a cesspool. Every single associate/partner at every single screener or CB has brought up my strong FL ties. What is the best way to convince firms that I am not a flight risk? I explain why I don't want to return to FL and why I like that particular city, but many individuals don't seem convinced given that beach lifestyle is very different from NYC/DC lifestyle.

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bk1
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Re: How do I downplay my ties?

Postby bk1 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:27 pm

Are you explaining that you want to work there (meaning NYC/DC) because of the type of work they do?

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Re: How do I downplay my ties?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:43 pm

bk1 wrote:Are you explaining that you want to work there (meaning NYC/DC) because of the type of work they do?


I should probably revise my OP because I have more of a problem with NYC than DC. But to answer your question, yes and no. I'm more interested in litigation (antitrust, appellate work, labor & employment) or regulatory work, which is obviously more DC than NYC. My fiance works in DC, and we live in DC. I go to school in DC. I still get the FL questions during DC interviews, but it's a bit easier to show commitment to DC than NYC.

However, NYC is trickier. The 100% honest answer is I hate NYC but just want/need a job. I don't even care if it's in corporate. I don't think I have difficulty expressing why I want xyz practice group or firm, but I just don't know how to best and most convincingly word why I like NYC as a city and why I no longer like FL. I no longer have anything tying me to FL (family, friends, and fiance all vacated the state), so I mention that + I mention how the ideal lifestyle I'm looking for is NYC, not FL (and obviously expound on that more).

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bk1
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Re: How do I downplay my ties?

Postby bk1 » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:54 pm

PM me if you don't mind.

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Re: How do I downplay my ties?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:00 am

I had some similar problems, but these can be overcome if you focus on intangibles. This might sound dumb, but since you asked...

--Are you blond(e)? Not even joking right now. I'm not at all a proponent of changing your appearance for the sake of interviews; it's just something you might want to consider.
--Do you dress like a professional NY native does (i.e., mostly black)?
--Do you have any physical tie in DC, like a condo or a house?
--Your family has left: where are they now? Does anyone live in DC/NY?
--Please tell me you have a local DC number on your resume.
--Did you travel abroad in college? This can take some of the sting out of Florida born-and-bred.
--Are you a recent immigrant, or are your parents? Depending on the answer, you might be able to make a tie to a cultural community rather than a geographic place that could work (more in NY than in DC, though).
--If you aren't super-familiar with DC already, get to know some places so that you can drop them casually in conversation with DC firms like you've made an effort to get to know the place.

I'm writing anon because I was in a very similar position (but CA, not FL), and I suspect that we go to the same school.

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Re: How do I downplay my ties?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:08 am

Anonymous User wrote:I had some similar problems, but these can be overcome if you focus on intangibles. This might sound dumb, but since you asked...

--Are you blond(e)? Not even joking right now. I'm not at all a proponent of changing your appearance for the sake of interviews; it's just something you might want to consider.
--Do you dress like a professional NY native does (i.e., mostly black)?
--Do you have any physical tie in DC, like a condo or a house?
--Your family has left: where are they now? Does anyone live in DC/NY?
--Please tell me you have a local DC number on your resume.
--Did you travel abroad in college? This can take some of the sting out of Florida born-and-bred.
--Are you a recent immigrant, or are your parents? Depending on the answer, you might be able to make a tie to a cultural community rather than a geographic place that could work (more in NY than in DC, though).
--If you aren't super-familiar with DC already, get to know some places so that you can drop them casually in conversation with DC firms like you've made an effort to get to know the place.

I'm writing anon because I was in a very similar position (but CA, not FL), and I suspect that we go to the same school.


-No, I have dark hair.
-I wear black suits to interviews.
-No, WAY too poor.
-Sadly, no. My family is in CA/CT.
-I didn't think of this. I pretty much exclusively use my cell phone since it's always on me, but it's a non-DC area code. Should I have cell phone + home number (DC area code), or just have the home number?
-Yes. I'm not even Florida born-and-bred. I was born and raised in the NE, but that of course is not reflected in my resume. I can find some place to stick my silly study abroad program, though.
-My grandparents are immigrants. That's as close as I get. I can picture someone laughing super hard if I said Koreatown really attracted me to NYC, though.
-I do this a lot, and I think it helps. A lot of interviewers live on my street or a couple blocks away (Cap Hill), so I generally talk about that area a lot.

Thanks for the tips!

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Re: How do I downplay my ties?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:24 am

Me again from above:
Should I have cell phone + home number (DC area code), or just have the home number?

Just the home number, I think. If you're already having trouble shaking the ties, no reason to add to it.

My grandparents are immigrants. That's as close as I get. I can picture someone laughing super hard if I said Koreatown really attracted me to NYC, though.

Yeah, it really would only work in the two cases I mentioned. Bummer.

Good luck, though.

RowJimmy
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Re: How do I downplay my ties?

Postby RowJimmy » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:16 am

Why do people wear black suits to interviews? You look like limo drivers.

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Re: How do I downplay my ties?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:16 am

RowJimmy wrote:Why do people wear black suits to interviews? You look like limo drivers.


I am a female. This does not apply to me.




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