Another question about "ties"

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rcthebigred1
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Another question about "ties"

Postby rcthebigred1 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:01 am

I know this concept has been discussed ad nauseum on TLS, but I was wondering something about the whole "ties" thing. I haven't seen anything discussing this particular question, but if such a thread exists please direct me there.

I understand the geographic aspect of ties, but what about sector related ties? For example, if one has substantive work experience in oil/gas but no physical ties to Texas, would Houston firms who work primarily in that area be more willing to overlook the lack of geographic ties? And if so, to what degree could it mitigate your lack of true (at least in the TLS sense) "ties". I understand it's all about selling yourself, but how strong of a sellng point could something like this be?

This example applies to other areas as well, like SV/tech experience, NY/finance (even though NY doesn't really require ties), etc.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Another question about "ties"

Postby Scotusnerd » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:32 am

Those ties are helpful. I know a few people who had lower grades than what the firm was 'normally' interviewing that still got interviews. When I talked to them, they either had a contact in the firm or previous experience in that area, like finance or oil.

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guano
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Re: Another question about "ties"

Postby guano » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:37 am

The reason firms care about ties is predominantly so that you will fit in and so you will stick around. As an example, someone from Massachusetts might have a hard time adapting to life in Texas, while someone from Louisiana might find California a bit too weird.

The last thing they want is to hire some person who comes there, doesn't fit in, and leaves after a year or two. Now, large markets are a lot less parochial about ties than small markets, but, that is always a concern. The reason NY is an exception is because of the large influx of outsiders in the city and the perception that it's the greatest place in the world (so who wouldn't want to live there?) and that most of the top work is done there so anyone with ambition wants to be there.

Anywhere else, if you don't have ties, the presumption is that you are just casting a wide net, and that you're a flight risk. If you have ties, it shows that you've got a reason for being in that location, and are not likely to leave.

So, if you don't have ties, you need to show them why you're applying there. If you have a clear interest in oil/gas, it shows a reason for being in Texas. Same with other locations - you need to show that you have a reason for wanting to be there and a strong track record in the local industry helps. Otherwise, a cover letter extolling the virtue of the locale, how you've come there often and would like to spend the rest of your life there might do the trick (don't lay it on too thick, though).

That being said, they'll probably still pick a good ole boy over you, but at least they won't shred your resume too quickly.

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holdencaulfield
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Re: Another question about "ties"

Postby holdencaulfield » Sat Mar 02, 2013 5:51 pm

guano wrote:
Anywhere else, if you don't have ties, the presumption is that you are just casting a wide net, and that you're a flight risk. If you have ties, it shows that you've got a reason for being in that location, and are not likely to leave.


Well said.

I agree that ties to the practice area are really just another plus on your resume; the impact of your lack of geographical ties will likely be unaffected.




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