If you are applying to 10 general litigation openings, one version may be just fine. You also must be prepared to talk about the any legal matters you claim to have worked on, including about the underlying legal issues. When describing your legal experience, give concrete examples. And remember from Tip 2, every word counts.
Be sure all information is up-to-date. No longer fluent in French? Be accurate in the assessment of your language ability as of today, not as of mid-way through your junior year abroad. Space is a commodity, but you should still make room for two or three lines that show you are a human being and not just a robot.
Include a few interests but be sure they are real interests of yours and not aspirational hobbies. Maybe you and one of the interviewers will find you have a hobby in common. Remember the essential test: Education first or work experience first? This is a common question. Remember Tip 1 — you want the most important stuff to jump off the page. So if you went to a top law school, you may want to list education first. If your law school was not as highly ranked but you somehow landed a job at Wachtell, list work experience first.
It seems a bit unsophisticated but it works. Does the balance of black and white on the page make your eyes happy? Have a Clear Objective Your legal resume should have only one objective: There is a difference between landing an interview, and landing a job, but most candidates do not draft their legal resumes with this aim in mind. Once you land the interview, then you need to focus on the information that can land you the job — not the other way around.
Prove Your Claims Most resumes include long, and often boring lists of qualities and skills e. Rather than simply list your qualities, provide concrete real life examples that demonstrate exactly how those qualities have been applied.
In other words, you need to prove your claims with actual examples; otherwise your purported qualities will just sounds like bragging.
Use Keywords Organizations are increasingly relying on databases, including resume-scanning software, to assess attorney resumes and identify candidates for their open positions. Therefore, it is crucial that your attorney resume contain keywords. It may show an upward trend, highlight a lateral transition, or give one a better sense of where you are operating within a larger matrix.
The lack of titles on your legal resume will not only force an employer to guess your level, but also make them wonder about your progression or lack thereof. Proofread It Again and Again I cannot emphasize enough the important of proofreading your resume. Of course there are no typos in my legal resume! Are you sure about that? Nearly 9 out of 10 legal resumes I read every day contain at least one typographical error.
Spell-checkers can be your best friend and your worst enemy. In other words, they miss a lot of errors. Print out a copy of your legal resume, and read it carefully word by word.
When it comes to typos, you can never be too careful. Use Bullet Points Did you know that the average resume reader spends 30 seconds glancing at your resume? When it comes to your legal resume, there is nothing like making a good first impression. That includes making the information on your legal resume easy to access and read. Few employers have the time or the patience to read through long paragraphs of text. Using bullet points can help your resume reader get to the relevant information quickly and efficiently.
Put The Strongest Information On Top One of the most common questions asked by attorneys who are writing their legal resumes is whether to include their legal education at the top of the resume. While there is no absolute answer to the question, there are some guidelines. For instance, if you have been out of law school three years or less, you should consider placing your education at the top of your resume.
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