The first step in landing a new job is getting an employer to give your legal resume a second glance. In today’s job market that is not an easy task. I have compiled the most important tips you should consider when working on your legal resume from the people who know best, employers and recruiters.
I can’t tell you how many resumes I have seen that don’t abide by these techniques. Some of these tips may seem obvious, but this is because I still get countless resumes that don’t follow these guidelines- don’t be that person:
- Make it easy for a recruiter or employer to find relevant experience, skills, education and accolades. Remember that you are selling your abilities, so make it easy to find.
- Condense your resume to one or two pages, preferably one, but if you are a senior level professional it is understood that all your experience might not fit on one page.
- Be consistent in your layout and language. For example, if you format your resume in bullet points, be consistent throughout. If you are currently in a job, use the present tense; if not, use the past tense.
- What goes first- experience or education? If you have less than five years of experience don’t make an employer search for your education information. Place it at the top of the page. If employers briefly skim your resume, they will see your strong points first.
- As a rule of thumb, only include your GPA if it is a 3.0 or higher. Otherwise, it is best to leave it out.
- Stylistically, remember that you want your resume to stand out in a good way. Do not attach pictures, graphics, or hard to read fonts. Pictures and graphics clutter a resume making it hard for an employer to focus on the content. Fonts with a serif are recommended because they are easier to read. Choose a font that is easy to read but avoid the overdone Times New Roman.
The best advice I can give to you as a recruiter is to perfect your resume. It could make or break your job search if something is written incorrectly. It will be time and energy well spent when you land that dream job.
What resume tips have you found useful? Let us know what worked for you.
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