Important Tips for Resumes, Cover Letters, and Interviews
Law students—it’s about that time again. Gears are shifting towards exams, and everyone is telling you to continue to network and to position yourself for OCIs and summer employment.
A lot of law students have been reaching out us at the RMN agency with questions. I have boiled down the most common tips that we have to share regarding a legal resume, cover letter, and interview.
• “Objectives” are considered unnecessary. Don’t waste valuable real estate on your resume.
• Rather that show memberships, show areas of interests. An employer is always more interested in you as an individual than what your membership status is.
• When it comes to extracurriculars the quality of your passion or leadership is more important than the quantity listed.
• Include past work history even if it is not law related or unglamorous. Anything to show that you can adjust to the rigors and day-to-day practice of professional life.
• Include your GPA, even if it’s not great. Otherwise, you leave it up to a recruiter’s imagination about just how awful it could be. Whatever it is, believe me, an interviewer is going to imagine it as much worse.
• Keep cover letters to one page, and don’t just take me through your resume.
• Do your homework and explain why you will fit in.
• If submitting your materials via email, keep it professional. Don’t make a poor impression with informality.
• Err on the side of caution and conservatism. The cover letter is not usually the best time to take a risk with your audience. Don’t blow it!
• Proofread, proofread, and proofread. Ask a trusted mentor to proofread. Be certain your language is clear, you are making your point as concisely as possible, and you have double checked for spelling, grammar, and errors.
• There is no reason that you cannot find out more about the firm or team you are interviewing with. Do your homework, research, and go in with a plan to position yourself and your strengths as a good fit to be the best type of applicant for your target employer.
• Be prepared to answer behavior-based questions, including examples of past performance or behavior in difficult circumstances. This is an opportunity to share your readiness to handle challenges professionally in the workplace.
• Establish great rapport.
Everyone you meet at the firm is “interviewing” you. Treat every conversation as an important one. Never treat anyone with less than the utmost respect. This applies to the janitor just as much as the managing partner.
• Maintain the same level attention and respect at each stage of the interview.
• Remember to say THANK YOU!