Many young adults did not receive formal instructions on how to write, edit and format their resume. For a number of students and recent graduates, writing a professional resume can be a challenge because of the many “rules” you should follow when formatting it. The number of myths that come up when talking about writing a resume are immense. Should it be one page? Do I add two spaces between sentences? Are bullet points OK? The list goes on. Although there are arguments over which rules still apply, here is a list of myths that you can throw out when constructing your resume.
Keep it to one page
This has been a rule of thumb for years. This was mostly put in place for when resumes were submitted in print. Keeping your work history to a concise page made it easier to go through and keep track of the stack of resumes the hiring manager received. In today’s age, unless you are a recent graduate, using two pages for your resume is completely acceptable. It gives you a chance to showcase all of your career accomplishments and background, and many attorneys cannot do so on one page. You can also tweak the margins a little to change the overall flow and appearance of your resume, but don’t change the format too much. Having a pretty standard font and format is always best.
One size fits all
When writing your resume, you have to keep in mind the job title you are applying for, and if your resume is tailored toward that job. Too many times people send in the same resume to multiple legal positions, and this can hinder your chances of being chosen to move on to an in-person interview. When you don’t format a resume to a job, it tends to lack focus. Each time you apply for a position, you should customize your resume to match. Most of the time, a recruiter or hiring manager can tell if you took the time to tailor your resume to the position, or simply submitted your old, standard resume.
Include your references
This is another myth that has been passed down the generations. In the past, it was thought that every hiring manager or recruiter would ask for your list of reference anyway, so it’s easier to simply include it with your resume. Then the custom got transformed into “references available upon request”, which is an obvious statement. It’s better to have your reference available when needed and saved to a file for when the time comes and a request is made to send over the information.
Good resume means you get the job
It is true that your resume plays a big part in whether you land the job at your choice law firm. However, how you prepare yourself and perform during the interview also plays a major factor in being hired. It’s important to be a good candidate through the overall interview process. This means being a strong interviewer, knowing the law firm’s background, and having the right skill set for the position. Make sure you are an excellent candidate on all fields.
Having a beautifully constructed resume is only one-third of the overall job hunting experience. You also must consider your preparation for the interview and if you feel as if you fit into the law firm’s culture and work ethic. As you sit down to work on your resume for your dream job, don’t let these resume myths get in the way of this very important task.