Upgrading Your Resume

April 25, 2017 Legal Industry News

There are a few rules to legal resume writing: in one page you want to make a positive impression; you want it to be error free; and you want it to be free of legalese.

But in today’s rapid-paced job market, applicants need a more modernized and updated resume to really capture the attention of more savvy employers. Here are a few things to keep in mind to make sure that your resume is trending:

Tailor your resume and customize keywords for each position.

General keywords are great for your first draft, but tailoring your resume for each position you apply to will take you across the finish line. Just remember that certain titles and words may mean different things to different people. Some firms and recruiters are even starting to track applicants by using position specific keywords, so do your homework and make sure that you address the responsibilities and desired skills posted for. Take the time to add the organization-specific keywords that will land you that interview.

Include appropriate social media links.

Social media’s role in legal recruiting will only increase.

Including your LinkedIn profile link in your resume’s contact section or in the footer with its respective icon not only gives the reader an opportunity to find out more, but it also demonstrates that you are confident in how you portray yourself online.

More is…just extra.

Simplify. Your resume should speak for itself, but it shouldn’t have to shout in order to stand out. Keep your resume clean, well-organized, and simple (a pink scented one was cute in a movie, but not something you want to do in real life).

Eliminate what isn’t necessary the objective statement and photograph.

You resume has limited, but valuable real estate. It’s clear to the reader what you want to do (which you should certainly include in your cover letter)—the resume is there for you to share what you have done. Don’t submit a photograph unless specifically requested to do so (and if you do, make sure it is a professional and appropriate photograph).

Check for inactive links.

When you submit materials that include links (emails, hyperlinks, or whatever), make sure they are functional! Links and email addresses serve you well only if they work (otherwise, aside from being frustrated, the reader may assume you were trying to pull a fast one on them).

Check your word choices.

Surveys have revealed that recruiters generally have negative reactions to some words on a resume, and positive reactions to others.

Negative:

•  Go-getter/go-to person

•  Think outside of the box

•  Synergy

•  Thought leadership

•  Team player

•  Bottom-line

•  Hard worker

•  Dynamic

•  Self-motivated

•  Proactively

•  Track record

Positive:

•  Achieved

•  Improved

•  Trained/mentored

•  Managed

•  Created

•  Resolved

•  Volunteered

•  Increased/decreased

•  Ideas

•  Negotiated

•  Launched

•  Under budget

•  Won

Check out my previous post to learn what might be missing from your resume.

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