Is your resume the best, professional representation of who you are on paper? Is it going to work hand in hand with your interview or help you stand out as the type of applicant that the employer wants to hire?
Obviously, with a general one-page limitation, it can only do so much (hopefully, it will entice the reader to want more and schedule an in person interview). But within that one page, do you have all that should? Is there anything missing that you should have included?
Here’s a checklist of important information that many candidates leave out of their resumes that you want to make sure you include:
Value added skills from breaks from the legal profession or workforce.
Recruiters generally don’t like to see gaps on legal resumes. Without a clear explanation, you leave it up to their imagination to fill in the blank (and lawyers can drum up with worst-case scenario for you). Don’t leave a gap in time on your resume. Consider the value added skills and training you gained, or what your achievements and accomplishments were during that time. Try to convey characteristics that support work ethic, dedication, drive, time management, or organization.
Cultural and language competency.
The world is increasingly interconnected. Law firms and legal clients are global to the point where even a small operation can have international supply chains, business immigration concerns, and other cross-border issues (family law now covers international adoption; property ownership now covers international tax). Lawyers often fail to include language and cultural fluencies that demonstrate an understanding of history, business culture, and social norms. If you know how things get done, make sure your resume shows it.
Supervising, training, and mentoring roles.
Employers are always looking for attorneys who can help develop and cross-train internal talent. Though lawyers know they should include presentations and publications on their resumes, few include any teaching, training, or mentoring roles, even if it’s not law-related.
If you were recruited into a company by the CEO or general counsel, then say so! If you were selected for a role on a major corporate transaction or litigation, then say so! This is a subtle way to convey that you are in demand. This also presents an opportunity to present a specialized skill set or record of success that a prospective employer needs.