As attorney recruiters, we see hundreds of resumes slide across our desks. Unfortunately, although this is an incredibly important part of your overall image, many people are unaware of how to craft a resume that screams hire me, not file me in the waste basket.
Your resume is the most important thing you send out when you are looking for a job. Preparing a resume should not be something you do the night before a job interview; in fact, your resume is an asset just as money in a bank account is an asset. It is also organic, changing, and growing as you gain experience. Updating your resume should be an ongoing activity, and there are specific rules you should follow as you work on perfecting this important document.
When seeking law jobs in CA, it's important for attorney candidates to understand the necessary elements to preparing a successful attorney resume. Our attorney recruitment firm offers editing services for attorney candidates as a standard service, but candidates can benefit from these necessary components.
Your resume must be perfect. No ifs, ands or buts—your resume is not allowed to have errors. This is the cardinal rule of resume writing. You are not allowed to have spelling errors, grammatical problems, or anything else that could be construed as a mistake. This may seem harsh, but jobs have been lost over a single spelling error in a resume. Remember, in many cases people will be looking at your resume long before they meet you, so this is your only chance to make a good first impression. If you're seeking placement at a top tier law firm, your resume must be impeccable.
Edit, edit, edit. The way to avoid costly errors in your resume is to edit more than once and through different channels. Start by writing out your resume “warts and all” and then begin trimming, tweaking and fixing it until you believe it is perfect. It would not be at all remiss to edit your resume ten different times before finally settling on the perfect draft, and you may have to edit even more often.
Get help. The more eyes that see your resume, the better. After you have edited, ask for help from others. Start with a friend or relative. Ask him or her to read it carefully with pen in hand and circle any areas that are unclear or seem to contain errors. Re-read your resume with the edits; you will be surprised at how a fresh set of eyes finds mistakes you missed or points out things that are unclear. Edit with these changes in mind, then have another person read it, then another until you are satisfied that the changes you have made are the right ones.
Use professionals. Paying for help in writing your resume is not a sign of weakness but of wisdom. Professionals can help you determine the best way to phrase information, what to include and exclude and can give your final resume draft the editing it needs to ensure perfection. If you pay professionals, be sure they have experience in the legal field. Our legal recruitment firm is happy to help candidates edit their resumes to land the perfect job. If you land the perfect job as a result of your resume, it is well worth seeking professional help.
If a candidate is self-submitting, he or she should be very aware of how impersonal these systems are. Although efficient, they do not “feel” the person with a cover letter or resume that has had professional guidance, and are less likely to make it to the next level. They are very key word driven, and every effort must be taken to have your submissions materials be impeccable. This is where a skilled attorney recruiter can offer help to a candidate that is invaluable.