Our Top Legal Resume Tips
Whether you are an experienced attorney or still in your first year of law school, having a legal resume on hand and up-to-date at all times is a smart career move. Your resume might be the first item an employer sees. So, it is important not to appear unprofessional and immediately be out of consideration for the job.
Our Top Legal Resume Tips
Here are some tips to polish your legal resume and make it ready for legal employers.
1. Include all the important content.
A legal resume should include the following sections:
- Name and contact information;
- Educational background;
- Past work experience.
And, other possible sections to include are:
- Professional licenses/certifications;
If there are other areas of interest to a particular employer, make sure to include those as well in your legal resume.
Not everyone agrees what order these sections should be in, or whether to include any “extra” sections, so this will be a personal preference. But, it is generally safe to put your most favorable experience first and go from there.
2. Highlight your experiences.
Rather than just listing all your past work experiences, include a description of each job that highlights the skills learned. Ideally, you should try to highlight the responsibilities and skills that pertain to the job you are applying for. Or, at the very least, the experiences that legal employers are looking for, such as research, writing, communication, editing, and leadership.
For example, rather than highlighting your day-to-day work at a summer job working for a restaurant, instead discuss how you communicated with customers, held yourself out in a professional manner, or helped manage the other employees. Find the skills in every job that a legal employer will look favorably on.
3. Format your legal resume correctly.
Legal resumes usually are one page in length. Therefore, you need to be concise if you have a lot of experience. However, it is important that your legal resume still be readable, rather than a bunch of 10-point font crammed in a small space. Use bold, underline, and italics to make important information stand out.
4. Review your legal resume.
It is important that there not be any errors or inconsistencies on your legal resume. Errors in a resume will signal to the employer either that you are careless because you did not take the time to look it over, or that you are not a good writer and editor, which are two important skills for all legal professionals.
If possible, send your resume to at least one other person to look over for mistakes and general comments. Preferably send it to someone who is familiar with legal resumes, such as a career services advisor at your law school, or a friend who helps with hiring at a firm.