A good legal lawyer resume is important whether the lawyer is a seasoned professional or a beginner just starting; they both want a great resume to ensure they get the lawyer role they are aspiring for. A well-prepared resume can increase the lawyer’s chances of getting noticed by the employing firms, and a strong resume can give a lead over other candidates for the same position.
During the job search, the resume can attract the attention of hiring managers by showcasing the lawyer’s abilities and professionalism. Lawyers can take a few steps to equip themselves with the best tools for their job search, and having a perfect legal lawyer resume is the first step on the list, which is our article’s topic.
Simplify the formatting
First impressions matter in real life and written ones; the lawyer’s resume appearance is usually the first impression the employer gets of them. Law firms do not always prioritize design, color, or other stylistic choices as other creative industries do.
The lawyer’s resume must be professionally polished, organized, and easy to read and understand. The best formats to use are those that avoid text boxes, fonts, and different colors, and they are the ones that will make the lawyer seem more serious and sincere in their job search; it will help them stand out for their actual achievements rather than their creative efforts.
The look of the lawyer’s resume is as important as its content and boosts the hiring managers’ chances of reading their resume. The design best practices include:
- The use of bullet points rather than run-on sentences
- The use of headings
- The use of bold words for the most important points
- The use of a modern resume template
Abiding by those practices will give the resume a clear and sharp look while ensuring that all relevant information is easy to find.
Keep it brief and lead with a summary statement
If the resume’s goal is to be thoroughly reviewed by the hiring manager, then it is best to be kept short and not long, around one page. If the lawyer has five or more years of experience relevant to the legal job they are applying for, they can exceed the one-page rule and make it two pages, but not more.
For the lawyer to make their resume most effective, each description or point on their resume must serve a specific purpose in articulating their qualifications. Eliminating unnecessary and repetitive points in the document is one of the ideal ways to keep it short and readable.
Lawyers are trained to make persuasive and concise arguments, and their resume should lead off similarly. They must consider their lawyer profile (summary statement) as their opening statement. In two to four sentences, their profile must briefly summarize who they are as a lawyer, highlight their accomplishments, and illustrate what they will bring to the table.
So, in three sentences, the lawyer must mention the following:
- Who are they
- What type of law do they practice
- What are they passionate about
- Their areas of expertise
- Where they have been successful the most
By first outlining their specialties and experience, they summarize the resume and save their hiring manager time.
Use action words and verbs
Instead of just listing where the lawyer has worked and what they did dully, action words can convey more meaning. Some hiring managers and large firms use an applicant-tracking system that can quickly scan resumes for keywords that lead to the parts they are most interested in. So it is helpful for the lawyer to use the target words the recruiters are looking for in their resume, like those included in the job description.
Using bullet points is great; beginning those points with strong action verbs is even greater. It can better highlight the achievements and responsibilities linked to the lawyer’s relevant work experience. For lawyers to show employers that they are proactive in their approach to work, they must perfect how to use language on their resume.
Some action words fit into most lawyers’ employment history, like:
- Words that are related to creation: conceptualized, formalized, orchestrated.
- Words related to leadership and teamwork: collaborated, mentored, directed.
- Words that are related to achievements: accelerated, spearheaded, expedited.
- Words that are related to problem-solving: devised, overhauled, rebuilt.
When writing a legal lawyer resume, keep it brief, clear, and strong-worded. Law is not a profession that cares a lot about the candidate’s graphic-design abilities or their colorful, creative sides; it cares about their argument-wining and professional and academic sides. And as a final tip, the lawyer must never be shy to highlight their accomplishments, relevant education, and skills related to what is mentioned in the job description; always be truthful and not exaggerate.