With the sunshine comes the inevitable spring cleaning frenzy. While you’re re-organizing your closet, scrubbing down the home, and cleaning out all the papers in your office, don’t forget to clean up one last thing- your resume.
It is important to periodically update your resume. In today’s social media marketing world, your resume becomes a networking tool that needs to stay current. As Krista Canfield, a senior manager of corporate communications at LinkedIn said “whether you’re on the job-hunt or not, spring is an excellent time to evaluate your long and short term goals and make sure they’re reflected in your career profiles.” Here are some tips from Above the Law.
Use action verbs. Don’t use the passive voice in your resume. Begin every bullet point with action verbs, such as achieved, assembled, conceptualized, coordinated, etc. Use sentences, not phrases (i.e. instead of “I helped to create,” simply begin with “Created…”). It’s direct and it saves precious space.
Engage. Be unique when developing the content for your resume. Don’t list “good communication skills” or “skilled at research.” These are generic and do nothing to distinguish you from the rest of the legal profession. Highlight interesting work experience, or anything that demonstrates a particular niche you’re interested in.
Quantify. Give specific numbers. Tell employers the number of depositions taken, the amount in controversy. Transactional attorneys need to include the dollar amount associated with their deals. The big numbers are impressive and give specific details that back up your experience.
Structure. There are several different ways of organizing your information and hundreds of different ways you can format it. The key is to make it clearly organized. Don’t make your audience hunt through your resume just to find the name of your last employer- the content, whether it is your LinkedIn profile or paper resume should be clear and easy to read. Use a clean simple font and bold important items or titles to draw attention to them.
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