The first step in developing a legal resume is to introduce you to a potential employer. The objective of your CV should be to identify yourself personally, mention your educational background, specify your achievements and activities, academic qualification as well as work experience. The ideal resume should be crisp and exact and should be of interest to the employer, informing them about your unique skills and abilities. A Harrison Barnes, who owns Legalauthority.com, mentions several strategies and approaches you must take for pursuing legal jobs.
Build an Appropriate Resume
A Harrison Barnes of Legal Authority is of the opinion that his resume tips will put you back on track for an ideal legal job. Employers generally spend less than a minute going through your resume. This initial scan is often the basis on which rejection decisions are taken and hence you must contribute serious time and energy to build your resume. Go for a general format. The CV generally has 3 sections like personal information, education and work experience. Personal information comprises your name in a bold and large font than the rest of the entries. You also need to include your present address, a contact number and an e-mail id. You also mention your schools and corresponding activities or achievements.
The length of your resume should ideally be limited to a single page, although references may be listed on page 2. Mature students with pre law experience generally have a CV that spans 2 pages. A Harrison Barnes requires students to even touch upon their non legal experience or evaluate it under other heads in the CV. Make sure that this does not weaken the market value of your resume as they relate to your employment outlook.
A legal resume must be easy to scan along the left hand margin with absolutely no typo errors. The cover letter should be printed on matching stationery generally in white or off white in 100% cotton bond paper. Keep an eye on maintaining appropriate margin, with consistent usage of tabs for placing similar information under each head. There must be no muddling up the fonts. Avoid too much graphic usage as it may look inconsistent.
According to A Harrison Barnes, the style of your resume should be to use the bold face print to highlight your name, educational institution and organization. Awards and honors are best italicized with minimal underlines. Pause listings with semicolons, and commas. No matter what stylistic devices you are using, make sure to incorporate the dual elements of uniformity and moderation in your resume. Make it a point not to include a section on Employment Objective in your resume as this must be present in the cover letter.
This is the section that is most difficult to write as it provides descriptive details regarding volunteering or unpaid efforts along with the paid ones. A Harrison Barnes mentions here that it is important to focus on this section as it captures the scope of your experience as well as accomplishments. It is important to club the type of work you have done with the extent of responsibilities you have shouldered without exaggerated them. Accentuate details of your critical tasks in short phrases and action verbs without embellishments.
Mentioning non legal experiences also helps as you need to emphasize relevant jobs that contributed to professional advancement and growth and these include: writing, research, time management, communication etc.
What about the employment gaps? A Harrison Barnes believes that it is best to mention the weak points with care and explain chronological gaps in your education and work experience during the interviews.
List your Bar Membership
Admittance and licensure to the Bar may be listed in a separate section with the same title in your legal resume. It is best kept at the bottom and in case you have made an effort to admit yourself to a federal court in your jurisdiction, list each of the levels carefully. For example: A Harrison Barnes and Legal Authority would suggest something like “Licensure Admitted to Virginia State Bar, October 2002″, or “Mar Memberships Virginia, Oregon, Federal District Court for the District of Oregon, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals” etc.
Legal Authority offers you helpful tips in preparing the ideal legal resume. A Harrison Barnes guarantees that proven results are achieved by providing more legal jobs for law students and graduates who surf his exhaustive legal job database . Often these attorneys earn in millions a year by landing on appropriate jobs through Legalauthority.com.
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