Submitted by Susan Smith Blakely
'Tis the season --- the one when you MUST polish off those resumes and get them out to potential employers. This sounds easy, but ... not so fast. If you found it easy, you might want to look again.
There are resumes, and, then, there are resumes. The Internet is full of information about how to write the perfect resume, and some of that information is good. Some also is not so good, so let me contribute my two cents to help you out. I am a very pragmatic person, so that is how I approach resume writing and legal writing in general. A little bit of "less is more" plus good solid design. That's all it takes. Here's what I mean.
The overarching goal for any resume is to make it a "clear path to understanding" for the reader. This is not just true of resumes, it also is true of the other forms of communication you will utilize in a legal career. The legal memorandum, for instance, and the legal brief --- which, typically, is anything but brief --- and the client letter. These all are forms of communication, which, for your own benefit, should be capable of easy comprehension and understanding. If there is no such clear path to understanding, this correspondence can find its way to the circular file prematurely, and your objective will not have been achieved.