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6 Tips to Improve Your Legal Resume

We've all been there before: You apply for dozens of jobs, but you don't get a single call for an interview. It may not be you. It may be your resume.

You may have excellent credentials and a good amount of experience, but if your resume is poorly written, it will be overlooked by hiring managers and recruiters.

Use these six tips to improve your legal resume.

1. Tailor Your Resume to the Position

Taking a "one size fits all" approach to your resume may be keeping you from getting hired. Hiring managers and recruiters want to see that your skills match the job listing, so make sure that you tailor your resume to each position.

Tailoring your resume may mean deleting old and outdated information that doesn't apply to the current position. It may also mean adding new information that's relevant to the job.

It's worth the time and effort to create multiple versions of your resume. This may be the one move that lands you an interview.

2. Sell Yourself

A resume is essentially a marketing piece for your skills and experience. Treat your resume like a sales pitch, and be proud of your accomplishments.

Don't forget to include your unique selling point (USP) in your resume. Why should you get the job? What do you bring to the table? 

Talk about your accomplishments and provide proof of your claims. The proof is in the pudding, so they say.

USPs become especially important when applying for high-profile or executive positions at law firms. In this case, you may want to hire a professional to write your resume.

3. Be Honest – Always

Don't exaggerate claims or add false information to your resume – it won't help your cause. Employers can and do use reference-checking and employment verification services.

Every statement you make on your resume should be the absolute truth.

Don't be afraid to list and explain your accomplishments, but don't exaggerate details about your performance or achievements.

4. Be Prepared to Discuss or Expand on Anything You Include

Make sure that you can discuss – at length – anything that you include on your resume. Be ready to talk about any legal matters you've worked on in the past, including any underlying legal issues.

Take the time to review this information before going in for an interview. If you can't talk intelligently about certain things on your resume, remove them immediately.

5. Be Concise and Give Examples

Be concise and make every word count when writing your resume. The most important stuff should stand out on the page, but every single word you write should support your argument that you're the best person for the job.

Whenever you do make a claim on your resume, back it up with examples. Talk directly about what you have done and the results of your actions. Replace neutral words with positive ones whenever possible.

6. Proofread Multiple Times

Read your resume once – and then read it again. Submitting a resume with spelling and grammar errors makes you appear unprofessional and uninterested in the position.

After proofreading your resume a few times, have other people read it. They may catch a few mistakes that you missed.

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