With a plethora of applicants for every position, readability of your resume is more important than ever. You want to make it so that it is as easy as possible for the reader to understand what you’re saying. You want to convince them in the least amount of words possible that you have what it takes to do the job. So here are some micro tips that will make a big impact on the impression your resume leaves.Make sure everything is consistent
Whatever font, font size, paragraph spacing you use – make sure it is consistent throughout. You want it to look uniform, so that the reader can think ‘oh! this person pays attention to detail!’ And this goes without saying, but also make sure you spell everything correctly. This is also a big plus for you, as the reader will know that you put a great deal of time into applying at their company/organisation and didn’t rush.
List your duties in past tense
If you are describing a previous role, then you want to make sure it sounds that way. For example, instead of writing ‘assisting customers with queries’, you want to write ‘assisted customers with their queries’. This is a good rule to follow grammar wise and, again, it shouts “I pay attention to detail!”.
Put your legal work experience at the top
Potential employers are looking out for relevant experience, so if you have it, put it at the top of your resume. This layout is better suited to law roles than your traditional one-column chronology, where everything is listed in order. This is actually quite difficult to do, because as law kids we’re known to do a million things at one time and it may make your resume look all over the place if you try to slot them into some sort of arbitrary order.
My suggestion as to layout would be:
- Relevant Work Experience
- Other Experience
Dot points and brevity
Your resume isn’t an essay, and the person may not read it all if it is, so bullet points are your friend, and make sure you jump straight to the point – as if you have a ridiculously small word limit!
Simple, but impressive
There is no need for fancy, colourful designs on your resume, just make sure it is neat and everything is consistent. And the most important tip of all:
Get it checked!!!!
I thought my resume was perfect, until I had it checked by somebody. Then I realised it was littered with inconsistent spacing, language and other mistakes. Don’t make the same mistake I did! In fact, let me read YOUR resume – just provide a link to your Dropbox or Drive account in the comments below (with your details blanked out) and I will happily provide you with some feedback.
Enjoy the year!
The [Pre]Lawyer in Black