Our Experts | Alexandra Ripich

Whether you’ve been in the legal field for years or just graduated law school, it is imperative to keep your resume updated and up-to-par with industry standards. On average, a recruiter or hiring manager spends six seconds glancing at a resume, which is why it is important to ensure your resume sets you apart.

What to remove

First and foremost – stay conservative. Do not include an objective statement or interests section.  Also, there is no need to include “references upon request.” If you move forward in the hiring process, then you will provide references. Less is more, keep it to one page in length.

Order of events

Your bar admission should always be at the top of your resume; it is what you worked so hard to achieve!  As a recent graduate, your education should precede your experience. As a practicing attorney for more than two years, list your experience before your education. You can also list relevant skills and awards at the end of your resume, such as Rising Star recognition or foreign language skills.     

Experience

Your experience should be unique to you. List attention-grabbing bullet points and make it clear what you’ve accomplished. Be sure to use any quantifiable metrics that you can, such as, “80% of my practice involves complex business litigation and corporate M&A matters.” Customize your resume for each individual job opportunity, taking keywords straight from the job description to impress the hiring manager.

Putting it all together

Overall, the recruiter or hiring manager is looking for key details – your bar admission, a reputable University, and experience that matches their opportunity. Keep your resume clean, conservative and make every word count.