Following that train of thought, I have always believed that you should have a number of different resumes prepared. In a previous article, I talked about having the wherewithal to adapt one's elevator speech to the situation one finds him or herself in. Likewise, the cover letter and resume you send should be tailored to the needs of the person receiving it.
Wow, that is just depressing! How many, many resumes must a person send out before realizing that this is a broken path for many of us. For every successful job seeker, I am guessing there are probably many, many more that did not succeed. Although I have mixed feelings about the value or viability of sending out resumes to openings, I would not dispute the importance of a well-constructed resume. My only concern is how it is used. I am a big believer in Richard Bolles' statement that resumes are something you leave behind versus something you send ahead.
One thing to beware of what using a functional format is blank space. While it's important to make sure that your resume isn't too long, you should also keep in mind when writing a functional resume that it does tend to lend itself to blank spaces more than a chronological resume. It seems like you have a lot of blank space on your resume that may be want to choose a hybrid resume format. The hybrid resume format combines the functional resume format and the chronological resume format.
Just like a chronological resume, a functional one should start with a very compelling objective statement. The objective statement is where you will place the information you think is the most appealing to a potential employer. It is also the place where you will list any of your personal career goals. It is my belief that this is the most important sentence in your resume. If you get it right, the reader will want to read the rest of your resume. If you get it wrong, the reader will probably not read the rest of your resume will set aside for another more appealing option. Try to focus on how you feel you were skills will benefit the employer. Show them how you can help them accomplish their corporate goals.
Finally, be careful about overusing keywords or engaging in "keyword stuffing." Your attorney resume should be readable. While a computer will not notice that you crammed you resume with keywords, an employer reading your resume will. You need to use keywords sparingly so that it still looks and reads like a resume. You also need to use keywords that accurately reflect your professional experience and skills. Padding your resume with terms that have nothing to do with your actual skills and experience could cost you the opportunity to interview.
Continue to pay attention - You've got to renew, update and continue to re-write your resume as you gain additional work experience, education and training. Don't continue to submit the same dated resume over and over again, with resume gaps in employment history. Carefully read through the complete duties and responsibilities of the position, then read through a second time - once you fully understand what is required, make sure that your resume matches what the job is asking for. Too many resumes are trashed because the applicant sends in a generic resume, failing to provide specific documentation stating their qualifications to perform the duties of the position. Don't let that happen to you.
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