First and foremost, job seekers need to make their resume readable. As a job seeker, you should know that most of the employers screen resume for a span of only 2.5 to 20 seconds. To make resume more readable, use bulleted lists instead of using paragraphs. Bulleted lists make the resume look nicer and cleaner as well. Find out about what the employer is actually looking for. According to the accepted resume ingredients rule, the dates on the resume are not as important as the tile or job position you held in your last job. Besides that, you need to list your working experience and education in the reverse chronological order so that the most recent one remains at the top of your resume.
Job-hunting in the 21st century lends itself to all types of great conveniences. Whereas once upon a time, you had to reference a book in order to construct a great resume, today technology is here to help us navigate the perils of crafting this very important document. Resume builders (sometimes called resume wizards) are a great way to bypass common resume pitfalls. Why attempt a resume all alone when there are quick and easy ways to build one via our modern technology?
If you are a recent college graduate or have less than five years of experience, you are advised to stick to the one page rule. If you're twenty-three years old and have a multi-page resume, there had better be some very compelling material in order to justify the length. The bottom line is this: the content of your resume is by far the most important thing. Powerful content means a powerful resume. Make that your goal-not a specific number of pages.
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.
While not all ATS will scramble your resume like this, many will. The trouble is, you have no way of knowing if the recruiter for that great job is using one that is user friendly to your resume or not. The solution is never to use a resume format that runs the risk of getting abused by technology. There are best resume formats that are safe to use and will avoid your resume going into that dreaded "resume black hole."
Your resume is a marketing tool designed to land you an interview. It is not a biography. Because the modern resume is a marketing tool, it's best to keep personal interests, hobbies, and other non-essential materials for the interview process as a way to "break the ice." If you are keen on listing organizations, affiliations, volunteer work, or extracurricular activities on your legal resume, only list those that are relevant to your practice as a legal professional, or that are directly related to your targeted job. Again, if it's not related to your practice or the position, do not include it.
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