If you are a recent graduate, a law student, or a lawyer who has only worked for one employer, limiting your lawyer resume to one page may be an easy task. If on the other hand you are an experienced lawyer, or one that has made several transitions, limiting your lawyer resume to one page may be a tall order. In that case, you may need an additional page. However, you can still enjoy the benefits of the "single page" lawyer resume format if you capture the most relevant information on the first page of your resume.
Myth #1: Keep it to one page. If you've been around the block a few times, written (or rewritten) your resume a time or two, and applied for several jobs, this is a no-brainer. Nonetheless, I'm constantly surprised at the number of competent professionals who think that they have to squeeze their entire career history onto a single 8½ x 11" sheet of paper. Often, this leads to shrinking margins, tiny fonts, and even (heaven forbid) compressed character spacing. Don't do that to yourself. Obviously, you don't want to get carried away here (see myth #4). You're not writing a biography. Nonetheless, it's perfectly appropriate for a seasoned professional to take up to three pages.
To be effective, your resume must be written in the most appropriate format for your total experiences, especially your work history. Choosing the best format is crucial and should be carefully designed by a certified professional resume writer to produce a powerful credential. The three most prominent resume formats are chronological, functional, and the combination, or hybrid, the chronological format being the most used and liked by human resources people for the ease of following applicants' work history and professional focus and development. This format also highlights any breaks, or gaps, in the chronology of employment, sometimes raising a "red flag."
A video resume firm can also help you find the best keywords to use on your resume. A lot of HR professionals use candidate screening software that look for specific keywords related to the job. If your resume doesn't have those keywords, the software will kick your resume out of the candidate pool without ever being seen by human eyes. The resume professional will be able to help you get your resume through the software process, so it is actually seen by a real person.
There are a couple of exceptions to this rule. Some federal or state jobs may require this information, in which case you should only include the information specifically requested. Another exception to this rule is if you are sending your legal resume abroad. Sometimes including age, marital status, race, and/or religion is acceptable if the resume is being sent outside of the United States. In that case, you should check with local recruiters as to what is proper to include in the legal resume.
Properly used, video resumes can be an excellent format to showcase job experience as well as polished communications skills. There is still a novel aspect to video resumes so making still shows a willingness to embrace new technology and think outside the box. As long as applicants understand a company's resume submission policies, as well as ensure that their video is professional and in a venue a potential employer may frequent, it increases the chances this new form of resume can help and not hinder their chances of finding employment.
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