- On November 15, 2020
What should your resume look like? I’ve discussed the elements of a modern resume, but if you are a visual person, check out this post by CNBC, which includes a reasonable template. I like its font, spacing, use of bold/italics, and layout (neither too crammed or spread out), which highlights skills and progression.
Things to copy from the template resume:
- It lists the geographic market (e.g., New York, NY) and not an exact address (no longer required).
- It includes email and cell. This sample includes the LinkedIn link, which is definitely not required or even the norm in a legal resume, though if you want to include it, great.
- Under each title/company is a short blurb on what your role is. Lawyers can do this too, like “Lead product counsel for XYZ company.”
- Each position only has 3-5 bullets. More than that makes skimming of the resume hard to do.
- Bullet entries contain lots of metrics. See my previous post on how to quantify legal achievements
- Font is a standard professional one with serifs, typical of legal resumes.
Things to tweak for a legal resume:
- Definitely add an Education section. One of the first things employers ask me is when a candidate graduated (and from where).
- Replace the Skills section with an Admissions section. Here you would include your state bar admission and any other admissions or certifications, e.g., USPTO, CIPP, etc.
- Include the executive summary only if you are very senior and/or have very interesting metrics like you scaled your company from $X to $Y, #% to ##%, launched ABC products in DEF countries, etc. Otherwise a quick skim of your resume (which should only be one to two pages) ought to give the reader the basics of your practice area, skills, and accomplishments.