To be hired as an attorney, you not only need to demonstrate thorough understanding of the legal procedures, but also show prowess in documentation based on facts, and experience in your area of specialization. It is for this reason that a strong attorney resume is important to sell yourself to a potential employer. Apart from highlighting your capabilities, it can be a great tool to showcase what makes you different from other candidates who are equally educated and have similar professional experience.
As you are vying for the position of an attorney at any firm or a legal department of public sector, it would naturally be expected that you are completely knowledgeable about this field. Therefore, whether it is an entry-level or a mid-level position to handle corporate matters, drafting an attorney resume that boasts of your accomplishments, and expertise becomes a vital part of the job application process. There are some general rules to write an effective attorney resume. Follow the guidelines given below.
Fix on a layout and write contact details
There are two popular formats – chronological and functional. If you have an extensive list of accomplishments and a good work experience, go for the former layout, else opt for functional. As you are trying to sell yourself, putting relevant information at the top in this document becomes much more necessary. If you want the hiring manager to remember you, put your name and correspondence address at the beginning on the page along with contact number and professional email address. You can also provide a link to the portfolio which advertises the legal cases you have handled and the number of successful wins.
Succinct career summary
Describe in short, but in brief about what you could give by narrating accomplishments, and expertise. Add honors/awards you have received. Write only 3-4 lines to say why you are a perfect fit for the job. This section must be interesting enough to force the recruiter to read further.
List of skills
This section is where most of the keywords related to the profile can be placed in bullet points. Putting in the right and relevant information can boost your chances of ranking high in an ATS system. Points related to information about legal proceedings, up-to-date knowledge of the laws, communicating power, negotiating abilities can be highlighted in this section.
The next part of the document is your employment history. If you have no relevant formal experience, any part-time, or volunteer position in the desired field, for instance, human rights, criminal law, is acceptable as long as you can show the relevant skills gained during that period. For individuals with experience, write the company you have worked for, employment tenure and designation along with significant quantifiable achievements. It could be the number of cases you have won or the number of offenders who were put behind the bars due to your strong argument. You can also mention internship experience if any.
Educational background & Miscellaneous sections
The educational part could precede work experience section if you have passed graduation recently and would usually tell things about your degree, the law school, date of graduation. It could also have the certifications or license obtained. If you are a professional with a good work experience, ensure this section is at the bottom of the document. Your resume could also have other sections like professional affiliations, awards or scholarship received and volunteer part towards social causes.
Once you have completed writing a concise draft, do not forget to check grammar and formatting in your resume. Tailor the document every time you apply, and ensure that the added points compel the attorneys to take an interest in your application. Writing too vague points or common bullets would not make you stand out of the pack. Do not write a lengthy resume that would put the reader to sleep. Ask a third person to proofread it to know the mistakes which you have not realized. Take help of the attorney resume samples present here for guidelines, and customize your resume accordingly.
Checkout our various attorney resumes below: