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Resume Suggestions for Legal Professional Support Staff

A Resume Must Capture the Interest of an Employer in Ten Seconds or Less
As unbelievable as the statement sounds, it is true. Every accomplishment, every step to achievement needs to be summed up in a concise, easy to read summary that can be scanned quickly by a decision maker. You need to make a compelling statement that will motivate the employer to pick up the phone and call you.

Your Resume is Your Most Important Marketing Tool
Most professionals put an exorbitant number of hours into their job search, but put very little time into their primary marketing tool. In order to write an effective resume, you need to do a little self-assessment. Preparing a successful resume requires knowing who you are, knowing the skills you have, and knowing where you are going.

After having reviewed thousands of resumes over the years, the ones that stand out - the ones that land people jobs - are the ones that show a clear career direction. Even if you have a really good resume, it would be worth your while to do the following exercise.

  • If you were a potential employer reading your resume, what would you think about you?
  • What do you want the reader of your resume to think about you?
  • What does your resume say about your strengths?
  • What does your resume say about your weaknesses?
  • Does your resume convey what skills you have developed?

You should also speak with friends and coworkers to get their thoughts on what they believe to be your greatest strengths and weaknesses. When you are preparing any resume, "who you are" will be summed up in a document generally of one page and will be reviewed very quickly. You must make an instant impression.

Clean and Simple Formatting is Best
A resume always needs to be easy to read and must have a flawless appearance. In order to make the best impression, a resume should be in an easy to read font that will enable an employer to easily scan it to learn about your skills and experience.

You need to ensure that your resumes, cover letters and envelopes are all printed on the same stationery. They should always be printed on high-quality white or off-white paper. It goes without saying that all your documents should be completely error free.

Always Proofread
You should always proofread your resume, and have colleagues proofread it to eliminate any typographic errors. One spelling error can make you look unprofessional and may cost you an interview.

Margins, tabs and other formatting must be consistent. In addition, you should emphasize the names of your current and past employers so that a person reviewing your resume will know at a glance where you have worked.

Contact Information
It should follow the standard business format and be simple to read.

John Doe Jr.
12345 Anystreet
Anytown, CT 00000
(555) 555-5555

Preferably, your name should be in bold and larger font so that it stands out. You should also use your private email address to be discreet.

The most important part of the experience section of your resume is the description of each position held. Through the careful selection of words and phrases, you should paint a dynamic and exciting picture of your work. The descriptions should highlight the experience most relevant to your current search.

Depending upon your experience level, education should be last on your resume, unless you have been in a legal environment for less than two years. Remember to include any academic honors that you recieved such as Dean's List, Cum Laude or Magna Cum Laude.

Final Points to Remember

  • Directly below each employer's name, you should list what title you have held.
  • You should be clear about all of your employment and educational dates.
  • Highlight your computer and technical skills.
  • If you speak more than one language, it is a good idea to list these, along with your level of proficiency.