When preparing a resume for a position in a law firm, be extra diligent about your spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting. Los Angeles law firms will have personnel reading your resume who possess elite written communication skills. There is no room for error. A Kent Daniels staff member will carefully review your resume prior to sending it to a firm for consideration. This is part of our service to assist you in your job search. With over 25 years of legal staffing experience, we are skilled in legal resume writing.
- Be careful with your cover letter. Customize it for the position for which you are applying and watch your spelling and grammar carefully. Use complete sentences, proper capitalization, and consistent text styles in your correspondence. Many applicants claim to have excellent communication skills, but prove otherwise in their introduction emails and cover letters.
- Customize your resume for the type of position you are seeking. Emphasize relevant experience, skills and software knowledge.
- If you include an objective, make sure it matches the opening for which you are applying and is not so specific as to exclude other positions for which you may be qualified (unless you are not willing to accept a different position).
- Be accurate and truthful about your employment, skills and education. Employers routinely test skills, check references and conduct background checks.
- Use a professional email address. Stick with your name.
- List your most recent job or education first and if you are bullet pointing or creating a list of skills or responsibilities, put the most relevant skills first.
- Use one simple font and one font size, except for your name and headings. Be sure spacing between job entries and sections is uniform and styled correctly.
- Be consistent when formatting the resume. Make sure that dates, abbreviations, capitalization, spacing, and punctuation are formatted uniformly throughout. If you list December 2006, use that format everywhere; do not change the style to 12/2006 somewhere else. If you spell out California for one job entry, do not abbreviate it to CA on your address. There is no right or wrong way, but be consistent. It shows you have a strong attention to detail.
- Use proper capitalization, punctuation and grammar. Most resumes have more capitalization than is accurate. Remember to pay attention to verb tense. If you list your duties at a former employer in the past tense, be sure each former job entry is also written in the past tense.
- Do not write in the first person. Do not use “I” or “my” or any word that shows possession. The resume is a document that tells about you and your qualifications…not you telling the story of your employment.
- Be as clear as possible; avoid unnecessary words in your descriptions.
- Do not include personal characteristics (including photos).
- No typos allowed! Proofread your resume. There is no reason for any typos on your resume…ever. Sending a resume or cover letter filled with grammatical mistakes, inconsistent fonts, and typographical errors shows hiring managers you don’t care about the quality of your work. Demonstrating a strong attention to detail will give the employer confidence in your abilities.
- Finally, spell check your resume, and set your email settings to spell check before sending. Have multiple people proofread your resume for words that cannot be caught with the spell check feature. You only have one chance to get past the first screener. Remember, your resume is meant to get your foot in the door; don’t let your resume, cover letter or email response to a job posting screen you out.
- Never send your resume from your work email address or list an employer’s email address or phone number as your contact information. While it is important for potential employers to be able to reach you, they shouldn’t be contacting you at work. Additionally, these same potential employers will question if you will search for your next job on their time.
- Keep a journal of where you have submitted your resume and the jobs for which you have applied.
Please read PREPARING FOR YOUR INTERVIEW IN A LAW FIRM for essential interview preparation, etiquette and conduct.