Many of us know that we have to shape a cover letter to fit the specific duties of a job. But a secret that many forget, or ignore, is that the same holds true for a legal professional’s resume. A resume cannot be generalized in nature. Rather, a job seeker must tailor it to the specific opportunity he/she is applying for.
What’s Wrong with a Non-Tailored Resume?
The main problem with a general resume is that it doesn’t convince a hiring manager that a legal applicant can perform the specific tasks of the job he is applying for. A general resume may show off credentials that cast a candidate in a glowing light. However, this general information is not enough to show hiring personnel that an applicant can get a job done.
Please know that a potential employer will typically review resumes with a copy of the job description (for the job being applied for) close at bay. They do this so they can determine if a candidate is right for that position. This means a non-tailored resume will do little to convince or impress a hiring manager.
What are Some Tips at Tailoring?
A few tips to easily help tailor a resume include:
Match the resume to the information in the job description. As alluded to above, a candidate must use his resume to convince a potential employer that he can perform the job being applied for. A great way to ensure this happens is for the applicant to study the job description that he is seeking to fill. He should underline all of the important details, and then make sure that his resume has specific information that addresses or answers the content that was underlined.
Add, move, or delete information. All job descriptions are not the same. This means candidates will have to change the information on their resume when applying for different jobs. They will likely have to add, move, or delete information so that they are ensuring they are speaking to a job description.
Please note that when we say “move” information, we do not mean move entire sections like job history and education. Rather, we’re suggesting moving details under a heading. For example, to more directly make a connection with a job post, an applicant may want to re-order the bullet points that are given under a past employer. Small movements in details can make big differences – for the better.
Use data. By data here, we mean numbers and figures like:
- The number of people a candidate supervised.
- A percentage of cases that a person resolved or brought to trial.
- The number of words a person can type per minute.
- A number of people that an applicant trained.
Concrete data and hard numbers usually help provide great details that quickly address the performance of duties listed in a job post. Make your resume an argument and use details and data to back up and prove your points.
A resume is so much more than a generalized document with lists of things a person has done. A generalized resume of this nature may tell a person some information. But it will not excite a potential employer. And, it will do little to convince the company that the candidate will succeed in the position being applied for.
LAW DAWGS has been in the business of helping legal professional find employment for almost three decades now. We know the importance that resumes serve. We also know of the great benefits within candidates tailoring their resumes. If you have any questions on your resume, or on tailoring it, please do not hesitate to contact us. We’re always here to help.