Resume Writing Advice for Law Students | Law Student Tips

Resume Writing Advice for Law Students | Law Student Tips

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(upbeat music) – Your resume is the first impression that employer receives of you. So, you need to ask yourself, what does your
resume say about you. And essentially like a HR manager or someone
in a talent coordinator or someone like
that is going to be looking at your resume and thinking
who is this person? what can I sort of ascertain, from paper? what’s their
attention to detail like? What’s their writing ability like? are they persuasive
in the way they talk? there’s so much that you probably don’t think about that a resume sort of conveys about you and that’s why it’s really so important to make sure that that’s
right from the get go. Because, if it’s not the doors won’t open to shortlisting and interviews and all that sort of thing. So it’s really important that you really have a well structured
and a well written resume and hopefully you might have seen, we’ve got a free template on our website. And it’s really quite basic and a lot of people I think get put-off because it’s quite basic but I wanna tell you a little bit about the psychology behind that and why it’s written like that. And, of course
there’s gonna be different types of formats and things like that but essentially I wanna
give you an overview about a legal resume and how, it should really
sort of convey information. And the way I see it is that, and the way I’ve seen them work best is when they’re written in a format that’s very similar to
legal correspondence and this is for a few reasons. And I like the strategy side of things i in addition to, writing a resume. I like the strategy of trying, to do things
that are gonna help you more. So a legal resume I believe, and the feedback I get is it should be really like legal correspondence and that’s so firstly it’s familiar to the people that are reading it. They understand it, it’s concise. It’s written in a way that’s using sort of a more legal sort of format or, legal sort of language. So if you have a look
at the resume template, it’s very straight forward but it’s written in a way
that people understand. And it’s very straight forward in a sense that it’s got your date, it’s got your your employment history and the positions you’ve held
and that sort of thing. But more importantly, what
it does is it goes into and reminds you to add things which are crucial,
that we always look for. And the reason that it’s important is that it prompts you
to add this information because without it, law firms and the people in the law firms that are hiring are quite short on time so they’ve gotta move on. So it’s really important that you put this sort of information in. And I’m talking about
things like admission dates. Now, if you’re just studying
and you’re not admitted yet then make sure that you’re
putting at the top there that when your expected admission date is even if you’re applying, for a paralegal, clerkships
or things like that. It helps them to understand the timeline, about when you’re coming in and how long they might have you. And obviously, I think for a lot of people the best case scenario
is to take a clerk on or to take a paralegal on and that will progress into,
a graduate role. That’s the best case scenario so I think if you do that, it helps to make sure that you’re fitting within their timeline. More importantly, is that it also prompts you to put in certain experience and hopefully you’ve got a little bit of experience or maybe some volunteer
experience or something. If you don’t, that’s okay. We can talk about that in
a different video. But it prompts you to put in information about… When I’m recruiting, for example, and I’m looking at
candidates to match to firms, we look for relevance and like for like so the template prompts you to put in, the types of clients
that you’re working with, the types of matters you’re working with, the volumes, things like that. The practice areas,
things that the law firms wanna know. things that you might not be putting in there. I mean I think, that one of the biggest mistakes that people make is they they just blurt all their
skills and experience in dot points and they don’t really expand on the specifics which
we really need to know. And like I said people are
quite short on time so that when they’ve got 100 other law students or graduates
that they need to get through they’re not going to spend the time to ring you up and say oh
can I have some clarification around this point,
they’re not gonna do it. So they’re just gonna put you to the side and move onto the next
person that’s perhaps conveying that information
a bit more clearly. So that’s why it’s real
important that you’re including examples of your matters, examples of the types of
clients you work with. Think about the types of legislation you might know and how you’ve applied that and give examples of
matters you’ve worked on and obviously don’t use
anything confidential or anything like that. But, you know, just say
I’ve been involved in commercial property matters, or buy and sell businesses for example, things like that which will help them to sort of put you in the
same light as what, they might be doing. so expand on as much as possible. Don’t just put dot points
about what you’ve done. If you’ve been fortunate enough to have some legal experience, don’t just say I can draft documents or, things like that. What type of documents, have you had experience doing ,for example? Have you drafted IP agreements or have you reviewed franchise
agreements or intellectual property
assignments, things like that. So get into the detail about
what your experience is so that you’re communicating
that really important information. The general information doesn’t really help in your situation so in your resume have your cover letters, sorry not your covers letters, have your practice areas and list under each of your practice areas that you’ve had experience with what the details around that are, example matters, and that
will help you greatly and will increase your relevance to the jobs you’re applying to. Now, this sort of leads me onto…. I think a lot of people
tailor their cover letters, but they don’t really tailor their resumes. So this is quite important
and it’s a bit of a hack which you can do to really
increase your relevancy. So obviously, you’re gonna have skills and experience right from different jobs or different areas of your
life which are relevant. But if you’re applying for
say for example a paralegal job, sorry I’ve got a really itchy nose and it won’t stop itching
and it’s annoying me. If you’re applying to say a paralegal role and it’s a commercial role
or a commercial property, role within that practice area what you wanna do is essentially expand on your skills and experience that may be more relevant to that
and reduce your other experience because
it’s just not as relevant. So for example, you’ve
been in a volunteer role and you might have done
a bit of wills or estates or you might have done property or a bit of litigation,
then that’s all great. Increase
the relevance to the experience or the skills
that are relevant to the role and reduce the others. Ideally you
wanna keep your resume to three or four pages in length. So don’t simply expand on
everything if it’s not relevant because what can happen is the people that are reviewing the
resume just won’t have time to sift through it and they’ll just, get bored of it. I mean on average I think the stats are about eight seconds is
all that someone reviews your resume before they decide to move on so you don’t have a lot of time to make a pretty big impression. So if I can just, get one thing really
clear with your resume is that tailor them, make
them really highly relevant and you’ll find that you’ll get a better cut through with your resume. (upbeat music)

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