Hi, I am in my last year of law school. I am having a difficult time finding a job in the legal industry. I believe it has a lot to do with my resume formulation, when reviewing my resume you'll notice an extensive amount of years of customer service or administrative support representative, the only legal information listed on my resume is my educational background. What strategies can you recommend that I use when I revise my resume from the standard resume to a legal resume?
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Usually the companies are looking not just for a certain work experience, but for the core competencies. It might be goal orientation, proactivity, planning skills, attention to detail etc. You can complete this list through the analyzing of job-description (+additional information about company's culture if you are focused on certain company).
When you comprehend what is the most valuable for this position, you can mention every relevant experience, even student's one. For example, if you are a student with a high score and also are involved in the volunteer or sport activities, it's good indicator for an employer that you can organize your schedule to succeed everything (looks like planning competency). If your project took 1st place at the competition do not hesitate to say about it, it would be great example of your goal orientation.
So, in case you don't have certain work background you can adapt another experience for job-position's competencies.
I recommend reading various job descriptions as a starting point. You can then use the description to inspire your resume. For example, you might read being organized is important for a job. You may have had to organize often for a position in the past. Those can be related.
I often look to see how close a resume lines up with a job description before moving the person onto an interview.
Also, when you look at your resume, it should tell a story. The first word on every bullet point should be an "action" such as Organize, Assist, Manage.
Did you intern at all? Expanding your horizons and doing summer internships while in law school helps bump up your resume. Also, while writing a resume be sure to let them know your strengths and weaknesses and extraordinary facts about yourself. Note that they want to see something different then the usual "resume".
When you are creating a career-specific resume, presentation is incredibly important. A busy law firm is likely to dismiss or overlook your relevant experience and education if your resume is crowded with things that do not pertain to the position they are scouting for. You want to lead with your education and anything that may set you apart regarding it because of your limited work experience. Did you graduate with a high GPA or honors of any kind? Were you part of any clubs? Do you have any comparable volunteer experience? Do you speak another language? You have to sell yourself in that resume, and include a cover letter too. Cover letters are a great way to briefly introduce yourself, your goals, and your skills. If you were looking to hire someone, what would stand out for you? Think like a recruiter and highlight all the reasons they should pick you over someone else. What you do not want, is them skimming right past your resume before they can see all the good stuff, like your education. So make sure that comes first and that anything not that appealing (like non-related work experience) comes later - if at all. I hope this helps, and I wish you the best of luck in starting an exciting new career.