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Essential Facts About Employers Review Of Legal Resumes
By: Karen Anderson

How Long Do Employers Spend Reviewing Legal Resumes?

When you spend hours pouring over every details of your legal resume, you have to wonder. How much time do employers actually spend going over your legal resume? The answer is very little. According to a recent survey by CareerBuilder, 17% of employers and hiring managers spend 30 seconds or less reviewing resumes. A majority of employers, 68%, spend less than two minutes.

With so little time to capture interest, your legal resume has to make an impact on the 30 seconds to 2 minutes it receives. This leaves little room for error, but does suggest that the value of an effective legal resume is not necessarily in the details. Of course, the resume should be free of errors and well written, but what will set a great legal resume from merely a good one will be found in its format and word choice.

This is where the readily available free samples of legal resumes do little to help candidates. These commonly used legal resumes are packed with terms that are overused, tired clichés, and basic formatting options that will not set you apart from the masses. We all know that there are bad legal resumes out there. While it would seem that it is a good idea to go cheap and fast by lifting free samples online, I also know that employers are flooded with these run-of-the-mill template resumes, and are not apt to select them.

What Does a Professional Legal Resume Add to the Mix?

My colleagues and I work hard to deliver quality legal resumes. As professional resume writers we are constantly looking to enhance our skill sets to provide cutting-edge legal resumes and cover letters for our clients. We look at trends that work, bur most importantly, because of our background in legal recruiting, legal employers provide us with direct feedback on the resumes they review. So we know exactly what works and what doesn’t.

Our writing process is a very different because we base our legal resume writing on the feedback we’ve received from legal employers themselves. In a way, they are part of the process from start to finish. While every client’s legal resume is different, we base our approach on what has worked for a wide variety of legal employers.

As professional resume writers we have to find the stories that differentiate the clients from the rest of the pack. We create legal resumes that capture their skills and expertise while also quantifying and qualifying their information in a manner that is immediately impactful. To do this effectively, it takes a lot of time. The legal resumes we craft take an average of twelve hours to complete, and sometimes a lot more.

For job seekers writing their own legal resume to be successful, they need to use the same process of distilling their career into value-filled stories. However, to come up with this type of objectivity in a format that is impactful can be very challenging. Also, of our clients have told me that when they wrote their own legal resumes, it took them many more hours to write a well-written and formatted resume.

Too Many Legal Resumes, Too Little

Time When a majority of employers spend less than two minutes of any one resume, what does it mean? Why doesn’t the hiring process – which begins with a well-done legal resume, not warrant more time? This process is rushed, but that’s because the volume of resumes is simply too high. Employers don’t have the resources to dedicate more time reviewing resumes; therefore, if yours does not immediately show what the employer is looking for, it will never make it past that stage.

Automating the application process using Applicant Tracking Systems, coupled with the economic downturn, has dramatically increased the volume of resumes. The point-n-click strategy of many job seekers who also hurry through the process and apply for positions without any qualifications adds to the process. While you can’t stop the race, you can take proactive measures with your legal resume to make sure that it crosses the finish line. That means foregoing the use of fast and easy templates, and connecting your legal resume and your talents with professional resume writers who know how to make a difference.

Date: 05/26/15
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