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Optimizing Contact Information On Your Legal Resume
By: Vanessa Vidal

If you are an attorney conducting a job search, you have probably sent your legal resume to dozens if not hundreds of potential employers, waiting anxiously to be contacted.  Why are you not getting a response?  Could there be a problem with your contact information?

Before you send out your legal resume to potential employers, you need to make sure that you have optimized and doubled-checked your contact information.  When including your contact information, not only should everything be absolutely accurate, but it should also include the following:
  • Full street mailing address
  • Private and professional email address
  • Mobile telephone number
  • LinkedIn profile
Full Street Mailing Address: Be Accurate

The mailing address on your legal resume should be a full street address, rather than a P.O. Box. A P.O. Box address typically looks less professional than a street address, and may not properly reflect the city or state you currently live in.  Employers rely on this address to determine your location; therefore, it should be absolutely accurate.  You should also avoid using your work address to avoid confidentiality issues.

Private and Professional Email Address: Stay On The Safe Side

You should provide a private and professional email address on your legal resume.  For instance, if your email address is partylawyer@gmail.com, it is less likely to get a response than johndoe@gmail.com.  You should also avoiding unknown private server addresses, such as johndoe@superlawyer.com as they may not appear as serious or reliable to a potential employer as those from general emails providers like Yahoo, Gmail, or Hotmail.

You should never use your work email on your legal resume.  A growing number of employers have established policies on employer Internet use including monitoring work emails, instant messenger use, and other operations on servers during company time.  Therefore, your work email is most likely being monitored; therefore, using a work email could breach your confidentiality and land you in hot water with your current employer, and potentially threaten your current position. 

Even if your current employer is aware of the fact that you are looking, you should still use a private email address.  Employers prefer to receive correspondence from personal accounts rather than from competitor addresses.   Most importantly, you don’t want to send a message to a potential new employer that you conduct job searches on company time.  Potential employers may frown on employees using company resources, including a work email address, to conduct a job search.

Mobile Telephone Number: Your Best Option

When including a telephone number on your legal resume, it is best to provide a mobile number, and to specify on the resume that the number listed is a cell phone number.  A potential employer may be looking at hundreds of resume, and if you are lucky enough to be given a call, you need to be the available to answer the call.  In this market, you may not get a second chance.

Providing a work number on your legal resume runs the same risks as providing a work email address.  You may breach confidentiality. Your assistant could be the one answering the call or checking your voicemail.  You may not be able to take the call while someone is sitting in your office, and run the risk of letting your visitor know you are looking for a job, or annoying a potential employer because you are not available to take the call.  You may also offend a potential employer by using company time and resources to conduct your job search. 

Home telephone numbers are fine, but they are not as professional or effective.  You may run the risk of having little Billy answer the phone, or of an employer reaching your fun, yet quirky family answering machine.  Your spouse may answer that call and have to take a message, which could get lost or misunderstood.  When an employer makes a call, they do not want to leave a message or speak with someone else; they want to be able to reach you immediately.  A mobile number is your best option.  Make sure you to provide your cell phone number on your legal resume, and keep your phone on with you at all times to be available for a call.

LinkedIn Profile: The Next Level

If you have created a LinkedIn profile, you should consider adding a hotlink of your LinkedIn profile on your resume and other job-search correspondence.  Your LinkedIn profile could serve as another source of information for an employer to consider.     Before you include your LinkedIn hotlink on your legal resume, make sure that the profile you have on LinkedIn completely matches your resume.  Be just as careful about typos, dates, titles, and details of your employment on your LinkedIn profile as you are with your legal resume.  You do not want to raise red flags because of errors or discrepancies.  Finally, be careful with the type of information you are including on your LinkedIn profile, as potential employers will now be visiting your profile.

Date: 03/16/09
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