Lawyer Resume Example, Tips & Tricks
In a nation governed by the rule of law, a lawyer’s work is never truly done. Across the United States, more than 1.3 million lawyers provide advice and representation to individuals, companies, and government bodies. In fact, these professionals’ services are so vital to society that employment in this field is expected to grow by ten percent over the next eight years. Do you have the Lawyer resume you need to take advantage of that growth?
For attorneys who are looking for employment with a law firm, company, or government agency, there is no substitute for a truly compelling Lawyer resume. Fortunately, we’ve created this guide that includes a Lawyer resume example and some resume-writing tips and tricks you can use to ensure that your resume is ready to make the best possible impression on any prospective employer.
How to write a resume
As a Lawyer, you know that there’s more to a court case than just making an argument in front of a judge or jury. To prepare for a hearing or trial, you first need to conduct extensive research, develop convincing arguments, and prepare briefs that help to sway a court’s opinions. Well, the same principles hold true for your Lawyer resume. Without the right preparation and strategy, your resume will be just another document that hiring managers toss into the rejection pile.
But how do you write a great resume? What elements does it need to contain, and what strategies do you need to employ to ensure an employer can understand just how much value you can bring to their organization? Let’s examine some of the best tips and tricks you can use to craft your lawyer resume, including choosing the right format, creating a solid structure, and carefully tailoring your message to align with each employer’s needs.
Reverse chronological format is preferred
The format you choose for your resume can immediately draw a reader’s attention, so this is one of the most important decisions you will make when you craft your Lawyer resume. There are three main options, including the chronological, functional, and combination (a/k/a hybrid) formats. Most employers prefer to see a reverse chronological format since it enables them to quickly view your career progression, beginning with your current or most recent position.
You can choose a different option, but just be aware that some employers may be skeptical of a resume that doesn’t provide a clear timeline of employment. Moreover, the reverse chronological format enables you to use a straightforward structure that will be extremely familiar to the employers who see it.
The structure of your resume will be key to delivering a coherent and convincing narrative. When you’re laying out your resume, you should separate different types of information into appropriate sections, using headings to identify each area. Your Lawyer resume should include:
Contact details: This should go at the top of your Lawyer resume and include essential information like your full name, location, phone, email, and optimized LinkedIn URL.
Profile or summary paragraph: Your summary statement should be a brief, powerful elevator pitch that conveys your top skills, experiences, and overall value to the employer. Make sure that this statement is no more than a few sentences in length, but packed with information that highlights your unique value proposition.
Core competencies: This section is where you provide a bullet point list of your most relevant hard and soft skills. Try to choose roughly a dozen of these abilities to confirm and highlight your qualifications.
Professional experience: Otherwise known as the work experience section, this area of your resume should include your job history, listed in reverse chronological order. Be sure to include two or three bullet point examples of your achievements at each job, using real numbers to show the value you can provide.
Education: This section documents your educational background, including schools you attended, relevant coursework, and degrees you earned.
How to tailor your lawyer resume
Your Lawyer resume will also need to be tailored to fit each job you’re applying for. Pay attention to the job posting and description and identify any specific terms used to describe the desired qualifications. These terms are keywords that you should include in your resume to ensure that it gets past the company’s applicant tracking system, or ATS. Adjust your skills and other text as needed to work those keywords into your narrative.
Lawyer resume example
Obviously, that’s a great deal of information to make sense of without being able to see an example that showcases these ideas. That’s why we’ve included a great Lawyer resume example you can refer to as you begin to assemble your own resume. Be sure to examine the various sections of the example to better understand how they all work in concert to create a convincing narrative that sells the job seeker as the best candidate for the job.
Key hard & soft skills for a Lawyer
Lawyers possess unique skills that are essential for serving their clients. Those skills include vital hard skills that they use to research and understand the law, as well as soft skills that help them to deal with clients, communicate their ideas and arguments, and interact with court personnel, juries, witnesses, and other members of the public.
Your Lawyer resume should highlight your top hard and soft skills to ensure that prospective employers can recognize your potential value as a member of their team.
A lawyer’s hard skills will include a wide variety of abilities they’ve learned during their formal education or through hands-on experience. These skills include those directly related to the practice of law, as well as some transferable abilities such as technical writing and analysis.
Knowledge of civil and/or criminal law and procedure
Of course, soft skills are just as important for any successful attorney and should be highlighted on your Lawyer resume, too. These skills include interpersonal abilities and traits that enable lawyers to effectively work with others, manage time and tasks, and communicate in a professional and ethical manner. For example:
Summary & last words
The best lawyers are always prepared to make the most convincing argument possible. In any job search, your Lawyer resume is the key to delivering the powerful narrative you need to gain a prospective employer’s attention and interest. Remember to focus on your key skills – both hard skills and interpersonal abilities, detail experiences that align with the employer’s needs, and deliver that information in a convincing narrative that highlights you as the best candidate for the job.
For maximum impact, don’t forget these key tips:
Use the right format and structure
Utilize bullet point examples for your achievements, rather than paragraphs
Include a great summary statement that can capture the employer’s interest in just a few sentences
Make sure that your skill section lists both hard and soft abilities
Optimize your work experience section by focusing on aspects of each job that are relevant to the position you’re seeking
Each time you apply to a different company, adjust your resume to tailor it to that job
Introduction to TopResume: Professional resume writers
The legal profession is more competitive than ever, and you need a truly outstanding Lawyer resume to capture any employer’s attention. The resume experts at TopResume are the partners you need to ensure that your resume achieves that goal. Each of our resume writers understands your industry and what employers want to see from job candidates. Contact us to learn more about how our professional resume writing services can help you advance your legal career.
Why you should make use of our resume writing services to land your next job as a Lawyer
While anyone can create a resume, the crafting of a truly compelling job search document requires the type of experience and expertise that you can only get by partnering with professionals. Our writers work with you to ensure that your resume is a personalized document that conveys your talents and real-world experience in a way that will open a new world of professional opportunity. We know what employers want to see from job candidates and work to ensure that your resume speaks directly to those needs.
Resume writing service for Lawyers: Let us write your resume
You deserve a resume that can supercharge your career and get you to the next level of success. A great Lawyer resume can make the difference between settling for an average position or vying for the top jobs in your industry. At TopResume, our team of professional writers is committed to your career success and leverages their talents and experience to ensure that your resume provides the support you need for any successful job search. Contact us today to discover how investing in your job search can help you further your career advancement and achieve your goals.
Who are the TopResume writers?
Senior Resume Writer
4+ years of experience
Bachelor of Arts in Humanities and Classical Studies
Billie has partnered with clients from all industries and regions, writing impactful resumes to support a wealth of career growth, evolution, and transition targets. Billie’s love of the written word spans her entire life and career, and she enjoys utilizing that passion to empower the success of her clients!
Senior Resume Writer
10+ years of experience
Master of Arts in English
Traci has a Master of Arts in English and has been writing since middle school. After spending several years in marketing, she decided to use her writing skills and corporate knowledge to help job seekers position themselves to achieve their career goals.
Senior Resume Writer
15+ Years of Experience
Bachelor of Arts in English and Business Writing
Jeremy has helped 6K+ clients gain the confidence to apply for, and get, their dream jobs. His educational background in English and business writing and dedication to supporting clients’ needs inspire him to deliver top-tier career support for customers across all industries.