What Recruiters Look For In A Resume

by Debra Vinikour, Senior Recruiting Attorney

Candidates and recruiters have a shared goal: candidates want the opportunity to be considered for a position, and recruiters want the opportunity to make a placement. We often hear from candidates who wonder why they were not considered for a particular role. Recruiters, who typically receive numerous responses to postings, are adept at vetting resumes quickly to determine which candidates might be a potential fit. As a candidate, how can you make your resume compelling? Here are some thoughts on maximizing your response rate.

Be a good fit. While it seems obvious, your resume should demonstrate that your background and experience are a good match for a particular role, and that your interest is not generic or aspirational. This connection should be in your work experience, not in a random buzzword or two thrown into a summary. If your background includes other factors that are relevant, please include a concise note or cover letter that makes the connection.

More is not necessarily better. Many candidates fall into the trap of the “jack-of-all-trades resume. They can handle corporate, litigation and family law matters – oh, and they can also repair a refrigerator. The resume should focus on the experience that’s most relevant to the role for which you’re applying.

Keep it recent and relevant. The resume should focus on the past 10-15 years of experience. If you’ve just been adding to the “top” of the resume, this is a good time to review the earlier experience to assess whether it adds value or if it should be condensed or deleted.

Page length and format. If you’re an experienced attorney, a two-page (or even a three-page) resume is fine. If it’s longer than that (other than candidates such as patent attorneys who might have a list of patents or publications), see above. Also, make sure that your resume has a format that is easy to read and upload into a database. Bells and whistles such as text boxes, multiple columns and different colors all detract from readability.

We always welcome qualified candidates who want to be included in our database for potential opportunities. We look forward to working with you!

Submit your resume or view our job listings.

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