Stand Out By Being Specific
“If a claim is worth making, make it in the most specific way.” - Claude C. Hopkins
Whenever I speak to attorneys about their resumes, I have two pieces of advice.
Update it every six months no matter if you’re looking to lateral or not.
Be more specific.
Once you’ve been practicing for a while, it can start to feel like litigation is litigation and M&A is M&A, so your resume can start to become general. Anyone reading can get the gist of what your experience may be, but the details of who you are get lost.
Firms are looking for specifics. They want to know not just that you are a Labor & Employment attorney, but how much Wage & Hour experience do you have, what types of motions and briefs have you drafted? They want to know if you’ve taken five or fifty depositions. Was it a $5 million merger, or was it a $500 million one?
It can feel like a lot of details should be obvious to whoever is looking at your resume - “Of course I have experience with that.” The difficulty can be that sometimes the first person to review your resume at a firm may not have a legal background, so they are looking for specific keywords to identify if someone has the right experience. If you don’t have those obvious keywords, there’s a danger your resume could be overlooked.
Now, that’s an added benefit of working with a recruiter: due to our relationships with the firms, we are able to keep nudging a resume to the top of the pile when we know a candidate would be a perfect fit.
Whether you’re working with a recruiter or not though, specificity is the name of the game!