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Essential Resume Profiles

published August 21, 2006

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( 306 votes, average: 4.7 out of 5)
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We at Attorney Resume believe that your Profile, which we put at the very top of a resume (immediately after your name and contact information), is essential to help a potential employer picture who you are. Your Profile can stand on its own, whether or not you have a cover letter. It should be accurate and backed up by details that you include in the rest of the resume. (In fact, your Profile reminds the reader what to look for in your resume.)
Essential Resume Profiles

Your Profile is a Snapshot: It is a quick photo, not a formal studio portrait. It offers a broad idea of who you are, just as a snapshot of New England forests in autumn shows stunning swathes of yellow, orange, and red but not individual birch, maple, or oak leaves. Your Profile should stun the reader with strong statements about your professional self.

Your Profile is a Hook: It is a tool to pull your readers along. Intrigued by what they read in your Profile, they will settle back and read the balance of your resume. So be sure to think about your characteristics in light of the needs of employers (which requires some research on your part before sending your resume). Employers want to be impressed by you! They want to hire you! They want to think about the value you will bring to the firm!

Your Profile is a Collage: It is an assembly of your diverse fragments, without transitions. In this way, your Profile is easy to skim and remember. In your Profile, instead of writing "I worked throughout undergraduate and law schools," you could use words like "diligent" and "determined."

In addition to mentioning that you are, for example, a litigator (or a student about to graduate from law school), mention your skills, e.g., negotiations, oral argument, interpersonal communications, cultural competence, foreign language fluency (but not those two years of French you took in high school). Include law review, a top GPA, professional memberships, significant awards, and foreign language/experience abroad. And, of course, Bar memberships. Don't be shy! Don't be humble!

When you construct it thoughtfully, the Profile can be a clear snapshot/rich collage of your skills, accomplishments, and ethics. After you are finished, you want to hear yourself say (as did an Attorney Resume client), "Looks fantastic! The profile fits me perfectly!"

Below are two examples.
Principled, ambitious associate attorney with graduate degree in civil engineering. Wide-ranging experience in intellectual property/patents. Superior negotiation skills. Meticulous and diligent. Conscientious client/colleague relations. U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Patent Agent. Board Member, Fargo Research & Technology Park. Member, Big Blue Society. Law Review/Top 5%. North Dakota, Minnesota, and American Bar Associations.
Bar Memberships: North Dakota and Minnesota. Wisconsin, pending.

In-house attorney for $10-billion global corporation, with expertise in complex domestic and international commercial transactions, seeking new challenges. Skilled in negotiation and highly knowledgeable regarding risk analysis/assessment. Functions well in deadline-driven, detail-oriented environments. Recognized for responsiveness and resourcefulness. Excellent interpersonal communications, developing trusted relationships with clients and colleagues. Fluent in English, Mandarin, and Tagalog. Member, American Bar Association. New York State Bar.

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See 6 Things Attorneys and Law Students Need to Remove from Their Resumes ASAP If They Want to Get Jobs with the Most Prestigious Law Firms for more information.

published August 21, 2006

( 306 votes, average: 4.7 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.