Should a resume be only one-page long?

43 Views
( 7 votes, average: 4.6 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.
Question:

I am a second-year associate, and I want to find a new job.  I've always read that resumes should not exceed one page.  Do you agree?  (B.A., Washington, DC)



Answer:


Dear B.A.,

Many attorneys place too much emphasis on the length of their resumes. Here's the rule I tell my candidates: Your resume should be as long as it needs to be in order to persuasively and effectively communicate your background without wasting space or providing irrelevant information.

As a general rule, if you can fit all of your relevant experience on one page, this is ideal. But if you are judicious with your descriptions and headings and still need more than one page, don't sweat it.

Remember, effective communication is an integral element of being a good attorney, and your resume is your opportunity to show your communication skills. There's nothing wrong with a two—or even three—page resume if that is the length that is needed to convey your relevant background and experience. For some attorneys—for example, those who have had extensive prior careers or those with impressive lists of publications—several pages can be required to fully communicate their background. On the other hand, if an attorney is just a few years out of law school and has had only one job, relevant experience can likely be communicated in one page.

One problem I often see is that an attorney will have a resume that is a page and a quarter long and has lots of "white space" on the first page. (In other words, there is a lot of unused space on the first page.) This can be problematic because it sends the subtle signal that the attorney did not take the time to simply figure out how to fit all of the information on one page (by adjusting spacing, margins, etc.). This could reflect adversely on the attorney's attention to detail.

A resume is your first opportunity to show your communication skills, so it's critical. There are many excellent articles and resources on resume writing.

In short, be as concise as possible but as detailed as necessary to effectively and persuasively communicate your background and experience. When your resume does this, the number of pages becomes irrelevant.

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.



Popular tags

Legal Secretary      Law Assistant Jobs      Legal Jobs      Law Jobs      Partner Jobs      Paralegal Jobs      Government      Law Student Jobs      Judicial Clerkship      Summer Internship      Attorney Jobs      Fellowship Jobs In Law Firm      Public Interest      Inhouse Counsel Jobs      Legal Recruiter      Lawyer Jobs      General Counsel Jobs      Solicitor Jobs      Advocate Jobs      LawCrossing.com     

Featured Testimonials

I used LawCrossing and I surely am more than satisfied with the services I was provided.
Andrew


Facts

LawCrossing Fact #46: LawCrossing lists a daily featured job to inspire users’ daily job hunts.

 

Success Stories

I was able to obtain my new job through LawCrossing. I love your service! Hopefully, I won't need your help for a while, but if I do, I'll certainly sign up again. I have already told others about your great site.
  • Theresa D. Colorado