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How to Make Your Resume Look Good

published February 01, 2013

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
Published By
( 4 votes, average: 4.9 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.
Since your resume probably will be the first contact between you and your prospective employer, it is imperative that it invite reading. The physical appearance of your resume is as important as the information it contains. A resume that is hard to read or confusing to interpret will end up in the wastebasket, while the reader goes on to the next one. Your resume is competing with many others and as a result is scanned very rapidly. The more attractive your resume is, the better impression it will make in the few moments that are given it initially.

TIP: Your resume should appeal to the eye.

Bearing in mind that your resume is meant to serve, in part, as a personal advertisement, take a hint from the professional ad-makers. As one "pro" expressed it, "A good ad looks good enough to grab your attention, and once it's got it, tells you what it wants to say as quickly and effectively as it can." Like the ad, your resume should be visually compelling and to the point.

Do Not Make Your Resume Too Long

Don't run off at the mouth - or, rather, the computer. Keep it brief. One page, if possible (and do everything to make it possible); two pages, if necessary.

TIP: Keep your resume brief.

Remember that you are striving for one of two pages. Your resume should contain just enough information to sketch your abilities and qualifications. It is neither an autobiography nor a vehicle for your personal philosophy. Your aim is not to tell the reader all about yourself, but to create enough interest so that the reader will want to know more about you.

Grab the Eye!

The first thing you have to consider before typing the resume is the layout of the copy. Be sure that the total effect is pleasing to the eye. But be equally sure that it is easy to read and that the different sections are clearly separate from one another.

TIP: Have adequate margins.

Use your ground - the white space on the paper - effectively, even using your margins imaginatively. We have received many resumes whose information indicated easily placed applicants, but that were so badly laid-out and cluttered that we were hesitant about sending them on to prospective employers.

TIP: Use standard-size, good-quality paper.

Even though odd-sized paper might be visually arresting, it can create a filing problem. Use the standard &W x 11" paper. It is easily filed and easily handled.

Choose a good-quality watermarked bond paper and, if not using white, be sure it is a pale color that will contrast well with the color of the type. Use only one side of the paper, and if the resume is more than one page, staple the pages together, being sure that your name appears on each page.

TIP: Proofread your resume.

Be sure that there are no spelling or typing errors. It is a good idea to have several people proofread your resume for you. In addition, unless you are a superlative typist (or plan to have your resume printed with the printer's own type), it is worth the small expense to have a professional type it for you.

Reproducing Your Resume

Once employers expected every resume they received to be typed individually; fortunately, those days have passed. Any duplicating process which turns out clean, sharp copies may be used.

TIP: Use a good-quality paper.

It is important that your resume be reproduced on a good quality paper. If you are having a typescript reproduced, it is best to insist upon a good-quality watermarked bond. If it is to be printed, an equally fine opaque paper should be used. Don't be afraid of the additional expense of a quality paper; it will add little to the total cost, and the effect it creates is well worth it.

Alternative Summary

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

More about Harrison

About LawCrossing

LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.LawCrossing.com.

published February 01, 2013

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
( 4 votes, average: 4.9 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.