The winning résumé is a marketing document, not an obituary that simply recites your life's chronology. From a marketing perspective, your résumé should emphasize the value you can offer to the organization you are seeking to join without compromising the truthfulness or completeness of your academic and professional history. In these tips on the nuts and bolts of résumé writing itself, we examine 12 common mistakes to avoid, as well as ways to highlight the perception of the value you bring to an organization.
Your résumé should be drafted with a sensitivity to what is compelling in your background.
LANGUAGE AND STYLE
Every word in your résumé should be there for a reason. Eliminate excess verbiage and complicated explanations. Create bullet points, not dense, clause-ridden sentences. Use action verbs to preface accomplishments. Write in the (implied) third person. Don't be a slave to linear chronology, especially if you have changed jobs a number of times.
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Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom
You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays
You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts
You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives
Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.
Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.
To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.