The Art of the Perfect Resume

Resumes matter. It is important when you are embarking on a lateral search to get more than one set of eyes on your resume, and ideally to have a professional (a recruiting company, a law school career department, or someone who specializes in law hiring) to look at your resume before sending it out for any particular job.

Many people underestimate the importance of a resume. Sure, if you are a top 5 school lawyer who is also at a top 10 law firm, then your resume will be less important for a law firm lateral move. Your credentials and practice group can speak for itself. (And even if this describes you, you still want to make sure your resume is strong enough to garner the attention it deserves and needs from the firm or in-house position you are interested in).

If this does not describe your academic background and firm pedigree, a resume can be the difference between getting the interview or not if you are a borderline candidate for a role.

Resumes need to be truthful, strong, and concise. They need to highlight the strongest pieces about your law practice. In most instances, it should not include jobs prior to law school, or education prior to college.

But most importantly, they need to understand the audience and include terms that are important to the firms and to partners. After all, while your recruiter can work her magic to get your resume an audience with the hiring committee and HR decision makers to get you a chance in the door, and pitch why you are deserving of the role, at the end of the day, the resume is the last thing the decision makers see before deciding to interview you or to pass on your application. And you have to assume they look at the resume for a total of 30 seconds (some might take more time, but these firms get a lot of resumes and do not have time to study each one in detail). They will look for certain terms, certain phrases, and certain ideals while they give your resume the once-over. So make it count. Never underestimate the power of a good resume.

In my long recruiting career, I have seen many candidates come to me with a very weak resume that, together, we completely revamp to make them the best version of themselves – a true reflection of who they are, but represented stronger and better. Many of these candidates came to me without getting any interviews, and suddenly the interviews through me start coming in. Partially this is because of my connections and experience in the industry, but I am also 100% sure that the stronger resume helped to seal the deal for many of these candidates. Resumes matter. If your recruiter is telling you to make a resume change, I advise you to seriously consider the advice. At the end of the day, it is your document and your decision, and all changes have to be made by you. But recruiters can definitely help, whether it is at Top Tier Legal Search, or with another recruiter your trust.

We are happy to provide free resume consults at any time – just contact us at



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