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Career Corner: Creating Your Résumé

Posted By Tashania Morris, MSHRM, ALS, CDF, CPC, Friday, February 3, 2017

You’ll never get a second chance to make a good first impression ~ Anonymous

Writing a résumé can sometimes be hard, especially if you have no experience or are currently transferring from one line of work to another.  Your résumé is a marketing tool designed to get you an interview.  The interview is what gets you the job.  Most recruiters do not spend a lot of time reading through résumés.  The information should be presented in a clear and concise manner that is attractive for a recruiter to review. 

It is important to note that everyone has their own preferences when it comes to résumés.  At the end of the day your résumé should represent you and you should be proud to hand it out.  If you are not comfortable doing so, then your résumé is not a reflection of you and your work product.  It is not a good idea to have someone draft a résumé that does not represent you.  During the interview process you might have difficulty talking about something that is not a clear representation of you.  Make sure you have some input and understand what is being drafted.

Make sure:

·      Your résumé is no more than 1-2 pages long.

·      There are no typos or grammatical errors.

·      It is not too wordy (everyone battles with this).

·      There are no lies.

·      You are including the right keywords.  Your résumé should be tailored to the job for which you are applying.

·      Information is bulleted and easy to read.

·      When using an ATS system to apply for a job, stay away from fancy résumé designs.  Fancy résumés can be emailed.

Types of Résumés


It is easy to read and the dates are easy to follow.  Your most recent jobs are listed first and it showcases your achievements and promotions.  This is great if you have had a stable work history and are looking to advance in your career.  It is not the best choice for entry-level candidates with little or no experience.

Functional Résumé

The functional résumé emphasizes skills, abilities, and strengths rather than the length of time you have been at a job.  It is a great way to cover any gaps in your résumé and can be used by recent graduates who lack the required experience. 


This is a combination of both chronological and functional.  It emphasizes your most recent jobs and showcases your accomplishments.  It is great for individuals looking to change career paths and have the transferable skills to do so.



Please include your name, address (may include just city or state), telephone number, and email address.


Career Objective/Summary of Qualification


Every résumé should have a summary statement or a career objective to catch the recruiter’s attention.  There are a lot of different opinions about whether a career objective is still necessary.  If you choose to use one, make sure it is tailored specifically toward the job you are applying for.  A summary, on the other hand, informs the employer about what you can do for them.  It is a great way to sell yourself in a couple of sentences in order to get the recruiter interested in what you have to offer. 


An example of an objective statement:

·      Seeking an entry level legal assistant position in a family law firm

·      To secure a position as a corporate  legal secretary in a growing law firm

An example of a summary:

·      A dedicated and results-driven professional with over 10 years’ experience as a legal administrator.  Proven track record of excellent leadership skills and business acumen.


This section should include the skills you have developed over the years.  List both your soft and hard skills. 

·      Lexis Nexis 

·      Timeslips

·      Pro Docs

·      Excellent Communication Skills

·      Landtech


This may be the most challenging part of preparing a résumé.  Instead of just listing duties and responsibilities, try listing your major achievements, contributions, and accomplishments.  You should also include the title, company name, city, and dates of employment.  This section can include paid/unpaid positions.  Try to quantify where possible.

·      Managed a caseload of over 100 cases monthly.  (This gives the recruiter an idea of the amount of work you can handle.)

·      Managed a team of 20 employees including attorneys and support staff.



List your degrees, certifications, and academic achievements


Professional Organizations


List the professional organizations you are currently a part of and any leadership role you took on.


Here are some resources to help with your job search:


·      This can be used to see if your job matches the job description of the position you are applying for.  https://www.jobscan.co/

·      http://rickgillis.com/job-sample-documents/

·      http://www.jobhuntersbible.com/


Once your résumé is completed, have someone review it to ensure there are no errors.  It is hard to spot errors because you are the one working on it.  If writers have editors, why shouldn’t you?



Tashania Morris, MSHRM, ALS, CDF, CPC, started her career as a paralegal.  She has over six years’ experience in the legal field specializing in the areas of foreclosure and bankruptcy.  She recently completed her master’s degree in human resource management which has equipped her with the tools needed to think strategically and develop creative solutions to problems in the workplace.  As a Certified Professional Coach and Career Development Facilitator, she loves all things career and personal development.  She is able to recognize people’s skills and abilities and enjoys working with individuals to figure out their “why.”  Her mission is to engage, empower, educate, and promote change from within.  If you have any questions about any of the articles written, suggestions about something you would like Tashania to write about, or enjoyed reading the article, send her a quick note.  You can reach Tashania at Tashania_m@hotmail.com.

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