Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Resume Tips for Law Students and Job Seekers

Resume Tips:
A conservative presentation of your resume is best: • Use black ink on a good quality paper • Limit the number of fonts • Steer clear of adding pictures, glamour shots or graphics to your resume • Avoid overuse of emphasis (bold, italics, etc.) • Limit your resume to one (preferable) or two pages • Use proper grammar and spelling (especially for technical terms) • Keep contact information up to date. Include your current and permanent addresses • Provide your grade point average • List relevant technical and legal experiences as well as publications • Give clear and concise descriptions of experiences along with the corresponding time period for each experience • List additional experiences if there is room • Make certain your resume is a truthful reflection of your background and skills • Do not pad or embellish • Be aware that everything on your resume is open to inquiries • Include a cover letter, if possible. Keep it short (one page maximum) and do not repeat your resume

Interview Tips Before the interview research the firm. • Check for published cases • Search third party resources for published cases • Note attorneys who worked on the cases • Understand the factual backgrounds and legal arguments for each case Know the history of firm • Look into the firm's practice to see if the firm practices primarily litigation, prosecution or both • Attempt to determine the firm's major cases and clients Utilize web sites • Look up the bios of the attorneys with whom you are meeting on the firm's website as well as third party resources • Search for press releases about the firm

Anticipate Potential Questions • Are there gaps in your resume? If so, why are they there? • What do you have to offer the organization in terms of your greatest strengths? • How did you overcome particular challenges in the past? Prepare Questions • How much contact will I get with clients? • How does an IP boutique differ from a general practice firm? • Where do you see this organization going in the next year?

Things to Do During the Interview • Dress in a conservative suit • Arrive on time (or early) • Be yourself (show your sense of humor), but keep it professional Remember lunch is part of the interview Demonstrate your social skills by engaging the interviewer Ask questions and listen to the answers Ask follow-up questions Ask questions of everyone who interviews you Respond to the question being asked If it's a vague question, ask them to be more specific If the interviewer remains vague, use the opportunity to highlight your strengths as they relate to the position

 Things to NOT Do During the Interview • Talk excessively • Fidget or squirm • State everything you have learned about the firm • Say anything negative about past employers • Ask about money or benefits on your first interview • Dwell on your negative qualities or experiences

After the Interview • Promptly send personalized thank you notes to key interviewers • Make sure to spell the firm and interviewers' names correctly • Do not excessively contact the recruiting coordinator

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