Legal professions are highly specialized jobs that require a bachelor or higher degree in law. Since there are various legal systems worldwide, the career paths that are taken by legal professionals are entirely different depending on the country.
To illustrate, in civil law countries, legal professionals have distinct and clear career paths, each performing one’s own functions, such as judge and attorney. Meanwhile, in common law countries, there tends to be only one legal profession. For instance, judges are chosen from those who excel in private law practices..
Whether you are applying for a position in a law firm, international NGO, or small-scaled government agency, a legal resume would be one of the first contacts you make with your potential employer.
Therefore, a well-structured legal resume that is concise, accurate, clear, and visually pleasing plays an essential role in attracting the interest of the recruiting team and winning you a job as a legal professional.
To start, you need to first understand the differences between a CV and a resume. Resumes are preferred in the U.S, India, Canada, and Australia, while Curriculum Vitae (CV) is commonly used in other countries.
Generally, a resume is more concise while a CV may contain a person’s stories in more detail. A resume is expected to be shorter than two pages or even better, within one page. A CV can usually be longer.
💡 Reminder: You should refer to the position’s requirements and decide if a legal CV or a legal resume is more suitable for your application.
There are three major types of resume formats, including chronological, functional, and combinational resume format. Typically, applicants can choose the type that they see fit. However, experiences in legal resumes are best mentioned in reverse-chronological order. The hiring manager can better observe your career growth and progress in this legal resume format.
There are many legal resume templates available for you to use on the Internet. You can also create unique and professional legal resumes in online resume builders. All you need to do is click a few buttons! If you’re referring to legal resume examples online, do remember to tailor and customize them.
When using legal resume templates, make sure to tailor each resume for each job position. Remove all irrelevant content before the submission. A tailor-made legal resume shows how much effort you put into the application.
Besides a resume, a cover letter is another great way to let your employers know more about who you are and your potential contribution to the organization. An outstanding and sincere legal cover letter can distinguish you from other candidates.
Check again before submitting your resume and all other materials! You will never want to miss a job opportunity just because you filled in the wrong phone number in your legal resume. Grammar errors can not only distract the hiring manager, but also disqualify you for the job. Being detail-oriented is the basic qualification for most of the legal jobs.
The resume header part includes your personal details. Full name, job title, and contact information are all essential in a legal resume. The hiring manager should be able to reach you with the contact info provided.
Resume title, also known as resume headline, sums up your accomplishments listed in the resume. The employers may view the title and decide if they are going to read through the whole resume. Thus, it should be eye-catching and can show your qualifications well.
Legal resume headline examples:
A resume summary consists of one to two sentences that describe you, your specialty, and the most valuable experiences. Briefly showcase your skills and expertise in the resume summary of your legal resume.
Legal resume summary examples:
Highly motivated 4th-year law student with 3 semesters of experience working as Legal Intern at Herbert Smith Freehills. My passion for providing and researching legal advising earned me The Law Society of Hong Kong Prize. Equipped with good communication skills. Self-initiative and a good team player.
Similar to resume summary, a resume objective has the same sentence structure. The difference is that a resume objective highlights the goal or purpose of your career, which makes it especially important for freshers who still lack practical work experiences and skills.
Example of legal resume objective:
Self-disciplined student with an excellent academic record. Looking for a legal internship to improve skills and practice the mindset needed to become a professional in investment banking legal.
With a simple format presentation, recruiters can conveniently compare applicants’ abilities and make hiring decisions at a glance. The skills section of a legal resume is one of the most important aspects of nailing a job application as it plays a big role in creating an impactful first impression.
Skills examples for legal resumes:
A work experience section showcases a candidate’s suitability for the position in the legal resume. It provides fruitful and concrete information regarding if a candidate is qualified for the role, and helps hiring managers to evaluate these candidates.
List your education path in reverse-chronological order, including the institution’s name, duration of study, as well as relevant awards and achievements.
You are welcome to include all additional materials that can enrich the content of your legal resume, such as certifications, projects, awards, hobbies, and volunteer experiences. Besides, redundant and irrelevant content should be avoided.
CakeResume provides the best legal resume templates & examples for you to demonstrate skills and qualifications. Let us help you land the dream with a strong legal resume (free download)!
You should consider including these points when creating a legal cover letter for your application:
Qualified solicitor in Hong Kong with 7 years of PQE gained from a reputable law firm
Email Address: [email protected]
Phone Number: +852-98765432
City: Hong Kong SAR
Well-qualified Legal Advisor with 7+ years of experience undertaking loan recovery litigation proceedings and procedures. Able to handle legal cases and prepare court documents in a professional manner. Provided legal support to 50+ clients’ businesses.
Zurich Insurance Company Ltd.
2010– 2014, Hong Kong University
Bachelor of Laws
Awarded First Class Honors
--- Originally written by CHEN Fu-Yen ---