If you are a qualified and experienced legal secretary who has struggled in your search for new opportunities, it may be time to take a closer look at your resume. Resumes are hiring managers’ first look at who you are as a professional. If you aren’t making your case with this critical document, you won’t get invited to an interview. There are three key factors your resume must have in order to help you sell yourself effectively in the early stages of the hiring process:
1. Tailored elements
Despite popular belief, your resume is not a “set it and forget it” type of document. You must review your resume and tailor your recent experience to each position you apply for to ensure that it aligns with the goals listed in the job posting. If you have experience that is in no way relevant to the job you’re applying to, omit it from your resume—it is important to have a crisp, concise document that is easy to read.
Many legal firms use resume scanning software to weed out unqualified applicants. These “robots” scan the first page of your resume and create a score based on how well you match up to the requirements of the job. Make sure to word skills and qualifications so that they precisely match specific keywords found in the job posting. Even if the firm does not use automated software, hiring teams use virtually the same process, conducting a quick scan first, only diving deeper once they’ve thinned out the herd.
2. Brand alignment
As a job seeker, you’ve got a brand, whether you know it or not. Hiring managers will search for you online, using Google and social networking platforms. If your brand does not align with the firm’s focus, you won’t be considered.
For example, if you are applying to family law firms but your LinkedIn profile focuses heavily on experience in the corporate field, the hiring manager may think twice about calling you in. This can be stifling if you’re trying to break into a new field, but you can counteract this by joining LinkedIn groups that focus on the industry you want. Network with professionals in the industry you’re going after and make sure that every aspect of your online brand supports the image you are trying to convey to hiring teams.
3. A sales pitch
Remember, your resume is your ticket to the interview. Do not be afraid to showcase awards, accolades, and professional achievements. “Tooting your own horn” can be uncomfortable for many people, but hiring managers want to know what makes you special. If you’ve racked up achievements over the years but you don’t mention them in your resume, you’re selling yourself short. Given the fact that the median annual salary for legal secretaries in Miami is $41,920, you could be leaving a lot of money on the table if you don’t go the extra mile to sell yourself in your resume.
Hiring managers approach the process almost like a buyer approaches a new product or service. They want to know “what’s in it for me?” so be clear about the ways in which your work has benefited your employers over the years. If you are an experienced legal secretary in the Boca Raton area seeking out new opportunities to grow your career, reach out to the expert recruiters at CERS today.