A lawyer should avoid writing a resume objective since it fails to provide a complete picture of your individual talents and skills. The resume objective seeks to inform the employer about the type of position you want. The summary statement offers more in-depth information about your skills, experience and abilities, and it can help differentiate you from the scores of applicants.
How You Used to Write a Lawyer Resume Objective
When writing a resume objective of the past, you want to include two basic pieces of information. The first critical piece of information should inform your potential employer that you want a job. The second piece of information should indicate that you want to work for the employer’s firm. Neither one of these offer any real value to the hiring manager. The hiring agent may skip over this section to get to a section with more relevance.
A resume objective needs to include one to two sentences that gives a reason why you want to work for the company. It doesn’t offer any insight into your skills or experience. Many resume objectives end up as a single line with five to seven words. Review the following resume objective to get a better idea for the format. The objective below states that you want a job, but a more specific resume would likely change the word “firm” to match the actual name of the firm.
Lawyer looking for work at a firm specializing in civil law.
How to Write a Lawyer Resume Summary Statement
The summary statement offers much more information to the employer, and it can offer details that go beyond what gets included when writing a resume objective. Use no more than four to six lines in your summary statement, and write the statement in paragraph form. Make sure you emphasize keywords that relate to your field, and indicate in a subtle way how you would fit into the company’s work culture. Accomplish this by subtly hinting at your personality with keywords like “attentive” and “timely.” Don’t write your summary statement in third person. Use first-person writing, but remove the pronouns to make the text less wordy.
The summary statement should have a more personable feel than writing a resume objective. Give some insight into your character and what makes you unique. Cite any awards or pertinent experience that relates to the position you want, and use terms specific to that position to show your knowledge of the field.
The following is an example of a summary statement that a lawyer might write. Notice how the statement eliminates the use of pronouns and uses fragments on occasion. Make sure that the summary statement has a direct tie-in to the specific law firm to ensure a better reception.
Effective, experienced and attentive lawyer with a proven ability to defend clients and achieve desirable outcomes inside and outside of the courtroom. Ability to apply creative solutions to common problems, and willing to challenge existing legislation when merited. Capable of exceeding client and firm expectations. The recipient of several awards for superior work on multimillion-dollar lawsuits.
Writing a resume objective or a summary statement can be challenging as you try to find the best way to present yourself to a prospective firm.
LiveCareer gives you access to templates, tools and a helpful community. Bounce your ideas off other lawyers, and refine your summary statement until it accurately expresses your unique character and abilities.