7 Resume Mishaps That You Don’t Want to Make

Posted December 7th, 2023 by Urban Legal Recruitment

One of the important things we’ve learned in our two decades in legal recruitment is that you can’t underestimate the power of a professional resume. While qualifications and experience do matter, the best candidates also take the time to craft a well-formatted and visually appealing resume. In this blog post, we outline the most common problems encountered in professional resumes. We’ll also look at how paying closer attention to the details can help move your resume closer to the top of the pile. 

Things to Avoid When Writing Your Resume

1. Spelling Mistakes and Grammatical Errors

Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors on a resume make a very poor first impression. Even though your skill set and experience may be outstanding, these types of errors show that you don’t pay attention to detail and in the legal field, the details matter. If spelling and grammar are not your strong point, use online software to help you. If you’re using Microsoft Word, always do a spelling and grammar check, or use free software apps like Grammarly.   

2. Unprofessional Formatting and Design

When you scan your resume, how does it look? Is it aesthetically pleasing, or does the information look unbalanced on the page? When setting up your resume, it’s important to consider your format and how the completed text will look on the page. 

Avoid fancy fonts that are difficult to read. A professional resume should have a standard font, such as Times New Roman. You should also consider text alignment and indentation and ensure you don't have too much or too little white space on the page. 

3. Incomplete or Inaccurate Information

As legal recruiters, we first assess your suitability for the advertised role based on your qualifications, skills, and experience. Any incomplete or inaccurate information hurts your chances of landing the job, so be sure to provide complete and accurate information so we can screen you properly for the role. 

4. Unfocused Content

When we come across resumes with unfocused content, it’s usually because the candidate is submitting the same general resume for several job applications. The best strategy when applying for a legal position is to tailor each resume to highlight the skills and work history that are suited to the job description. Even though this does take more time, highlighting your suitability for the role allows us to check more boxes, which greatly improves your chances of being selected for an interview

5. A Lengthy Resume

No matter how qualified you are or how much work experience you have, submitting a lengthy resume won’t increase your chances of getting the job. Hiring managers expect a one to two page resume that’s easy to read, so craft an interesting resume and ensure the most important elements stand out. Be intentional about how you present yourself and focus on the skills and experience that best fit the role. 

6. An Unprofessional Email Address

We’ve seen some interesting usernames in our time, and while they may show personality and creativity, they don’t belong on your professional resume. Don’t let your excellent qualifications and extensive experience be overshadowed by an unprofessional email address. Using an unprofessional email address shows poor judgement and decreases your chances of having your information reviewed properly, and with so many free email options, there’s no reason not to have a professional email address. 

7. Not Proofreading Your Resume

The attention is in the details, so watch out for typos and inconsistent fonts and read through your resume several times. We also recommend letting your resume sit for a day or two before reviewing it for a final time or having a friend review your resume for you. They may spot errors you don’t see and catch any awkward phrases. 

Connect with a Legal Recruiter for Your Next Great Job Opportunity

At Urban Legal Recruitment, we’ve sifted through literally thousands of resumes over the years, and it doesn’t take us long to spot talented candidates. If you’re interested in applying for a job in the legal field, check out our listings, apply online, and be sure to submit a well-drafted professional resume. We look forward to connecting with you soon!