Finding a job takes a ton of serious, hard work. You’ve been told to network, you may be fresh out of law school have received your bar exam results and passed, but you’re still without a job. You now have to compete with thousands of others, in the same position as you (with student loan payments coming due).
Every week you don’t have a job, could mean a loss of up to $3,077. It’s critical that not only you get a job, but that you get one now. This series will do just that. It will cover 3 important areas to your job search:
- How to Customize Your Resume to Each Application
- How to Expand and Keep Track of your Network
- Looking at Temporary Jobs to Bring in Income
Below, is a free step-by-step guide on optimizing your resume for each job posting. In addition, if you want to see a software program that does the same thing (just more automated to save time), you can skip to below.
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All About Your Resume
Do you do the following in your job search?
- You submit your resume to a firm through their website, add a few key points into your cover letter (name of addressee, name of firm, etc.)
- You then wait for law firm to respond
Thousands of people do that. Here’s what happens after you submit your resume.
- If the Firm is medium to big in size, they take your resume along with thousands of others and before reading a single one, run them through an applicant software tracker (ATS) like LawCruit
- This software compares your resume against its selected criteria (name of school, GPA, past job experience, keywords based on job description) and assigns a value to your resume
- If your resume scores high enough, you will likely get to move onto stage 2 (someone reviewing your resume, and an interview). If you aren’t a match, there’s a much higher potential of going in the reject pile, and having an automated rejection letter sent out.
So, with a computer potentially preventing you from getting that interview, how do you get by?
Answer You Need to Customize it!
If a computer is searching for key words in your resume, you need to provide it with the answer. So, how do you do it?
- Step 1: Read the Job Description and Requirements Section
You’re looking for what the company is looking for (is it specific or broad, do they want to know if you have done discovery, or is it specific (deposing expert witnesses)… If it helps, think of it like the bar exam, you are given a fact pattern (The job requirements) and you now need to go search for the answer.
- Step 2: Outline the requirements in the job posting
Take the key points they are looking for, and categorize them into buckets, so you can see how important these key words are. See if they appear often and if there are variations of the key words.
- Step 3: Review your resume. Look for key words in your qualifications that can be replaced with a job description and swap them out.
This next step is pretty simple. You’re going to identify what words within your resume would be considered key words. Try matching those keywords up against what is in the job description, and see if you can swap them out.
- Step 4: Do a final review.
You could just do a bunch of keyword stuffing to make your resume score high enough and in the process make it unreadable (so don’t go that far).
Try Out CV Lift:
CV Lift is a free tool that lets you pick a job title, and it scans thousands of job descriptions to come up with a list of common key words that should be found in your resume. It is a great way to start out with the drafting aspect of your resume (especially if there is no job posting on a law firm’s website).
Tools for Your Resume (If you Want to Speed up your Resume Customization):
This last section includes tools that you can use to help match keywords in your resume to posted positions. We’ll go into each one as a top overview
Jobscan is a tool that takes the process outlined above and semi-automates it. It will scan a job description and requirements for you, then score your resume against that job posting (Just like an ATS system does). It makes sure to highlight the areas you are weakest in the job posting, and once you’re done improving, you can rescan.
What is really important to note with this product, is that you can get access to it for 1-month free, and have unlimited job scoring (to check it out go here)
It provides an executive level summary of how your resume compares against the job description, and then compares your skills against the job descriptions key words (giving suggestions on how to improve). You can then make the changes to your resume and rescan. Lastly, after analyzing your resume for the skills, it provides links to jobs with a similar skillset as those on your resume (another great way to get new leads).
Resunate is a similar platform that helps you automatically tailor your resume to the job position you are applying for. It tends to handhold you more than Jobscan, and provides a a free demo that gives you access to three job scores (they compare your job score against. You start by uploading your resume, or providing access to your Linkedin profile. From there, you copy and paste the job description. It will auto-focus to help find the right keywords, and also tell you where you are weak (allowing you to directly input information into your resume).