info@primelegalstaff.com 804.404.2829

CANDIDATES

Before you apply, take a look at these resume tips

CONTACT INFORMATION

Make it easy to contact you either by phone, mail or e-mail.  As an additional thought, outside of your resume, make sure your voicemail message is professional.

Do not include personal information, such as marital status, here or anywhere else on your resume.

OBJECTIVE / TITLE

Some experts believe that including an objective may limit your chances of obtaining an interview; if your objective doesn’t match the employer’s needs at the time, you may miss out on a golden opportunity.

On the flip side, a career objective is useful in communicating that you are proactively managing your career.

The solution to this dilemma is to invest the time necessary to tailor your objective to the specific position you are inquiring about or, at a minimum, the type of organization you will be sending your resume to.  Find how the opportunity or organization match your future goals and communicate them concisely in your objective.

SUMMARY STATEMENT

Begin by including your title and years of experience. Follow this with a list of special skills. Finish your summary statement with your character traits that will cause you to be successful. Remember that this is a summary; it should only be 2-3 sentences long. Your summary, and the remainder of your resume, should focus on what you have accomplished for each experience and role on your resume.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

List each position held in chronological order with your most recent position listed first.  If you held multiple positions within the same company, be sure to list all of them – you want the employer to see how you’ve progressed. Concentrate on the description of the position. Make sure that you once again highlight your accomplishments within each role and company

The body of the position description has two parts:

  • A description of your responsibilities
  • Your accomplishments

Feature - Accomplishment - Benefit

Use the F-A-B format to organize your skills and sell your accomplishments to a prospective employer. Example: Manufacturing Engineer

Feature: the actual responsibilities, e.g. Created and Implemented a Certified Inspector program.

Accomplishment: the performing of responsibilities, e.g. Reduced the number of parts inspected upon final assembly

Benefit: how your performance affected your employer, e.g. Decreased inspection costs by 45%.

FAB Statement: Created and implemented a Certified Inspector program that reduced the number of parts inspected upon final assembly. Inspection costs were reduced by 45%.

Situation - Solution - Outcome

Consider the S-S-O format to demonstrate your problem-solving capabilities. Example: VP of Business Development

Situation: What situation was your company facing? Company wanted to grow non-government business.

Solution: What did you do to solve the problem? Created and implemented commercial market penetration strategy.

Outcome: What was the outcome?  Increased revenues in excess of $100 million.

SSO Statement: My company wanted to grow non-government sector business.  I succeeded in developing business that resulted in the capture of commercial sales with increased revenue in excess of $100 million.

TOP 12 ACCOMPLISHMENTS THAT INTEREST EMPLOYERS THE MOST

  • Increased revenues

  • Money saved

  • Increased efficiencies

  • Reduced Costs

  • Increased sales

  • Improved workplace safety

  • Purchasing accomplishments

  • New products/new lines

  • Improved record keeping process

  • Increased productivity

  • Successful advertising campaign

  • Effective budgeting

You landed the interview...Congrats! Now what?

DO'S

Arrive 15 minutes early. Late attendance is never excusable.

Bring paper and pen with you to write down ideas and questions as they develop through the interview

Think of the qualifications the employer is looking for and match your strengths to them.

Prior to the interview write down the questions you have developed about the position, company and person you will be interviewing with.  Bring these questions with you on the paper you take to the interview.  Make sure some of your questions are strategic in nature such as, “What is the biggest challenge facing your department at this time?”

Ask questions throughout the interview. An interview should be a mutual exchange of information, not a one-sided conversation. But make sure not to interrupt the person you are interviewing with.

Listen. By concentrating not only on the employer’s words, but also on the tone of the words as well as voice and body language, you will be able to pick up on the employer’s style. Once you understand how the person you are interviewing thinks, pattern your answers accordingly and you will be able to better relate to him or her.

Clarify questions. Be sure you answered the questions the employer really asked.

Get the interviewer to describe the position and responsibilities early in the conversation so you can relate your skills and background to the position throughout the interview. Your answers should be framed by the experiences you have that represent you have the right qualifications for the job.

Communicate your qualifications. Stress the accomplishments that are most pertinent to the job.  Provide specific examples of the accomplishments you achieved relative to the role you are interviewing for.

Conduct yourself professionally. Be aware of what your body language is saying. Smile, make eye contact, don’t slouch and maintain composure.

Anticipate tough questions. Prepare in advance so you can turn apparent weaknesses into strengths.

Dress appropriately. Make your first impression a professional one.

DON'TS

Don’t answer vague questions. Rather than answering questions you think you hear, ask the employer to be more specific and then respond.

Never interrupt the employer. If you don’t have time to listen, neither does the employer.

Don’t smoke, chew gum or place anything on the employer’s desk.

Don’t be overly familiar, even if the employer is doing all of these things.

Don’t wear heavy perfume or cologne.

Don’t ramble. Long answers often make the speaker sound apologetic or indecisive. On the other hand, don’t answer questions with a simple “yes” or “no.” Explain whenever possible. Use specific examples that support your answers.

Do not make derogatory remarks about your present or former employers or companies.

Do not ask about compensation on a first interview.  Realize the more impressive you are the better an offer is likely to be.  If asked about your expected compensation, deflect the question by educating the interviewer on your current compensation and letting them know that if they believe you are the right person for the position they will make a fair offer.

NOW FOR THE CLOSE

Too many people second-guess themselves after an interview. By closing strongly and asking the right questions, you can eliminate the post-interview doubts that tend to plague most interviewees. The person you meet with will not know you are interested unless you tell them you are.

If you feel that the interview went well and you would like to take the next step, express your interest  and turn the tables a bit. Try something like the following:

“After hearing more about your company, the position and the responsibilities, I think I possess the qualities that you are looking for in the (title) position. Based on our conversation and my qualifications, how do you think I would do in the role?

This is a great closing question because it opens the door for the manager to be honest with you about his or her feelings. If concerns do exist, this is a great opportunity to overcome them. You have one final chance to dispel the concerns, sell your strengths and end the interview on a positive note.

A FEW THINGS TO REMEMBER DURING THE CLOSING PROCESS:

Don’t be discouraged if no definite offer is made or specific salary is discussed. The interviewer will probably want to communicate with the office first, or interview other applicants, before making a decision.

Make sure you know the answers to the following two questions before you arrive at the company: “Why are you interested in the company?” and “What can you offer our company?”

Express thanks for the interviewer’s time and consideration.

Ask for the business card of each person you met with so you can write a thank you letter as soon as possible.

When you get in your car, write down key issues uncovered in the interview.

A “thank you” letter should be written no later than 24 hours after the interview.

In addition to writing a thank you note, email each person your thank you as well.

If your interview was through Prime Legal make sure to call the person you are working  with immediately after the interview. Follow-up now is critical.

Send us your resume and start your next career move.

Submit Resume

Hear from our legal industry employees