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The Blockbuster Resume for 2012: Top-Grossing at the Box Office by Nancy M. Glazer, Manager, Legal Launch, LLC

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Presentation on theme: "The Blockbuster Resume for 2012: Top-Grossing at the Box Office by Nancy M. Glazer, Manager, Legal Launch, LLC"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Blockbuster Resume for 2012: Top-Grossing at the Box Office by Nancy M. Glazer, Manager, Legal Launch, LLC

2 I. Before the Movie Starts: Setting the Scene A. Before You Even Start to Think About Your Resume, Know the 2012 Legal Market The legal climate, 2008 – present; The recession, technically over; Job growth in the legal profession is happening slowly.


4 B. A New Normal Toto, Ive got a feeling were not in Kansas anymore -Judy Garland as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, 1939

5 Things we know: Youre all overachievers. Youre all smart Studying law, as you have discovered, is quite different; not passive Thinking like a lawyer doesnt happen overnight New blinders on as you go forward

6 I am not going to sit on my ass as the events that affect me unfold to determine the course of my life. Im going to take a stand. Im going to defend it. Right or wrong, Im going to defend it. Ferris (Matthew Broderick) in Ferris Buellers Day Off, 1986

7 C. A Real World Education This is active, very personal work … theres no hiding It involves: You on paper – putting on one piece of paper the capsules of your professional life and flaunting what you know how to do. You in action -- as a way of life. You have to put yourself out there – talking with people. Its not about the grade this time.

8 My Mama always said youve got to put the past behind you before you can move on. -Forrest (Tom Hanks) in Forrest Gump, 1994

9 II. Your Resume, Your Script A.Encapsulating Who You Are and What You Can Do Sole goal of the resume = getting an interview!


11 You had me at hello. Dorothy Boyd (Renee Zellweger) in Jerry Maguire, 1996 B.Whats the Impression You Want to Make? How do you get me at hello? First impressions: Getting your resume to its destination No pink paper; no perfume The feel of nice paper does send a subconscious message. Make it visually attractive: Balanced Sharp, readable font -- Make it easy to read, no cursive Arial, Century Gothic, Century, Tahoma, etc … Size 12 is great, 11 is okay 10 pt- try to avoid it Clean lines. Organized. Clear bullets. Action verbs: Past-tense and present- tense

12 These Are A Few of My Favorite Things. -Maria (Julie Andrews) in The Sound of Music, 1965

13 III. Resume Soundtrack – What Stays In the Script … What can you give? What can you do to help a potential employer sleep better? Showcase yourself. Show your value and accomplishments. Can you meet the employers needs?

14 Start with an Inventory of Assets Take a legal pad… Write down all your experiences -- scholastic, extracurricular, employment, civic, scholarly, social and military Make it broad; dont cut Later, edit, condense, categorize. Others who are more objective can help you cut, where needed

15 1. Name, address, telephone, email address 2. Education (more on this later) 3. Employment (more on this later, too) 4. Licenses or certifications 5. Publications 6. Optional (languages, publications, professional licensure, bar association memberships, community service) Staying in the Script


17 IV. Resume Soundtrack: Scenes Better Left on the Cutting Room Floor Lawyers like seeing their favorite things in a resume.

18 Lawyers dont give a damn about these things: 1. A personal section 2. A career objective – Generally not needed. However, a Career Summary or a Profile of Accomplishments may be okaydepending on your experience and your specific goals with each application 3. References – a separate sheet 4. A photograph 5. Your computer skillsassumed

19 6. Self-puffery 7. Exaggerating your GPA 8. Observing trials or depositions while clerking for a judge or working at a firm 9. Future events In general, leave these off your resume. Exceptions: When you expect to receive a degree, or license or certification Accepted positions: This is okay: Summer Intern, offer accepted for Summer 2012 Once you have registered for an activity in the future, you can say ABC Moot Court, scheduled to participate Spring, 2012. Publication in the future: XYZ, scheduled to be published by ABC, Spring, 2012.

20 10. Salary requirements 11. The reasons for leaving another employer 12. Personal pronouns, abbreviations or acronyms 13. Nicknames 14. Exceeding one page 15. Legal-sized paper. 16. Sending your resume without a cover letter 17. Politics, if possible 18. Typoz (oops!)

21 SEPARATING YOURSELF FROM THE CROWD... Going forward, think about these next things as you start building your experiences in law What makes your resume different from others?


23 V. Soundtrack Mechanics Aside: Tell Me About Your Character & Skills Aside from whats in, whats out, think about depth and value. A. The truth Correct information -- accurate dates titles, and descriptions Never estimate grades/class rank The Character and Fitness Committee

24 Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! Theyre about to announce the lottery numbers! -Homer Simpson, The Simpsons, timeless …

25 B. Add value 1. Adding Value Generally Cutting edge/quantify your achievements Showing your value shows how you can be a resource instead of a person begging for a job – what a difference!!!

26 Researched coverage issues on behalf of firm client. Its got a past-tense action verb; I know you researched coverage issues, but I dont know: -- specific issues you researched -- if conflicts in the law between state circuit courts or a split of authority between states -- if your efforts were successful KEY: Did you add value to your clients position? Showing value on your resume:

27 A Spiders Web- worth unraveling to consider if you made someone look good at your old firm… The person sitting on the other side of the desk will pick up on this immediately. Theyre thinking, What can this candidate do for me?


29 Show me the money! Concrete, in dollars and cents Quantifiable value 2. Adding financial value

30 Researched coverage issues on behalf of firm client. becomes: Prevailed on summary judgment motion on behalf of widower client; researched Illinois law and drafted motion and brief arguing that insurer was liable for covering medical expenses totaling over $500,000.

31 Researched and drafted successful motions in limine, striking 3 of 4 of plaintiffs proposed jury instructions in a construction litigation matter worth nearly $4 million. Or, try something like this:

32 Leave em begging! Guess what? Youll probably get an interview! GIVING INFO: Enough, but not too much

33 3. Adding Value to Your Firms Administration _________________________________ Did you add value to your former firms systems or processes? Majored in computer science? Did you developed an IT system for calendaring or inputting work product, taking a firm where you clerked away from a paper-based system?

34 Can you quantify how much money you saved a former employer in this way? Many have found legal employment through this side door You may think nothing of it, but someone older values this know-how. Addressing computer needs, as an example, especially in a smaller firm, can win you an interview! HIRING YOU = SAVING $$$ = HIRING ONE LESS PERSON

35 4. Adding Value by Simply Keeping Clients Happy and Coming Back See a need Provide exceptional customer service

36 5. The Value of Sales Experience Keep sales experience in a resume. Why? Close calls – you get the interview!

37 That's it, baby, when you've got it, flaunt it, flaunt it! -Max Bialystock (Nathan Lane) in The Producers, 2005

38 C. Selling yourself: A starring role This is where the hard work comes in: Its like untangling a spiders web. Articulating what you did in your resume: Did you win??? What did you win? Was it your research, your argument, your writing that proved successful??? Was your boss, your client happy?

39 Dont undersell yourself!!! Its so common!

40 How to sell yourself in your resume: Motions/briefs Motions in limine New system at a firm or other office saving $ Did you keep an existing client happy? Describe your experiences to show that you can hit the ground running. Distinguish yourself from the crowd. KEY: provide a decision-maker with the tools she needs to go to bat for you in the hiring meeting.

41 Theres A One-Page Requirement! As you build on your legal successes, it will be hard to make it all fit. (Depending on facts and circumstances, two pages may be appropriate …) If you need to cut, take out activities that wont get you a job in law: diving/frat activities Instead, explain how hiring you, with your skills, will make your interviewers life better


43 D. Be clear, proof your resume Content Typos -Read each line from right to left; it helps find errors! -Make sure that your resume makes sense! Ask others to read your resume – friends, family, OCS counselor. Avoid confusion of different roles at the same firm/company. See Cynthia Gordons resume, attached. You need to show your promotions clearly with dates and the different titles youve held. Show how you were well-thought of. With every item on your resume, ask: will this help get me invited in? If you have to explain something, save it for your interview!!!!

44 E. Stealing good resume ideas is perfectly okay. Ill have what shes having… -Restaurant patron (Estelle Reiner, Rob Reiners mother) in When Harry Met Sally … 1989


46 F. Resume gaps: What the critics will be saying … Dont explain work history gaps in your resume. There are great ways to respond to these questions in an interview (I started a business, raised children, volunteered, saved the planet …)


48 G. Your attitude – The MPAA Ratings Stay positive … If you can, try to enjoy parts of the process of articulating your skills and experience


50 H. Your references – The supporting cast List 3 people who know you in a professional capacity; those you trust to discuss your skills and accomplishments when asked. Ask your references permission prior to giving out their names Keep your references in the loop Be equally concerned about them and their lives

51 I gave her my heart, and she gave me a pen. -Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) in Say Anything, 1989

52 I. Results: Sometimes you give it your all, but the Oscars arent ready for you… Lower your expectations You may have taken someone out to lunch, and after this effort, your guests contact didnt even answer your emails or return your call!


54 Your job search, landing where you want to be, may be frustrating at times. Its not at all impossible.


56 VI. Learning the Market; Knowing the Genres Despite market contraction in many areas, there are areas of law where demand is high. Do your homework and stay current. Read Crains, American Lawyer, Chicago Lawyer, CBA Record, ISBA Newsletters, Law Practice, ABA Newsletters, etc. (All have free feeds online; also available in the OCS)

57 Whats in demand in 2012? Technology, intellectual property, energy, financial services, employee benefits, all kinds of compliance and regulatory work, all kinds of corporate work, labor and employment, healthcare, workouts, asset management, banking (compliance with use of TARP funds), class actions and white collar crime Bankruptcy law and mergers go up and down. The federal government is a huge employer now- spending TARP funds. Temporary work: document reviews.

58 Parting words: 1. Revise your resume to showcase your skills 2. Research areas of law that are recession-proof Read and stay current Set up some informational interviews with alumni from your law school and your undergrad (Dont ask for a job) 3. Avoid sending your resume into cyber space Make connections and use them all the time It is a lot of work, but its also working smart – with results.

59 Parting words (continued) 4. COVER LETTERS– make them a slam dunk for every position Match up the required job functions for each position you go after to your skills like two puzzle pieces fitting together 5. Always send thank you notes 6. Create and practice your elevator speech- whyd you go to law school? 7. Keep your references in the loop! Theyre on your team and want to see you succeed!

60 If you've ever seen the look on somebody's face the day they finally get a job, I've had some experience with this, they look like they could fly…You don't really know how much you can do until you, stand up and decide to try. -Dave Kovic (Kevin Kline) in Dave, 1993

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