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How to Format Your Resume

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by Sam Palmer

3 months ago

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It can be very frustrating when I see and hear how some job seekers are being advised on how they should format their resume. There are a growing number of job seekers whom I interview, who provide a two page resume. I ask myself why?

I recently interviewed a senior legal secretary who has over 25 years of fabulous experience. Looking at her resume, it looks as though she is just embarking on her legal secretarial career. She had been advised to by a ‘supposed expert’ to “trim it down” and to omit all her duties and responsibilities and in their place, just explain away her 25 years of experience in a short paragraph.

Now, of course, you don’t want to have a resume which resembles ‘War & Peace’, but as a recruiter, I really do need to see the extent of your experience. So if your resume does extend to five pages, then so be it. If you were to edit any part of your resume, then I would suggest that it’s the short summary which needs to be cut. You know that part, it’s where you write how well presented, professional and dynamic you are. That part is pretty much the same across every resume we read and therefore it’s the part most likely to be overlooked.

I would always include your name, address and contact phone number at the top of the first page, then a short summary of your skills (please note: being able to drink a pint in under 2 seconds is not a skill for your resume and sadly I am not making that up!) and then list your education. Your work experience should be written in reverse chronological order, meaning your most recent job should be listed first and then work your way backwards. I have included a short example on how to structure your work experience.

 

Legal Secretary

Lawyers & Lawyers

June 2014 – May 2017

 

Responsibilities:

 

.Diary management

.Dictaphone typing

.Billing using Elite

 

Hopefully this is of some help. If you requires any further assistance, I look forward to taking your call.  

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