It’s the age-old question: should an attorney in the job market have one, two or three versions of their professional resume?
Wait, what? More than one resume?
It might be just the ticket for your job search, says legal recruiter Harrison Barnes.
“It really depends on your situation, but it can be quite helpful to create alternative versions of your professional resume,” he writes.
Barnes says there are two scenarios where only a single version of your resume is usually required:
- You are a junior associate with little real-world experience.
- You are a lateral partner candidate with an established practice niche and book of business.
In other situations, he says it might make sense to have multiple resumes tailored to specific employment targets.
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Multiple Resumes and Lateral Moves
Most attorneys who make a lateral job move do so when they are mid-level associates in their current firm. These candidates can benefit from various resumes, says Barnes.
“As a representative example, pretend you are a taxation associate with experience in both tax transactions and tax controversy matters,” he writes here. “You are now looking to move for primarily geographic reasons and are open to positions in both practice areas. It would be an excellent idea to craft two versions of your resume that prominently highlight your experience in one area while summarizing the other, and vice versa.”
Even so, Barnes recommends discretion and professionalism at all times.
“It is definitely not a good idea to misrepresent your experience,” he writes. “Emphasizing your work in a particular practice area as it relates to the position you are seeking is highly recommended, but if you do not have more than token experience in a given practice area, you should not put yourself forth as an expert.”
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