The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
Resumes are supposed to be informative, but sometimes they are just plain puzzling to the reviewer. For example, take these excerpts from real resume objectives I’ve seen recently (some people like to collect shells. I like to collect grammar bloopers):
“I will bring…value added vision to your office.” (I’m stumped. I don’t know what “value added vision” is, or if I need to get a better optometrist.)
“…in response to your advertisement for an ‘Administrative Assistant’” (Okay, the unnecessary quotation marks just make the available job with our firm sound suspect, like we might really be seeking a lingerie model instead.)
“Objective: Interact with people on a daily basis.” (Well, sure, that is a plus of being gainfully employed at most jobs.)
“I wish to utilize my knowledge and experience to further a firm’s goals, as well as my own.” (Oh, so you do have a personal agenda, other than earning a paycheck?)
For a quick and down-to-earth discussion of resume faux pas, see “Resume Tips for Everyone” at WZZM13.com. While some of the resume tips seem obvious, I’ve screened enough resumes in the last 20 years to know they aren’t obvious to everyone. I’ve actually seen a resume which listed “stay-at-home” housewife, including the dates of “incarceration in the home” (from an applicant with a sense of humor albeit a lack of discretion). If you have been in that situation (incarcerated at home), the article suggests putting a positive spin on the experience in your cover letter, such as: “You could say that for three years you used time management, care-giving and financial skills by maintaining the family budget and caring for your child at home.” (I like it.)
Three key words not to include in your resume: “hate”, “fired” and “failed”. (Don’t use these words in the interview, either.) And don’t “fudge” on your employment dates. This article recommends not listing your GPA unless you’re a recent college graduate, but I think that many potential paralegal employers do give applicants points for excelling in a rigorous paralegal studies program, especially if you have less work experience than other applicants.
“Yes” or “No” survey at the sidebar: Do you include your GPA on your resume for legal employment?
By the way, Urban Dictionary says “hmmm” is a “sound made when one is attempting to sound reassuring yet non-committal.”