As a legal recruitment agency, we receive hundreds of applications from legal secretaries and other support staff on a weekly basis. We do come across great resumes that are professional, well written and concise, and these resumes capture our attention for the right reasons. On the other hand, we do receive resumes that capture our attention for the wrong reasons! Here is a list of common mistakes legal secretaries make in their resume. 

Selfies: Your resume is not Facebook! If you want to include your photo in your resume, make sure it is clear and you look presentable and professional in corporate attire. Generally, we do not recommend adding your photo – even if you are Australia’s Next Top Model!

Untidy: Ensure your resume has the same font and size throughout your resume, bullet points should be lined up correctly and not overused, and if you need to use tables limit them.

Spelling and Grammar: Law firms employ high calibre employees and expect them to have good written communication skills. We see too many resumes that have poor grammar and numerous spelling mistakes!

Strange Formats: This should be a no brainer: ensure your resume is either in a Word document or in PDF. Scanned resumes, and unusual files or zipped documents can look poor, or worse still, not be able to be opened.  If your resume is in an Excel Sheet or PowerPoint Presentation, change that immediately! Keep creative resumes for creative roles.  

Information Overload: Naturally you would want to sell yourself as much as possible, but keep it concise and to the point. Your resume does not need to be an essay, so use bullet points where necessary and elaborate on tasks where warranted.

Year 9 PE Grade: This flows on from information overload. Include your VCE/HSC, but it is not necessary to include all subjects completed, projects worked on and subsequent results from your high school education. Keep it relevant.

Graphics: Did I mention we receive odd resumes? We have received resumes with odd graphics and pictures such as pictures of trees and plants; there is no need for irrelevant photos and graphics – they distract from the resume.

And the killer….not including vital information: Vital information includes your full name, mobile number, address and email.

From the common to the rare and bizarre, these mistakes do happen, so look at your resume and think about how you could improve it. We also offer a legal resume service at Kaleidoscope Legal Recruitment, so if you need help we can assist. For more information about our resume service and pricing please see this page of our website.

Best of luck with your search!