The legal job field is as competitive as it is diverse, so your application materials are critical when applying for internships and jobs. This means you will need to customize your resume and write a new cover letter for each job you apply for. Yes, this may take hours. The most important requirement is that your resume and your cover letter MUST be error-free. Writing is one of the most important skills in legal practice, and if your resume has a typo, grammatical error, or even formatting inconsistency, it will immediately be discarded. Beyond basic proofreading, make sure that both documents showcase your best writing.
How to Write a Cover Letter for Law Firms That Gets You Noticed
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Are you writing a resume for your first job out of law school? Resumes and cover letters submitted for entry-level attorney positions are generally far more conservative and concise than resumes for most other professions. In other career fields, companies often use online job application and applicant tracking systems that give preference to resumes that contain relevant keyword phrases. By contrast, many law firms will immediately screen out resumes that are verbose, repetitive, or provide too much non-related personal information.
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A good cover letter or introductory letter for attorneys is an invitation to the reader—the hiring manager or maybe the senior partner of the law firm—to move on and read your resume. It's your opportunity to convince her that she simply has to meet you and learn more about you. But too much creativity can be a drawback. You'll want to exude professionalism and temper your enthusiasm just a bit, and you'll want to follow a tried-and-true format.