Confessions of a Legal Recruiter: Tips to Pass the 6 Second Test
The 6-Second Resume Test
Law firms are bombarded with hundreds of resumes from potential attorneys every day.
It’s easy to get overlooked. That’s why you need to structure your resume so that you
immediately capture the recruiter’s attention.
The Ladders published a study reporting that, recruiters spend about six seconds
reviewing a resume. If your resume doesn’t grab their attention, they move on.
Now that you’ve got their attention, you need to keep them engaged and interested
enough to schedule an interview. Substance rules the day.
Not sure if your resume will pass the test? Give your resume to a colleague and ask
them to review it. After about 10 seconds, take the resume away from them. Then ask
them to tell you what stood out? If they can’t note anything of import, better take the six-
Follow This Critical 6-Second Resume Checklist:
-Name & Contact Information
-Professional Title & Summary
-Core Competencies (buzz words relevant for the position)
Now let’s break it down for you to make your resume stand out:
Name & Contact Information
Your name should be in a larger font and or bolded at the top of the page so it is easy to see. Also
include key contact information such as your phone, email and mailing address. Set up a generic
email account that details your first and last name. Don’t use an email from your existing employer.
Bar Admissions/Certifications / Speaking Engagements / Published Papers
List any relevant Bar Admissions, certifications, speaking engagements or relevant legal briefs you
published that highlight the area of law you practice. Note: These achievements are the top-selling
points that recruiters look for. If you don’t have them, get them.
Add hyperlinks directly below the contact area to include links to websites such as LinkedIn or articles
that showcase your skill-set as an attorney.
Professional Title & Summary
Brief summary no more than three to five sentences that are clear, concise and cover three critical
Why are you qualified and what makes you an ideal candidate for this type of role?
In addition to a summary detail the skills relevant for this position that highlighting your strengths and
the area of law you practice.
List your core competencies and the key buzzwords to summarize your expertise.
Highlight the cases and trials you’ve won, especially those significant and relevant to the position you
are apply for.
Important Final Thoughts
-Omit any references to your birthdate, marital status, or religion.
-Improve readability by increasing line spacing by at least 120% of the font size.
-Make it easy to read by adding divider lines between sections.
Your resume should tell a story about why you are the best fit for this firm. Mention
specifically how you will improve the bottom line with your unique qualifications. Focus
on yourself and how you will make it rain for the firm.
About On Balance Search Consultants
On Balance offers great insight and industry intelligence. Shari Davidson, president of On Balance Search Consultants, advises law firms on how to take a firm to the next level and helps rising talent make the transition to the right law firm.
Contact us today. Call 516.731.3400 or visit our website at https://www.onbalancesearch.com
Please note that the content of this blog does not constitute legal advice and is only intended
for the educational purpose of the reader. Please consult your legal counsel for specifics
regarding your unique circumstances and the laws in your states pertaining to social media
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