Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
LSNow
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:21 pm

Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby LSNow » Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:54 pm

Below is my PS. Does this answer the PS Prompt of "A statement no longer than three typed pages including information about your distinctive qualities, talents, achievements, and life experiences." Or have I simply rewritten my Resume?

In the last few weeks of my father’s life, he and I had several profound, pensive discussions about life. Weighty, philosophical conversations were not typical of my father. He was an exceedingly logical man—an engineer by training—who was not quick to introspection or emotion. In those final days, he impressed upon me the importance of living a life without regret.

The passionate chase for the fulfilled life that my father described has, thus far, served me well as it has guided me through a rewarding life. My wife and I have been together for twenty years, and we have two young, exceptional daughters. In the last 25 years, I have had successful careers in both the military and the business world. Consequently, the reflection on one’s life that is typical of men my age did not result in regret, remorse, or a shiny new sports car. Rather, the result of my reflection was the decision to enter law school at the age of 44.

I made this colossal decision neither quickly nor impulsively. This decision was the result of thoughtful consideration, and the realization that in spite of my successes, I have always harbored the desire for a career in public service and have always gravitated towards positions of advocacy. And now, as I look forward with the benefit of hindsight, I realize that the next chapter of my life would be best served by becoming an attorney— an attorney determined to provide a voice for those who struggle to be heard.

After high school, I completed nine years of distinguished service in the United States Air Force, earning numerous accolades. My service in the Gulf War resulted in a Lance P. Sijan Leadership Award, a Veterans of Foreign Wars Leadership Award, and an Air Force Commendation Medal. After the Gulf War, I received a Humanitarian Medal for my work with the Kurdish refugees in Northern Iraq. I was then selected to attend an Air Force leadership school. After graduating as the top graduate, the school’s Commandant asked me to join his faculty. For the next three years, I taught leadership skills, management techniques, and Air Force history. I soon discovered that I felt more alive in the front of that classroom than I had felt at any adrenaline-filled moment of the Gulf War. My love of education was born in this leadership school.

I began taking night and weekend college classes, only to discover that this love of the classroom was as intense whether I was the student or the teacher. I was working 10 to 12-hour days in the NCO Leadership School in Germany, and then taking as many night and weekend classes as I could—most often attending as a full-time student. Although I received two A.A.S degrees during this period, when my enlistment ended in 1995, I returned to the U.S. eight classes from completion of a B.S. degree.

After separating from the Air Force, I was hired by XXX, a company that taught licensing and continuing education courses to professionals in real estate, appraisal, financial securities, and insurance. The company owner said to me, “You are an entrepreneur, and I am financing you—now go start a computer training business.” Within five years, I built a highly successful enterprise operating out of seven locations delivering annual revenues in excess of $1M.

A short time later, XXX, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of XXX Co., acquired this business. Recognizing my ability to successfully tackle tough assignments, XXX leadership asked me to establish a new branch of XXX in New Jersey for real estate and financial services training. Quickly diving into unknown territory, I scrutinized licensing requirements, analyzed competitor materials, and surveyed competitor courses. I then directed a company team in the development of improved curricula. In a little over 18 months, I built the most successful school for these professionals in the state —in terms of market share, pass rate, and revenue. By expanding to four locations in Metropolitan Area 1 and one location in Metropolitan Area 2, I led XXX-New Jersey to annual revenues of $3M by the end of its second year.

The collapse of the real estate and financial services markets in 2008 caused Company to reevaluate its national brick-and-mortar classroom strategy. Company began the process of reinventing itself as an online provider, and offered me a promotion in a different division. In April of 2009, I moved to Division Y as a Territory Director.

As I made this transition, I reflected on my 14 years in the corporate world and soon realized that the demands of life and career-building had distracted me from the completion of my degree. What began as a brief delay had turned into a 14-year hiatus. I returned to school to complete my undergraduate degree. I attended classes while managing Company's $10M business in all western states from Texas to Hawaii, spending 80% of my week on the road. Though my demanding job occupied a great deal of my time, I completed the degree in less than a year—receiving all A’s—by studying in airports, reading course materials on airplanes, and writing research papers in hotel rooms.

The final conversations with my father resonated in the completion of that degree. Though my life has been filled with many rewarding experiences, my desire for public service has never burned so brightly. Now, more than ever, I am confident that the most fulfilling thing that I can do is to become an advocate for those entangled in legal and political systems where justice can be elusive. And—if provided the opportunity—I will become that advocate as a distinguished graduate of the XXX School of Law.

Danteshek
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Re: Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby Danteshek » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:07 pm

I think you need to focus more on why you are deciding to take the unusual step of going to law school at the age of 44. You SAY the right things, but you do not SHOW me why I should believe you. You need to persuade the reader that you actually will be a good attorney. Success in military service and business does not necessarily translate into success as an attorney. Also, if you were enlisted and not officer, you should probably make that clear.

kublaikahn
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Re: Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby kublaikahn » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:20 pm

Correct. This is not a PS. You have a great resume though. Pick a theme and write about it. I have bolded a few you have introduced in this piece. I was interested in you story about your dad, though.

LSNow wrote:Below is my PS. Does this answer the PS Prompt of "A statement no longer than three typed pages including information about your distinctive qualities, talents, achievements, and life experiences." Or have I simply rewritten my Resume?

In the last few weeks of my father’s life, he and I had several profound, pensive discussions about life. Weighty, philosophical conversations were not typical of my father. He was an exceedingly logical man—an engineer by training—who was not quick to introspection or emotion. In those final days, he impressed upon me the importance of living a life without regret.

The passionate chase for the fulfilled life that my father described has, thus far, served me well as it has guided me through a rewarding life. My wife and I have been together for twenty years, and we have two young, exceptional daughters. In the last 25 years, I have had successful careers in both the military and the business world. Consequently, the reflection on one’s life that is typical of men my age did not result in regret, remorse, or a shiny new sports car. Rather, the result of my reflection was the decision to enter law school at the age of 44.

I made this colossal decision neither quickly nor impulsively. This decision was the result of thoughtful consideration, and the realization that in spite of my successes, I have always harbored the desire for a career in public service and have always gravitated towards positions of advocacy. And now, as I look forward with the benefit of hindsight, I realize that the next chapter of my life would be best served by becoming an attorney— an attorney determined to provide a voice for those who struggle to be heard.

After high school, I completed nine years of distinguished service in the United States Air Force, earning numerous accolades. My service in the Gulf War resulted in a Lance P. Sijan Leadership Award, a Veterans of Foreign Wars Leadership Award, and an Air Force Commendation Medal. After the Gulf War, I received a Humanitarian Medal for my work with the Kurdish refugees in Northern Iraq. I was then selected to attend an Air Force leadership school. After graduating as the top graduate, the school’s Commandant asked me to join his faculty. For the next three years, I taught leadership skills, management techniques, and Air Force history. I soon discovered that I felt more alive in the front of that classroom than I had felt at any adrenaline-filled moment of the Gulf War. My love of education was born in this leadership school.

I began taking night and weekend college classes, only to discover that this love of the classroom was as intense whether I was the student or the teacher. I was working 10 to 12-hour days in the NCO Leadership School in Germany, and then taking as many night and weekend classes as I could—most often attending as a full-time student. Although I received two A.A.S degrees during this period, when my enlistment ended in 1995, I returned to the U.S. eight classes from completion of a B.S. degree.

After separating from the Air Force, I was hired by XXX, a company that taught licensing and continuing education courses to professionals in real estate, appraisal, financial securities, and insurance. The company owner said to me, “You are an entrepreneur, and I am financing you—now go start a computer training business.” Within five years, I built a highly successful enterprise operating out of seven locations delivering annual revenues in excess of $1M.

A short time later, XXX, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of XXX Co., acquired this business. Recognizing my ability to successfully tackle tough assignments, XXX leadership asked me to establish a new branch of XXX in New Jersey for real estate and financial services training. Quickly diving into unknown territory, I scrutinized licensing requirements, analyzed competitor materials, and surveyed competitor courses. I then directed a company team in the development of improved curricula. In a little over 18 months, I built the most successful school for these professionals in the state —in terms of market share, pass rate, and revenue. By expanding to four locations in Metropolitan Area 1 and one location in Metropolitan Area 2, I led XXX-New Jersey to annual revenues of $3M by the end of its second year.

The collapse of the real estate and financial services markets in 2008 caused Company to reevaluate its national brick-and-mortar classroom strategy. Company began the process of reinventing itself myself as an online provider, and offered me a promotion in a different division. In April of 2009, I moved to Division Y as a Territory Director.

As I made this transition, I reflected on my 14 years in the corporate world and soon realized that the demands of life and career-building had distracted me from the completion of my degree. What began as a brief delay had turned into a 14-year hiatus. I returned to school to complete my undergraduate degree. I attended classes while managing Company's $10M business in all western states from Texas to Hawaii, spending 80% of my week on the road. Though my demanding job occupied a great deal of my time, I completed the degree in less than a year—receiving all A’s—by studying in airports, reading course materials on airplanes, and writing research papers in hotel rooms.

The final conversations with my father resonated in the completion of that degree. Though my life has been filled with many rewarding experiences, my desire for public service has never burned so brightly. Now, more than ever, I am confident that the most fulfilling thing that I can do is to become an advocate for those entangled in legal and political systems where justice can be elusive. And—if provided the opportunity—I will become that advocate as a distinguished graduate of the XXX School of Law.


Any one of these highlighted subthemes can serve as your theme and can be expanded upon. Personally, I would focus on the leadership piece, that is your differentiator. The "love of education" thing probably means you should continue what you are doing. And the "midlife crisis has led me into public service" theme may be a net negative. Most men just buy a convertible like you said. It's cheaper and probably more fun.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:30 pm

This is not an appropriate nor effective law school application personal statement, in my opinion. The major weakness--ironically highlighted by your introductory paragraph--is your lack of meaningful insight. As you suspect, this essay is merely a wordy rehashing of your resume. As a 44 year old, married, father of two, experienced in the business world, you should be able to offer more substantial observations. Overall, this writing may harm your chances for admission to law schools.

LSNow
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Re: Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby LSNow » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:58 pm

While I do--truly--appreciate the advice and the critiques you each have left, I feel the need to restate the explicit prompt on the application for admission: "A statement no longer than three typed pages including information about your distinctive qualities, talents, achievements, and life experiences."

I have read all of the prevailing wisdom on writing statements about overcoming adversity, analyzing personal diversity, and expounding on what drove you to the decision to enter law school. While each of these may in fact make for great essays when the prompt is less specific, this prompt seems to call for a list of qualities, talents, achievements, and life experiences.

The biggest problem I found was trying to answer this prompt--with 44 years of examples--while limiting my response to 3 pages...

Thanks again for your help. I hope I am not coming off as defensive. I just want to make sure that I answer the required prompt.

So given the prompt I was given, does your feedback stand as stated? Does this PS need to be re-written? If I have already submitted it to a school, did I really "harm my chances for admission to law school?"

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bp shinners
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Re: Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby bp shinners » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:03 am

Writing a compelling personal statement should be paramount, and focusing on one area of your life that speaks to your desire to enter law school (at 44) will say more about your distinctive qualities, achievements, and life experiences than rehashing your resume.

I, too, found the story of your father very interesting. I would definitely expand that, going into more detail about what you discussed. That section of the essay feels like you're telling me something interesting happened, without letting me in on any of the details.

Danteshek
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Re: Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby Danteshek » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:09 am

Good writing requires the willingness to step back and recognize that something needs to be re-written, perhaps several times, before settling on a final draft. I do think you need to take a different approach. Do not get too hung up on the prompt. Law school personal statements are all the same, regardless of prompt. Admissions committees want to know (1) Why you are applying to law school and (2) Why you will make a good attorney.

kublaikahn
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Re: Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby kublaikahn » Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:51 am

LSNow wrote:So given the prompt I was given, does your feedback stand as stated? Does this PS need to be re-written? If I have already submitted it to a school, did I really "harm my chances for admission to law school?"


Yes, yes, and Yes (this PS is a wash at a T3/T4, and maybe even a T2. But it is a net minus at a T1). You are over-reading the prompt. The prompt does not call for you to write every talent you have--just what makes you distinctive. You need to tell a story that illustrates what differentiates you, not a laundry list of things you have done.


Writing a compelling personal statement should be paramount, and focusing on one area story of your life that speaks to your desire to enter law school (at 44) will say more about your distinctive qualities, achievements, and life experiences than rehashing your resume.

^This.

You can write an essay about an experience when you showed great leadership (for one example) that also indicates you are a self starter, deep thinker, life-long learner, etc. What you shouldn't do is list a set of achievements, each of which shows a skill or trait you have (that's what a resume does).

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zonto
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Re: Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby zonto » Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:49 pm

Limit your response to 500 words and that will force you mighty quick to get to the meat of the issue. Then if you want to expound later, you will have complete freedom to do so and still not break two pages.

LSNow
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Re: Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby LSNow » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:13 am

Thank you all for your opinions.

Though, I am somewhat skeptical of the advice. After all, aren’t we all just neophytes advising neophytes? A statement like, “Law school personal statements are all the same, regardless of prompt” seems antithetical to the application process—not to mention the study of law. I would not suggest that anyone so quickly dismiss the explicit instructions of the admissions committee that now must evaluate your response.

Kublaikahn, on the other hand, cannot possibly be a neophyte. His officious assertions of what is on the minds of T1, T2, T3, and T4 admission committees can only come from experience. To make such definitive statements devoid of evidence would be presumptuous and arrogant, and he does not strike me as such a person.

Nonetheless, to say “Writing a compelling personal statement should be paramount, and focusing on one story of your life that speaks to your desire to enter law school will say more about your distinctive qualities, achievements, and life experiences than rehashing your resume” is misleading at best. Let us not forget that the Adcoms are evaluating a person in their entirety. I agree that if you only have one great story, then you must tell that one story well. I do not, however, believe that if you have more than one, you must choose to exterminate.

Dean David E. Van Zandt of Northwestern confides:
“Obviously, the personal statement needs to be well-written, but you never know how original it is or how much help the person received. In the end, it is about the substance—what someone has accomplished up to this point—not the way they write about it. Like all other parts of the application, the bottom line is that we are looking for evidence that demonstrates strong leadership potential and the ability to succeed in what will be a multi-job career. As a result, examples of past leadership experiences, management of complex projects, or situations that involve overcoming obstacles or challenges tend to be the most useful.”

Kublaikahn, the advice of this T14 Dean not only contradicts your advice, but it also demonstrates how reckless your random harangues of wisdom actually are.

Danteshek
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Re: Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby Danteshek » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:15 am

Whatever, dude. Our advice represents accumulated TLS wisdom. Ignore it at your own peril. Just know that whoever reads your personal statement will not be reading it from your perspective. It is normal to grow attached to your own work. Others are more objective.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:52 am

LSNow wrote:Thank you all for your opinions.

Though, I am somewhat skeptical of the advice. After all, aren’t we all just neophytes advising neophytes? A statement like, “Law school personal statements are all the same, regardless of prompt” seems antithetical to the application process—not to mention the study of law. I would not suggest that anyone so quickly dismiss the explicit instructions of the admissions committee that now must evaluate your response.

Kublaikahn, on the other hand, cannot possibly be a neophyte. His officious assertions of what is on the minds of T1, T2, T3, and T4 admission committees can only come from experience. To make such definitive statements devoid of evidence would be presumptuous and arrogant, and he does not strike me as such a person.

Translation: OP is a special snowflake, who knows better than the multiple classes of accepted students, rejected students, graduates and lawyers who post here. If no TLS posters ever got into good schools, then there'd be a logical basis for rejecting the collective wisdom of TLS. Unfortunately for OP's argument, lots of TLS posters get into fantastic schools by following the advice found here.

LSNow wrote:Nonetheless, to say “Writing a compelling personal statement should be paramount, and focusing on one story of your life that speaks to your desire to enter law school will say more about your distinctive qualities, achievements, and life experiences than rehashing your resume” is misleading at best. Let us not forget that the Adcoms are evaluating a person in their entirety. I agree that if you only have one great story, then you must tell that one story well. I do not, however, believe that if you have more than one, you must choose to exterminate.

It's not that the adcomms don't want to hear more than one story, or that they wouldn't enjoy an extended novel based entirely on your life. It's that you cannot possibly write coherently and compellingly about more than one (possibly two if they are linked) story in the 2-3 page limit.

LSNow wrote:Dean David E. Van Zandt of Northwestern confides:
“Obviously, the personal statement needs to be well-written, but you never know how original it is or how much help the person received. In the end, it is about the substance—what someone has accomplished up to this point—not the way they write about it. Like all other parts of the application, the bottom line is that we are looking for evidence that demonstrates strong leadership potential and the ability to succeed in what will be a multi-job career. As a result, examples of past leadership experiences, management of complex projects, or situations that involve overcoming obstacles or challenges tend to be the most useful.”

Kublaikahn, the advice of this T14 Dean not only contradicts your advice, but it also demonstrates how reckless your random harangues of wisdom actually are.

Nice cherry-picking from one (former) dean's interview. I can do that too. (Interestingly, I got into Northwestern with a PS about one central topic, and without regurgitating my resume. Which would seem to contradict your interpretation of Dean Van Z's comment.)

Read over your personal statement with a critical eye when you are done and ask yourself if it’s an accurate portrayal of who you are. Does your voice come through? Or is it just a laundry list of your achievements? When we read a personal statement, we are looking for a person, not a set of accomplishments.
-- Interview with Josh Rubenstein, Assistant Dean for Admissions at Harvard Law School

I think they should try to use whichever experience they think gives the committee the best insight into them, and the personal statement should be something new that isn’t already in the application. ... One thing they should really avoid doing is rewriting their resume into prose form, because we do see that an awful lot.
-- Interview with Ann Perry, Assistant Dean for Admissions at The University of Chicago Law School

I always advise students to treat the personal statement as if they were being offered a half-hour interview. You aren’t going to be able to cover everything, so pick something about yourself that you would want the interviewer to remember and that isn’t obvious from some other part of your application.
-- Interview with Richard Geiger, Associate Dean and Dean of Admissions for Cornell Law School

I think that the biggest error in judgment that an applicant might make is to talk too much in their personal statement. It is so much more effective for an applicant to be concise, say what they have to say, make their point, and then stop talking. It's not a good thing to go on forever, so I think in that respect that might hurt someone's chances.
-- Interview with Andy Cornblatt, Dean of Admissions at Georgetown University Law Center

You want to make sure your personal statement gives us something we cannot find elsewhere in your application. We do not conduct interviews, so use the personal statement as a substitute. Tell me something about yourself that you would want me to know if you had 10 minutes with me.
-- Interview with Dean Jason Trujillo of the University of Virginia School of Law

kublaikahn
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Re: Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby kublaikahn » Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:34 pm

LSNow (w/edits) wrote:
In the last few weeks of my father’s life, he and I had several profound, pensive discussions about life.[passive voice, revise] Weighty, philosophical conversations were not typical of my father.[passive voice, revise] He was an exceedingly logical man—an engineer by training—who was not quick to introspection or emotion. [passive voice, revise] In those final days, he impressed upon me the importance of living a life without regret.

The passionate chase for the fulfilled life that my father described has, thus far, served me well as it has guided me through a rewarding life [passive voice, revise]. My wife and I have been together for twenty years [passive voice, revise], and we have two young [passive voice, revise], exceptional daughters. In the last 25 years, I have had [passive voice, revise] successful careers in both the military and the business world. Consequently, the reflection on one’s life that is typical of men my age did not result in regret, remorse, or a shiny new sports car [passive voice, revise]. Rather, the result of my reflection [do you mean introspection?] was the decision to enter law school at the age of 44 [passive voice, revise].

I made this colossal decision neither quickly nor impulsively [passive voice, revise]. This decision was [passive voice, revise] the result of thoughtful consideration, and the realization that in spite of my successes, I have [passive voice, revise] always harbored the desire for a career in public service and have always gravitated towards positions of advocacy. And [don’t begin a sentence with “and”] now, as I look forward with the benefit of hindsight [what hindsight specifically?], I realize that the next chapter of my life would be [passive voice, revise] best served by becoming an attorney— an attorney determined to provide a voice for those who struggle to be heard [cliché garbage].

After high school, I completed [passive voice, revise] nine years of distinguished service in the United States Air Force, earning numerous accolades [passive voice, revise]. My service in the Gulf War resulted in a Lance P. Sijan Leadership Award, a Veterans of Foreign Wars Leadership Award, and an Air Force Commendation Medal. After the Gulf War, I received a Humanitarian Medal for my work with the Kurdish refugees in Northern Iraq. I was then selected [passive voice, revise] to attend an Air Force leadership school. After graduating as the top graduate [misplaced modifier, the Commandant was not the top graduate], the school’s Commandant asked me to join his faculty. For the next three years, I taught leadership skills, management techniques, and Air Force history. I soon discovered that I felt more alive in the front of that classroom than I had felt at any adrenaline-filled moment of the Gulf War. My love of education [teaching?] was born in this leadership school.

I began taking night and weekend college classes, only to discover that this love of the classroom [teaching and learning are not them same. Do you love the environment, or what happens in the environment. I only ask because you come from the education market. If you love the environment, you should stick with it. Get a masters in ed.] was as intense whether I was the student or the teacher. I was working 10 to 12-hour days in the NCO Leadership School in Germany, and then taking as many night and weekend classes as I could— [comma not dash, dashes for disparate ideas, commas for subordinate clauses] most often attending as a full-time student. Although I received two A.A.S [why the S? is this correct an AAS degree?] degrees during this period, when my enlistment ended in 1995 [congratulations, a correct use of the passive voice], I returned to the U.S. eight classes from completion of a B.S. degree.

After separating from the Air Force, I was hired [passive voice, revise] by XXX, a company that taught licensing and continuing education courses to professionals [unnecessary verbosity, besides many were “would-be” pros] in real estate, appraisal, financial securities, and insurance. The company owner said to me, “You are an entrepreneur, and I am financing you—now go start a computer training business.” [seems like your boss knew the value of the active voice, clear and concise] Within five years, I built a highly successful enterprise operating out of seven locations delivering annual revenues in excess of $1M. [poor sentence structure. e.g.: "Taking advantage of the opportunity, I grew a $1mm+ business from start-up to seven independent locations." ]

A short time later, [nondescript modifier, serves no purpose] XXX, Inc., a wholly owned [verbose, would need a dash anyway] subsidiary of XXX Co., acquired this business [passive voice, revise, would you rather say, “I sold the business to X for a profit”? See the power in the active voice]. Recognizing my ability to successfully tackle tough assignments [unverified self-agrandizement], XXX leadership asked me to establish a new branch of XXXin New Jersey for real estate and financial services training.Quickly diving into unknown territory [unknown territory, wtf? I thought you built a successful similar business], I scrutinized licensing requirements, analyzed competitor materials, and surveyed competitor courses. I then directed a company team in the development of improved curricula. In a little over 18 months, I built the most successful school [broadly general term] for these professionals in the state —in terms of market share, pass rate, and revenue [acute lawyers know the difference between specific metrics and broad over-generalizations (highest revenue does not necessarily equal most successful, particularly as we are about to find out that your operation was soon shuttered]. By expanding to four locations in Metropolitan Area 1 and one location in Metropolitan Area 2, I led XXX-New Jersey to annual revenues of $3M by the end of its second year. [so what? If it doesn’t add value, don’t say it.]

The collapse of the real estate and financial services markets in 2008 caused Company to reevaluate its national brick-and-mortar classroom strategy [passive voice, revise]. Company began the process of reinventing itself as an online provider, and offered me a promotion in a different division. In April of 2009, I moved to Division Y as a Territory Director. [so your business unit went under?]

As I made this transition, I reflected on my 14 years in the corporate world and soon realized [you just realized when you are being promoted that you forgot to finish your degree?] that the demands of life and career-building had distracted me from the completion of my degree [passive voice, revise]. What [poor sentence structure, do not start a sentence with the word what unless it is an interrogatory] began as a brief delay had turned into a 14-year hiatus [passive voice, revise]. I returned to school to complete my undergraduate degree. I attended classes while managing Company's $10M [stop with the numbers, still not impressed] business in all western states from Texas to Hawaii, spending 80% of my week on the road. Though my demanding [haha, snowflake has a demanding job] job occupied a great deal [nondescript modifier] of my time, I completed the degree in less than a year—receiving all A’s—by studying in airports, reading course materials on airplanes, and writing research papers in hotel rooms.

The final conversations with my father resonated [resonate means echo or reverberate, not result or cause] in the completion of that degree. Though my life has been filled with many rewarding experiences [passive voice, revise], my desire for public service has never burned so brightly [passive voice, revise. You should not introduce a brand new thesis in your closing paragraph. We were reading a shitty chronological expose of your work life, now we get into your desire to serve others? ]. Now, more than ever, [more useless nondescript modifiers, get to the point] I am confident that the most fulfilling thing that I can do is to become [passive voice, revise] an advocate for those entangled in legal and political systems where justice can be elusive. And—if provided the opportunity—I will become that advocate as a distinguished [already used this word to talk about your military service, did you have a distinguished burger for lunch?] graduate of the XXX School of Law. [You should wait til the last moment to try and tie in the law school, oh, you did.]


Your writing needs improvement, OP. Even if you did go with this universally rejected thesis for a PS topic, you had better write it better. I mention the passive voice, because using an active voice is the easiest way for a writer with rudimentary skills to see dramatic improvement. Of course, the best advice would be to have a solid topic and theme. You have already discounted that advice.

You should have asked for help prior to submitting. Then, maybe you would be able to handle constructive advice better.

FWIW, I thought I was being nice in prior posts, but apparently, you thought otherwise.

LSNow
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Re: Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby LSNow » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:15 pm

Kublaikahn, your post above defines you better than anything that I could have written—you are an idiot!

My objection to your previous post was not about my PS. I objected to the reckless advice. For example, advice that derives from you knowing the mindset of all T1, T2, T3, and T4 Admission Committees or advice that tells people to ignore the personal statement prompt. You are not an expert; you are a guy who spends his days reciting the views of others in some queer search for significance.

You are correct though that I can improve upon my PS. If I were to choose only one aspect from my past to write about, which would you suggest: a) being a decorated veteran of the Gulf War b) earning a six figure income before earning a bachelor’s degree c) selling a business and becoming a multi-millionaire at 33 d) retiring at 42 e) deciding to return to school at 44 for no other reason then to further my education? Which would you suggest I leave out?

I have little doubt that your PS about pretending to be the fierce Emperor of the blogosphere has supplied you with many hours of personal fulfillment. I am sure you keep a tissue box right next to your keyboard for quick clean up.

I also have no doubt that if you were providing me with PS feedback to my face, you would use a different tone and choice of words.

FWIW, before posting to this forum, several other people—who I respect and admire— reviewed my PS. Among them was Joann Kleinneiur, Ph.D. Joan, as I am sure you are aware, is the co-author of Top-Law-Schools.com Guide to Personal Statements. I find it odd that Joann did not agree with even one of your “corrections.” In fact, you corrected many of her adjustments. How proud you must be! You are even smarter than you pretend to be.

Finally, many of the answers to the questions that you asked in your dissection of my PS can be found in the text. I only mention this because the easiest way for a reader with rudimentary skills to see dramatic improvement is to sound out the big words.

Danteshek
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Re: Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby Danteshek » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:35 pm

Haha. Thin skin. Good luck being a lawyer.

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Tanicius
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Re: Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby Tanicius » Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:43 pm

LSNow wrote:Kublaikahn, your post above defines you better than anything that I could have written—you are an idiot!

My objection to your previous post was not about my PS. I objected to the reckless advice. For example, advice that derives from you knowing the mindset of all T1, T2, T3, and T4 Admission Committees or advice that tells people to ignore the personal statement prompt. You are not an expert; you are a guy who spends his days reciting the views of others in some queer search for significance.

You are correct though that I can improve upon my PS. If I were to choose only one aspect from my past to write about, which would you suggest: a) being a decorated veteran of the Gulf War b) earning a six figure income before earning a bachelor’s degree c) selling a business and becoming a multi-millionaire at 33 d) retiring at 42 e) deciding to return to school at 44 for no other reason then to further my education? Which would you suggest I leave out?

I have little doubt that your PS about pretending to be the fierce Emperor of the blogosphere has supplied you with many hours of personal fulfillment. I am sure you keep a tissue box right next to your keyboard for quick clean up.

I also have no doubt that if you were providing me with PS feedback to my face, you would use a different tone and choice of words.


While we're on the subject of insulting the reading comprehension of people you disagree with, let's discuss your own. Did you just not decide to read all the advice

FWIW, before posting to this forum, several other people—who I respect and admire— reviewed my PS. Among them was Joann Kleinneiur, Ph.D. Joan, as I am sure you are aware, is the co-author of Top-Law-Schools.com Guide to Personal Statements. I find it odd that Joann did not agree with even one of your “corrections.” In fact, you corrected many of her adjustments. How proud you must be! You are even smarter than you pretend to be.

Finally, many of the answers to the questions that you asked in your dissection of my PS can be found in the text. I only mention this because the easiest way for a reader with rudimentary skills to see dramatic improvement is to sound out the big words.



Please consider reading this. It was posted earlier and I'm not sure you gave it due weight:

Read over your personal statement with a critical eye when you are done and ask yourself if it’s an accurate portrayal of who you are. Does your voice come through? Or is it just a laundry list of your achievements? When we read a personal statement, we are looking for a person, not a set of accomplishments.
-- Interview with Josh Rubenstein, Assistant Dean for Admissions at Harvard Law School

I think they should try to use whichever experience they think gives the committee the best insight into them, and the personal statement should be something new that isn’t already in the application. ... One thing they should really avoid doing is rewriting their resume into prose form, because we do see that an awful lot.
-- Interview with Ann Perry, Assistant Dean for Admissions at The University of Chicago Law School

I always advise students to treat the personal statement as if they were being offered a half-hour interview. You aren’t going to be able to cover everything, so pick something about yourself that you would want the interviewer to remember and that isn’t obvious from some other part of your application.
-- Interview with Richard Geiger, Associate Dean and Dean of Admissions for Cornell Law School

I think that the biggest error in judgment that an applicant might make is to talk too much in their personal statement. It is so much more effective for an applicant to be concise, say what they have to say, make their point, and then stop talking. It's not a good thing to go on forever, so I think in that respect that might hurt someone's chances.
-- Interview with Andy Cornblatt, Dean of Admissions at Georgetown University Law Center

You want to make sure your personal statement gives us something we cannot find elsewhere in your application. We do not conduct interviews, so use the personal statement as a substitute. Tell me something about yourself that you would want me to know if you had 10 minutes with me.
-- Interview with Dean Jason Trujillo of the University of Virginia School of Law



These are, in a word, the "experts" on what it takes to write a compelling law school personal statement. You need to realize that no one here is making fun of you or demeaning your accomplishments. They are offering advice that is so well-founded as to be axiomatic. The answer to your question about whether or not it is a cardinal sin to rewrite your resume is yes. You don't have to listen to what anyone here is saying, but at the very least you could afford to be less indignant when people say things you didn't want to hear. You're 44 years old. Act your age.

LSNow
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Re: Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby LSNow » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:10 pm

I am sorry for not being more clear about my position.

I understand the advice about rewriting the PS. I am on it. I have no objections to the opinions expressed about the PS rewrite. I thought as much myself. That is why I posted the question.

What I disagree with is the name-calling and reckless advice. If you believe that KublaiKahn was not trying to make fun or demean, please consider rereading his last post.

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softsgalore
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Re: Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby softsgalore » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:33 pm

I think taking away from this isn't such a good idea. I'd add to it. What you're missing are transitional elements from the dad/choice thing to your previous experience.

I don't think admissions committees will look askance at seeing some of your accomplishments laid out in these paragraphs. You've got some pretty amazing work-related stuff on here. Northwestern would shit themselves with glee. And there's a reason -- you're essentially writing a successful cover letter. At the end of the day, a PS is essentially a long-form cover letter, which shouldn't reiterate your resume but certainly can touch on it and draw out the stories hiding in the more formal resume structure.

Fuck page limits. And when you're not a typical "attending law school within a year or two of attending college" student, fuck some of that advice. See that piece of advice from Dean Andy Cornblatt at Georgetown law school, the "don't talk too much" advice? I sent a personal statement to Georgetown this year that was four pages long. A FULL four pages. He phoned me to tell me it was among the best he'd ever seen.

You're doing a lot better than a lot of the folks here would like you to believe. If you want an edit after the rewrite by someone who's not going to be a jackass misunderstanding what you're doing, PM me.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:41 pm

softsgalore wrote:Fuck page limits.


The rest of this thread can be debated, but this is really, truly a terrible fucking idea. Ignoring page limits tells law schools three things:

1)I believe the admissions committee's specific request for X pages is stupid.
2)I am unable or unwilling to follow simple instructions.
3)I'm not a good enough writer to edit my shit properly.

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softsgalore
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Re: Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby softsgalore » Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:57 pm

I'm not saying "fuck page limits" for every person writing a personal statement. I'm saying there are people and situations that call for it to be done. Is it a risk? Yes, absolutely! Does it sometimes pay off? The evidence says "yes."

lawscholar20
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Re: Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby lawscholar20 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:19 pm

LSNow wrote:Kublaikahn, your post above defines you better than anything that I could have written—you are an idiot!

My objection to your previous post was not about my PS. I objected to the reckless advice. For example, advice that derives from you knowing the mindset of all T1, T2, T3, and T4 Admission Committees or advice that tells people to ignore the personal statement prompt. You are not an expert; you are a guy who spends his days reciting the views of others in some queer search for significance.

You are correct though that I can improve upon my PS. If I were to choose only one aspect from my past to write about, which would you suggest: a) being a decorated veteran of the Gulf War b) earning a six figure income before earning a bachelor’s degree c) selling a business and becoming a multi-millionaire at 33 d) retiring at 42 e) deciding to return to school at 44 for no other reason then to further my education? Which would you suggest I leave out?

I have little doubt that your PS about pretending to be the fierce Emperor of the blogosphere has supplied you with many hours of personal fulfillment. I am sure you keep a tissue box right next to your keyboard for quick clean up.

I also have no doubt that if you were providing me with PS feedback to my face, you would use a different tone and choice of words.

FWIW, before posting to this forum, several other people—who I respect and admire— reviewed my PS. Among them was Joann Kleinneiur, Ph.D. Joan, as I am sure you are aware, is the co-author of Top-Law-Schools.com Guide to Personal Statements. I find it odd that Joann did not agree with even one of your “corrections.” In fact, you corrected many of her adjustments. How proud you must be! You are even smarter than you pretend to be.

Finally, many of the answers to the questions that you asked in your dissection of my PS can be found in the text. I only mention this because the easiest way for a reader with rudimentary skills to see dramatic improvement is to sound out the big words.

OP, I hope to accomplish as much as you have by the time I am 44. I just hope I am not as insecure as you.

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uk4220
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Re: Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby uk4220 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:27 pm

LSNow wrote:Kublaikahn, your post above defines you better than anything that I could have written—you are an idiot!

My objection to your previous post was not about my PS. I objected to the reckless advice. For example, advice that derives from you knowing the mindset of all T1, T2, T3, and T4 Admission Committees or advice that tells people to ignore the personal statement prompt. You are not an expert; you are a guy who spends his days reciting the views of others in some queer search for significance.

You are correct though that I can improve upon my PS. If I were to choose only one aspect from my past to write about, which would you suggest: a) being a decorated veteran of the Gulf War b) earning a six figure income before earning a bachelor’s degree c) selling a business and becoming a multi-millionaire at 33 d) retiring at 42 e) deciding to return to school at 44 for no other reason then to further my education? Which would you suggest I leave out?

I have little doubt that your PS about pretending to be the fierce Emperor of the blogosphere has supplied you with many hours of personal fulfillment. I am sure you keep a tissue box right next to your keyboard for quick clean up.

I also have no doubt that if you were providing me with PS feedback to my face, you would use a different tone and choice of words.

FWIW, before posting to this forum, several other people—who I respect and admire— reviewed my PS. Among them was Joann Kleinneiur, Ph.D. Joan, as I am sure you are aware, is the co-author of Top-Law-Schools.com Guide to Personal Statements. I find it odd that Joann did not agree with even one of your “corrections.” In fact, you corrected many of her adjustments. How proud you must be! You are even smarter than you pretend to be.

Finally, many of the answers to the questions that you asked in your dissection of my PS can be found in the text. I only mention this because the easiest way for a reader with rudimentary skills to see dramatic improvement is to sound out the big words.



If you have so many "expert" resources at your disposal, why are you wasting your time with us "neophytes?"

kublaikahn
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Re: Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby kublaikahn » Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:55 pm

LSNow wrote:Kublaikahn, your post above defines you better than anything that I could have written—you are an idiot! [Yah, I am an idiot. I aim to help other applicants, sometimes I get it wrong, and sometimes I try to help the wrong people. ]

My objection to your previous post was not about my PS. I objected to the reckless advice. For example, advice that derives from you knowing the mindset of all T1, T2, T3, and T4 Admission Committees or advice that tells people to ignore the personal statement prompt. You are not an expert; you are a guy who spends his days reciting the views of others in some queer search for significance. [Oh, burn. You got me, I am not an expert--whatever that means. However, my eleven year old writes better than you do. But than, you have spent your entire career swimming in a sea of mediocrity. The mililtary and the continuing education industry are not exactly drawing the best and brightest. My T1-T4 advice was not about what I heard from all AdComs. It was based on the quality of writing I have seen from applicants to those programs. Your writing matches what I have read from aspirants at T3/T4 schools. If you don't like that advice, and maybe it is invalid (I could care less, it's not like your paying me for it), than reject it. But I get it. You posted this PS expecting others to stroke your ego.]

You are correct though that I can improve upon my PS. If I were to choose only one aspect from my past to write about, which would you suggest: a) being a decorated veteran of the Gulf War b) earning a six figure income before earning a bachelor’s degree c) selling a business and becoming a multi-millionaire at 33 d) retiring at 42 e) deciding to return to school at 44 for no other reason then to further my education? Which would you suggest I leave out? [I would leave out all those lies and embellishments. Ever saw combat? No. My niece sells phones for ATT (age 21 and no college degree) and made $100k last year. Give yourself another medal. If you became a multi-millionaire selling that shitty business, I became Barack Obama by playing basketball last night. You are so full of shit and as a successful businessman I can see right through you. Have fun in retirement.] :roll:

I have little doubt that your PS about pretending to be the fierce Emperor of the blogosphere has supplied you with many hours of personal fulfillment. I am sure you keep a tissue box right next to your keyboard for quick clean up. [My PS is about seeming contradictions=like honoring our soldiers while understanding some of them are ignorant, self-important jerks. I feel bad for your daughters. They will undoubtedly find men that resemble their abusive contolling father]

I also have no doubt that if you were providing me with PS feedback to my face, you would use a different tone and choice of words. [All hat, no cattle. You are kidding yourself if you think men like me are intimidated by men like you. Besides, who does that? Talks smack on a LS blog. What a loser. I feel bad for your wife.]

FWIW, before posting to this forum, several other people—who I respect and admire— reviewed my PS. Among them was Joann Kleinneiur, Ph.D. Joan, as I am sure you are aware, is the co-author of Top-Law-Schools.com Guide to Personal Statements. I find it odd that Joann did not agree with even one of your “corrections.” In fact, you corrected many of her adjustments. How proud you must be! You are even smarter than you pretend to be. [You just destroyed her business. Ever think she was humoring you?]

Finally, many of the answers to the questions that you asked in your dissection of my PS can be found in the text. I only mention this because the easiest way for a reader with rudimentary skills to see dramatic improvement is to sound out the big words. [Yawn. Maybe you will find an AdCom that is impressed by someone who took 25 years to get a degree from some online school. Or someone who thinks distinguished, successful and passionate are big words that add descriptive value to a PS.]

LSNow
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Re: Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby LSNow » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:06 pm

Kublaikahn, you are a piece of work.

No one was trying to intimidate you. I was merely pointing out that your tone and word choice reek of the bravado that comes from the anonymity of a web-based forum. If you think that was an attempt at intimidation, then you will have a rude awakening once you begin practicing law. If I am wrong, and you really do speak to people that way, then I feel sorry for your wife and kids.

For a guy who makes so many judgments about the level of intelligence of others, you have a difficult time telling the difference between fact and fiction. A review of your posts will show you that 95% of what you write stems from unsupported assumptions—not a good habit for a future attorney.

At any rate, I have grown tired of rolling in the gutter with you. Respond if you must, but you will be in the gutter alone.

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kwais
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Re: Cardinal Sin of PS - Resume Rewrite???

Postby kwais » Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:19 pm

LSNow wrote:Kublaikahn, you are a piece of work.

No one was trying to intimidate you. I was merely pointing out that your tone and word choice reek of the bravado that comes from the anonymity of a web-based forum. If you think that was an attempt at intimidation, then you will have a rude awakening once you begin practicing law. If I am wrong, and you really do speak to people that way, then I feel sorry for your wife and kids.

For a guy who makes so many judgments about the level of intelligence of others, you have a difficult time telling the difference between fact and fiction. A review of your posts will show you that 95% of what you write stems from unsupported assumptions—not a good habit for a future attorney.

At any rate, I have grown tired of rolling in the gutter with you. Respond if you must, but you will be in the gutter alone.


Oh man, you are really overreacting. You got pretty solid advice and then essentially said "I don't like that advice, can someone please justify what I've already written."




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