2 page resume?

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ppch
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby ppch » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:17 pm

I heard Dean Zearfoss of Michigan say that resumes for law school applications do not need to be limited to one page and that this is a popular misconception. Penn's dean of admissions was also present and agreed.

Also, I recently asked my college's pre-professional advising dean (I went to an Ivy League college; this dean has extensive experience counseling motivated and competitive pre-law students) if I should include non-prestigious jobs I did alongside lower-paid or unpaid internships and she said yes; schools will appreciate knowing that I was supporting myself and willing to work extra hours to facilitate unpaid work.

Maybe I don't belong on law school admissions boards (first time caller here!), but I'm pretty amazed by the authoritative tones some folks take when the real answers are an admissions panel or a chat with an experienced college law school admissions counselor away. Give me a break, guys!

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mr_toad
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby mr_toad » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:18 pm

How many different threads will this topic receive? To share my experience (again) from several top-14 school e-mail replies to my queries, they want to know "more" rather than "less". Chicago, in its application materials: Applicants must submit a résumé describing principal extracurricular and community activities, academic honors, as well as any full or part-time work experience. Indicate the number of hours per week spent on each activity or job. If an applicant's education has been interrupted for more than a normal vacation period, the résumé must describe the applicant's activities during that time.

Duke, in an e-mail, told me to include all work experience, but if less important, to not go into detail. Implication, still include. They, or at least some very credible examples of "they", want the full picture. /Thread.

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URMdan
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby URMdan » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:18 pm

Jesus Christ. This is the appropriate answer:

Follow whatever directions exist first and foremost regarding page length. If no directions are given, then use 2 pages at your own discretion. Keep in mind that you will look like an asshat if you go over 1 page due to filler WE


/endthread

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kwais
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby kwais » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:21 pm

URMdan wrote:Jesus Christ. This is the appropriate answer:

Follow whatever directions exist first and foremost regarding page length. If no directions are given, then use 2 pages at your own discretion. Keep in mind that you will look like an asshat if you go over 1 page due to filler WE


/endthread


You are wrong. Everyone saying that 2 pages (or more) is fine is quoting adcomms. Everyone espousing the above position just sounds (curiously) angry.

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mr_toad
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby mr_toad » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:22 pm

For the first time in this thread, I agree with URMdan. Follow directions, and if you need a second page, at your discretion. Filler is subjective, however.

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bk1
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby bk1 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:22 pm

ppch wrote:I heard Dean Zearfoss of Michigan say that resumes for law school applications do not need to be limited to one page and that this is a popular misconception. Penn's dean of admissions was also present and agreed.

Also, I recently asked my college's pre-professional advising dean (I went to an Ivy League college; this dean has extensive experience counseling motivated and competitive pre-law students) if I should include non-prestigious jobs I did alongside lower-paid or unpaid internships and she said yes; schools will appreciate knowing that I was supporting myself and willing to work extra hours to facilitate unpaid work.

Maybe I don't belong on law school admissions boards (first time caller here!), but I'm pretty amazed by the authoritative tones some folks take when the real answers are an admissions panel or a chat with an experienced college law school admissions counselor away. Give me a break, guys!


Schools also say they are "holistic" in spite of the fact that 95% of their decision is based off of your GPA/LSAT.

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bk1
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby bk1 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:23 pm

kwais wrote:You are wrong. Everyone saying that 2 pages (or more) is fine is quoting adcomms. Everyone espousing the above position just sounds (curiously) angry.


Yes because adcomms have never said anything that didn't hold water when looking at actual admissions cycles...

r6_philly
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby r6_philly » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:24 pm

bk1 wrote:Schools also say they are "holistic" in spite of the fact that 95% of their decision is based off of your GPA/LSAT.


They are holistic to the people they want to be holistic to. I don't see anything wrong with this claim. Maybe there is no one worthy. They just say they will assess your application aside from your GPA/LSAT, they didn't say they will do so and disregard your GPA/LSAT.

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bk1
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby bk1 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:27 pm

r6_philly wrote:They are holistic to the people they want to be holistic to. I don't see anything wrong with this claim. Maybe there is no one worthy. They just say they will assess your application aside from your GPA/LSAT, they didn't say they will do so and disregard your GPA/LSAT.


There's nothing wrong with this claim. When they say they are holistic, they aren't lying. It's just that when they are holistic they just give minimal weight to everything else except for a very small minority of people.

That being said, it is in most applicants' best interest to understand that they are very unlikely to be that special unique snowflake where their softs change things.

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mr_toad
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby mr_toad » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:27 pm

Last two posts miss the point, BK. If 95% is based on LSAT/GPA and it has been shown in the past that not everything they say is true, this does not mean that a two-page resume is a deal-breaker. It means the resume itself is incredibly unimportant and that for whatever reason schools are willing to allow longer resumes. If they really didn't want a two-page resume, they would limit it, as they do so many other things, such as PS or DS length, etc. By making the limit unknown or, as is often the case 1-2 pages, schools are showing that it's not a problem. While many undergrads may not need it, why make such a big deal about those who do?

Edit: But I agree with your very last post, BK.

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bk1
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby bk1 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:30 pm

mr_toad wrote:Last two posts miss the point, BK. If 95% is based on LSAT/GPA and it has been shown in the past that not everything they say is true, this does not mean that a two-page resume is a deal-breaker. It means the resume itself is incredibly unimportant and that for whatever reason schools are willing to allow longer resumes. If they really didn't want a two-page resume, they would limit it, as they do so many other things, such as PS or DS length, etc. By making the limit unknown or, as is often the case 1-2 pages, schools are showing that it's not a problem. While many undergrads may not need it, why make such a big deal about those who do?


Maybe they are testing your ability to be brief and concise. Just because there is no limit does not mean that the person who reads it will not care that your 2 page resume is filled with fluff after having read thousands of resumes.

Just because I can submit a 10 page PS to UVa doesn't mean that that is a good idea for my application.

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mr_toad
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby mr_toad » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:31 pm

But the original question/issue is really whether a two-page resume will hurt you, not whether it will help you. Likely, it will do neither more nor less than a one-page resume, in either regard.

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bk1
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby bk1 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:34 pm

mr_toad wrote:But the original question/issue is really whether a two-page resume will hurt you, not whether it will help you. Likely, it will do neither more nor less than a one-page resume, in either regard.


It will likely do neither (though I'd say a 2 pager filled with fluff has a higher chance of hurting than helping), so why not err on the side of caution and go with 1 page when 2 pages isn't a necessity?

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mr_toad
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby mr_toad » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:36 pm

I think the real issue here is this ephemeral concept of "fluff". Define, and then maybe more people will agree with you. That said, if someone "flipped burgers" for 20 hours a week during the school year, they seem to care about this stuff because it shows that someone was ... well, whatever is it that shows. What is an example of something that you think is sometimes included on a resume but is actually worthless fluff? Just curious.

r6_philly
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby r6_philly » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:37 pm

bk1 wrote:
mr_toad wrote:But the original question/issue is really whether a two-page resume will hurt you, not whether it will help you. Likely, it will do neither more nor less than a one-page resume, in either regard.


It will likely do neither (though I'd say a 2 pager filled with fluff has a higher chance of hurting than helping), so why not err on the side of caution and go with 1 page when 2 pages isn't a necessity?


Look at it this way. If you lack the WE to fill a 1 pager, they are just going to assume you have no relevant experiences and refer to your GPA/LSAT anyway regardless of how many pages you have. So I doubt that would hurt you.

Also, since you have to list your employment on most applications, they may not even look at your resume if they don't see the summary on the app interesting (that's why they ask you to sum it in a standardized space).

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URMdan
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby URMdan » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:38 pm

kwais wrote:
URMdan wrote:Jesus Christ. This is the appropriate answer:

Follow whatever directions exist first and foremost regarding page length. If no directions are given, then use 2 pages at your own discretion. Keep in mind that you will look like an asshat if you go over 1 page due to filler WE


/endthread


You are wrong. Everyone saying that 2 pages (or more) is fine is quoting adcomms. Everyone espousing the above position just sounds (curiously) angry.



No.

Appropriateness depends on what the directions say. There is obviously no universal rule for this "issue" since school X will explicitly ask for a 1-3 pager, while school Z will ask for a 1 pager. This is why you need to have multiple resumes on hand. The only general rule here is that if you're going to push your resume to 2 pages, especially when no directions specifying page length are provided, you damn well better have a good reason for it. If you go over a page because you insisted on going into detail about how you deep-fried french fries for 2 months at the end of freshman year, then you have a problem my friend.

There is nothing to be gained from filler WE aside from showing adcomms that part of your schedule was dedicated to working during that time period. This is why I've elected to include some filler in my resume, but I do not get into any detail as it is irrelevant and space consuming.

Oh, and adcomms telling you that a 1.2 page resume is just as good as a 1 pager is like adcomms saying that URM status does not matter.

r6_philly
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby r6_philly » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:39 pm

mr_toad wrote:I think the real issue here is this ephemeral concept of "fluff". Define, and then maybe more people will agree with you. That said, if someone "flipped burgers" for 20 hours a week during the school year, they seem to care about this stuff because it shows that someone was ... well, whatever is it that shows. What is an example of something that you think is sometimes included on a resume but is actually worthless fluff? Just curious.


If you flipped burgers for 20 hours a week for 4 years throughout college, and you come to me with the same GPA as one of your classmates (with no WE), I will hire you over him/her. I help review interns, and that would be my input.

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URMdan
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby URMdan » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:40 pm

mr_toad wrote:I think the real issue here is this ephemeral concept of "fluff". Define, and then maybe more people will agree with you. That said, if someone "flipped burgers" for 20 hours a week during the school year, they seem to care about this stuff because it shows that someone was ... well, whatever is it that shows. What is an example of something that you think is sometimes included on a resume but is actually worthless fluff? Just curious.



This is not worthless WE my friend. Some people who are financially disadvantaged have no choice but to flip burgers 20 hours a week during school. If you want to include filler like this, you need to spin it so that it shows that you NEEDED the money in order to stay in school. Then it can be very helpful.

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CGI Fridays
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby CGI Fridays » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:40 pm

Image

r6_philly
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby r6_philly » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:41 pm

URMdan wrote:Appropriateness depends on what the directions say. There is obviously no universal rule for this "issue" since school X will explicitly ask for a 1-3 pager, while school Z will ask for a 1 pager.



What school is foolish enough to ask for a 1 pager?

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kwais
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby kwais » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:41 pm

URMdan wrote:
kwais wrote:
URMdan wrote:Jesus Christ. This is the appropriate answer:

Follow whatever directions exist first and foremost regarding page length. If no directions are given, then use 2 pages at your own discretion. Keep in mind that you will look like an asshat if you go over 1 page due to filler WE


/endthread


You are wrong. Everyone saying that 2 pages (or more) is fine is quoting adcomms. Everyone espousing the above position just sounds (curiously) angry.



No.

Appropriateness depends on what the directions say. There is obviously no universal rule for this "issue" since school X will explicitly ask for a 1-3 pager, while school Z will ask for a 1 pager. This is why you need to have multiple resumes on hand. The only general rule here is that if you're going to push your resume to 2 pages, especially when no directions specifying page length are provided, you damn well better have a good reason for it. If you go over a page because you insisted on going into detail about how you deep-fried french fries for 2 months at the end of freshman year, then you have a problem my friend.

There is nothing to be gained from filler WE aside from showing adcomms that part of your schedule was dedicated to working during that time period. This is why I've elected to include some filler in my resume, but I do not get into any detail as it is irrelevant and space consuming.

Oh, and adcomms telling you that a 1.2 page resume is just as good as a 1 pager is like adcomms saying that URM status does not matter.


Whose general rule? Yours?

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bk1
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby bk1 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:41 pm

mr_toad wrote:I think the real issue here is this ephemeral concept of "fluff". Define, and then maybe more people will agree with you. That said, if someone "flipped burgers" for 20 hours a week during the school year, they seem to care about this stuff because it shows that someone was ... well, whatever is it that shows. What is an example of something that you think is sometimes included on a resume but is actually worthless fluff? Just curious.


By fluff I meant two things generally:

1. Adding info about jobs that isn't necessary. Do you really need 4 bullet points to describe your job at McDonald's or as a receptionist?

2. Jobs that were very short. Who cares if you worked at Subway for 3 weeks?

And as URMdan pointed out your example is relevant considering it is during the school year.
Last edited by bk1 on Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bk1
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby bk1 » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:42 pm

kwais wrote:Whose general rule? Yours?


General rule of experience and common sense.

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mr_toad
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby mr_toad » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:43 pm

And that's my idea too, Philly. Work experience is part of the package due to the hours spent and skills learned (if nothing else, showing up on time, etc.). All things being equal, someone with a 3.5 who worked 20-30 hours per week, regardless of what they did, is a more attractive candidate for almost anything than someone who didn't work or worked much less (notice, all things being equal, so don't say, well, history vs. c.e., etc.; no, two history majors compared, apples to apples). Sorry, slightly incoherent.

r6_philly
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Re: 2 page resume?

Postby r6_philly » Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:43 pm

bk1 wrote:
kwais wrote:Whose general rule? Yours?


General rule of experience and common sense.


Those vary greatly.




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