Unique work experience, what do I do?

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IrishCatholic09
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Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:23 pm

Unique work experience, what do I do?

Postby IrishCatholic09 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:34 pm

I will be applying to schools during this cycle, and have the type of numbers that can give me a shot at the T14, but I have one minor worry that I wanted to ask a question about briefly. Since I finished my undergrad in 2009 I have spent the past few years primarily working in political and policy oriented campaigns, mainly dealing with the federal government. While I feel it has given me a remarkable and valuable understanding of both the American political sphere and the federal regulatory process, I worry about illustrating this on a resume for law school, due to the constant changes in employment.

The issue at hand is that campaigns, by their very nature, are impermanent. This leads to me having a number of different employers within a short range of time, as opposed to one or two whom I would have stayed with for 2, 3, or 4 years like other applicants. Given this, I worry that my resume will visually look as if I am a "job hopper" to someone who has not really worked within this field, and provide pre-conceived notions before actually reading through the details (it is visually kind of crazy to look at 7 different employers in the 4 years, but it makes sense if you look at the details). I was wondering what my best course of action might be to explain/verbally walk an admissions team through the resume so that they'll understand without initially judging me as being someone who can't stick to one thing?

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Dany
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Re: Unique work experience, what do I do?

Postby Dany » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:38 pm

Admissions counselors aren't idiots.

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20130312
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Re: Unique work experience, what do I do?

Postby 20130312 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:39 pm

Dany wrote:Admissions counselors aren't idiots.

Well...

tabula rasa
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Re: Unique work experience, what do I do?

Postby tabula rasa » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:48 pm

IrishCatholic09 wrote:I will be applying to schools during this cycle, and have the type of numbers that can give me a shot at the T14, but I have one minor worry that I wanted to ask a question about briefly. Since I finished my undergrad in 2009 I have spent the past few years primarily working in political and policy oriented campaigns, mainly dealing with the federal government. While I feel it has given me a remarkable and valuable understanding of both the American political sphere and the federal regulatory process, I worry about illustrating this on a resume for law school, due to the constant changes in employment.

The issue at hand is that campaigns, by their very nature, are impermanent. This leads to me having a number of different employers within a short range of time, as opposed to one or two whom I would have stayed with for 2, 3, or 4 years like other applicants. Given this, I worry that my resume will visually look as if I am a "job hopper" to someone who has not really worked within this field, and provide pre-conceived notions before actually reading through the details (it is visually kind of crazy to look at 7 different employers in the 4 years, but it makes sense if you look at the details). I was wondering what my best course of action might be to explain/verbally walk an admissions team through the resume so that they'll understand without initially judging me as being someone who can't stick to one thing?
You have absolutely nothing to worry about.

IrishCatholic09
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:23 pm

Re: Unique work experience, what do I do?

Postby IrishCatholic09 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:50 pm

Dany wrote:Admissions counselors aren't idiots.


I don't think of them as idiots, but I worry because first impressions stick. If you look at a resume and your first impression is X, then getting to understand that it is really Y can be difficult.

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Dany
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Re: Unique work experience, what do I do?

Postby Dany » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:54 pm

IrishCatholic09 wrote:
Dany wrote:Admissions counselors aren't idiots.


I don't think of them as idiots, but I worry because first impressions stick. If you look at a resume and your first impression is X, then getting to understand that it is really Y can be difficult.

Your work experience is not unique, and they'll be more than familiar with how a political campaign works. If you're really that worried about it (which you shouldn't be, since it's a numbers game anyway), you could do something like group all the campaign titles under a heading like "Democratic Party" or whatever general group you're working for or something.

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cloudhidden
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Re: Unique work experience, what do I do?

Postby cloudhidden » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:20 pm

Would it even matter if OP had 7 legitamately different employers in 4 years? I once heard that it's pretty common for young people who haven't even begun the necessary grad/professional schooling in which to begin their career to have held many jobs. That's why they're jobs and not a career. Did you complete high school? Did you complete college? Then why would they think you couldn't complete law school soley based on scattered employment?

bp shinners
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Re: Unique work experience, what do I do?

Postby bp shinners » Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:07 pm

IrishCatholic09 wrote:
Dany wrote:Admissions counselors aren't idiots.


I don't think of them as idiots, but I worry because first impressions stick. If you look at a resume and your first impression is X, then getting to understand that it is really Y can be difficult.


They're not going to look at your resume, check how many bold entries there are for jobs/employers without reading the entries, and think, "Well, this kid is a flake who can't hold a job down." What little time they do spend looking at the resume will be to get an idea of your background. They're aware of how political campaigns work.

Don't worry about this at all - just put down those jobs and you'll be fine.

linquest
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Re: Unique work experience, what do I do?

Postby linquest » Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:55 pm

I'm a lawyer. Trust me, your work experience is far from unique. Your work history as far as job-hopping will not be a factor at all in admissions.

If you plan to write your personal statement around campaigning though, you'd better have a good twist to make it stand out, or choose another topic entirely. I'd recommend finding some books on writing law school personal statements, finding all the essays from people who worked in politics/policy so you can see what Adcomms might be used to, and make sure to do something different.

tim.janitor
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:12 am

Re: Unique work experience, what do I do?

Postby tim.janitor » Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:00 pm

linquest wrote:I'm a lawyer. Trust me, your work experience is far from unique. Your work history as far as job-hopping will not be a factor at all in admissions.

If you plan to write your personal statement around campaigning though, you'd better have a good twist to make it stand out, or choose another topic entirely. I'd recommend finding some books on writing law school personal statements, finding all the essays from people who worked in politics/policy so you can see what Adcomms might be used to, and make sure to do something different.


lololol




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