Resume Length?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:51 pm

Resume Length?

Postby NotHermione » Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:58 am

I've been hearing mixed reviews about the appropriate length of a LS resume. I've heard some admissions officers say that they want to see everything you have done and, therefore, will not be turned off by a resume longer than a page. I have also heard people say that over 1 page is inappropriate if you are under 30.

What have you heard/how long is your resume?

I've put together a draft of mine and I'm ending up around 1.5 pages. While this seems like a negligible difference, I am only 22 so, while nothing on my resume is fluff, I also don't want to turn off any ad coms.


Posts: 3971
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:01 pm

Re: Resume Length?

Postby Kimikho » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:06 am

mine was exactly one page, except when schools asked for hours, then it went a teeny bit over because i was an idiot and didn't think to put hours worked next to dates -_-

i had a similar issue to what it sounds like you have--KJD, lots of entries, no actual work experience, etc. I cut a lot of stuff. my resume pretty much only goes back to my junior year, except full time internships and stuff that continued from my freshman year to now.

bp shinners
Posts: 3086
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: Resume Length?

Postby bp shinners » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:54 pm

NotHermione wrote: while nothing on my resume is fluff,

No offense, but I'm 99.99% sure that's not true.

The reason for the 1-page "limit" espoused by many is that you are probably assigning more import to certain things on your resume than they warrant, and you're probably writing too much in the description of certain entries. I can't tell you how many times I've cut things like, "Assisted in research for professor" in an entry for "Prof. X's Research Assistant." I don't need to know that - the position tells me it.

I've worked on hundreds of resumes, and only 2 have warranted a second page. Every other one I've seen could have been cut down to a single page without losing anything; most gained from it, because the important stuff wasn't drowned out.

User avatar
Posts: 479
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:12 pm

Re: Resume Length?

Postby holdencaulfield » Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:50 pm

Stick to one page. I review SA resumes every now and then, and I immediately hold a grudge against any SA who has a multi-page resume.

It just looks much more professional on one page; and nobody's going to miss the description of your day-2-day responsibilities as a barista.

Posts: 638
Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 3:44 pm

Re: Resume Length?

Postby mx23250 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:10 pm

Mine is 4 pages, but I'm also 28 with a PhD, MBA, and lots of academic and research-related factors to include. A list of my publications alone takes up an entire page, honors/awards from grad school takes up another 3/4 page, etc.. I did "condense" it to 4 pages down from about 8 from my science "CV". I asked a number of people about this and they told me it's fine to have it at a few pages given my background. If you have a lot of work/academic experience to include, be free to make it longer, but when I was 22 straight out of undergrad mine was pretty much 1 page long and of my 4 page resume/cv of today, only about 1/2 page lists things that were on my resume at 22.
I had to condense it to 2 or 3 pages for some law school applications due to their criteria, but I've had good luck on admissions thus far with lots of scholarship $$ and personalized notes from deans citing things from my application they probably only could have known through my extended length resume/cv.
I'd say it's good to keep it to 1-2 pages in general, but if you have significant things to include, do it. But be sure they are significant. I cut out over 4 pages of things relevant to scientists that law schools wouldn't care about.

User avatar
Posts: 6337
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:51 am

Re: Resume Length?

Postby jselson » Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:38 pm

It matters not a jot for law school apps.

Posts: 3072
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:17 am

Re: Resume Length?

Postby 20141023 » Sun Dec 01, 2013 6:13 am

Last edited by 20141023 on Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 29176
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Resume Length?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:09 pm

jselson wrote:It matters not a jot for law school apps.

Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:06 am

Re: Resume Length?

Postby ojala » Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:43 pm

You don't necessarily have to stick to one page, but be sure to read each school's specific instructions. As I fill out my applications I have noticed that some mention a length limit, some encourage you to be as detailed as possible and include number of hours, length of involvement, whether positions were paid or unpaid etc etc, while others even limit the number of positions you can include. For the most part I think schools said not to include information from high school, but I believe there was at least one school that asked me to list jobs held through high school as well. So my point is it varies by school. This isn't for a job interview so I wouldn't worry too much about sticking to one page. Personally, I would include as much substantive information as the school allows.

bp shinners
Posts: 3086
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: Resume Length?

Postby bp shinners » Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:02 pm

ojala wrote:Personally, I would include as much substantive information as the school allows.

Which, for 99.9% of applicants, can fit on one page. As kappycaft1 said, most people's definition of "substantive" is too broad.

User avatar
Posts: 3875
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:47 pm

Re: Resume Length?

Postby lawschool22 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:27 pm

I would try to stick to one page. Typically at this stage in life, you probably only have one or two positions that warrant more than one bullet point to describe what you did. Stick to using that valuable space to add substance to the more impressive positions held. This also makes those positions stand out.

Also, a resume can have 0.5" margins (in fact they usually look better that way), and smaller font. Use 10 pt. for body text, and 11 or 12 pt. for main headings.

Choose your words carefully. Use fewer words, but use words that have impact and say more with less space.

Crafting a good resume is a skill, and the reason it is difficult is precisely because you need to distill it down for the reader. No one wants to read pages upon pages about your history. The whole point of a resume is that it is an easy document to pick up, scan quickly, and get a feel for this person's career and background. Keeping it to one page, being concise but powerful with your words, and highlighting the most impressive parts of your background, will help meet this goal.

User avatar
Posts: 705
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:38 pm

Re: Resume Length?

Postby RCO2012 » Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:21 pm

I think all of these posts are pretty accurate. My LS resume was 2 pages, and had no negative impact, but I had significant entries that needed to be shown in order to give adcomms a full picture of my previous experiences. I'd say that is the exception and not the norm for most LS apps. I also had my resume reviewed by a consultant before submitting to ensure I did not include 'fluff.' I'd say it's more important that your 1L resume be 1 page than your LS application resume. Most adcomms really do want to see what you have done during/since UG, and they make it apparent on their websites that more than 1 page is fine. I think the 1 page limit that is often thrown out throughout the forums is subject to some exceptions. Like I said, make sure there isn't fluff, and you should be good to go.

Posts: 221
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:41 am

Re: Resume Length?

Postby ltrego » Fri Dec 06, 2013 2:31 pm

Mine is 1.5 pages, but at least two of the schools to which I applied asked for every job I've ever worked to be on there. I've worked since I was 13 (now 22), and often work multiple jobs at a time. So that ended up being a little long. And I ultimately decided to just send that same resume to all schools.

Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Sasasa and 8 guests