Resume Questions (Nobody to ask IRL)

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ScroogeMcDuck
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Resume Questions (Nobody to ask IRL)

Postby ScroogeMcDuck » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:48 pm

Hey guys,

My undergrad law advisor is not answering my emails (very frustrating) so I wanted to ask you guys a few questions.

1. I have around four years of work experience at two jobs in consulting. I also was an RA in college, so I have a lot of experience with that position. I feel that my experiences are very significant, so I wanted to know if it is okay to go over one page for law school app resume.

2. Margins: Usually for jobs, I adjust the margins to fit everything into one page, but for law schools I'm not sure I should do this or just do the one inch margins.

3. Current Job Tense: Do you use present or past tense. I am assuming present, but HLS has a sample resume that uses past tense for the current position, so now I'm doubting myself lol

Thanks everyone,

McDuck

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ScroogeMcDuck
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Re: Resume Questions (Nobody to ask IRL)

Postby ScroogeMcDuck » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:53 pm

Would really appreciate some guidance on this stuff. Please let me know if you guys have any questions, as I would like to help you as well!

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Platopus
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Re: Resume Questions (Nobody to ask IRL)

Postby Platopus » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:03 pm

ScroogeMcDuck wrote:Hey guys,

My undergrad law advisor is not answering my emails (very frustrating) so I wanted to ask you guys a few questions.

1. I have around four years of work experience at two jobs in consulting. I also was an RA in college, so I have a lot of experience with that position. I feel that my experiences are very significant, so I wanted to know if it is okay to go over one page for law school app resume.

2. Margins: Usually for jobs, I adjust the margins to fit everything into one page, but for law schools I'm not sure I should do this or just do the one inch margins.

3. Current Job Tense: Do you use present or past tense. I am assuming present, but HLS has a sample resume that uses past tense for the current position, so now I'm doubting myself lol

Thanks everyone,

McDuck


I'm no expert, but here's my take:

1. It is okay to go over 1 page if you have actual work experience, which you do. Schools such as UChicago explicitly ask for everything, so I would include (link for UChicago: https://www.law.uchicago.edu/jdfaq/resume ). Here's a link from Spivey's blog regarding resume page length: http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/debunk ... sume-myth/ - I'll consider Spivey the final word on such things, so I'm following his suggestions.

2. See above. I think it's okay to keep at 1 inch to avoid looking like everything is crammed in.

3. Can't speak to others, but I use present tense for my current position and past tense for prior positions.
Last edited by Platopus on Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ScroogeMcDuck
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Re: Resume Questions (Nobody to ask IRL)

Postby ScroogeMcDuck » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:05 pm

Platopus wrote:
ScroogeMcDuck wrote:Hey guys,

My undergrad law advisor is not answering my emails (very frustrating) so I wanted to ask you guys a few questions.

1. I have around four years of work experience at two jobs in consulting. I also was an RA in college, so I have a lot of experience with that position. I feel that my experiences are very significant, so I wanted to know if it is okay to go over one page for law school app resume.

2. Margins: Usually for jobs, I adjust the margins to fit everything into one page, but for law schools I'm not sure I should do this or just do the one inch margins.

3. Current Job Tense: Do you use present or past tense. I am assuming present, but HLS has a sample resume that uses past tense for the current position, so now I'm doubting myself lol

Thanks everyone,

McDuck


I'm no expert, but here's my take:

1. It is okay to go over 1 page if you have actual work experience, which you do. Schools such as UChicago explicitly ask for everything, so I would include. Here's a link from Spivey's blog regarding resume page length: http://blog.spiveyconsulting.com/debunk ... sume-myth/ - I'll consider Spivey the final word on such things, so I'm following his suggestions.

2. See above. I think it's okay to keep at 1 inch to avoid looking like everything is crammed in.

3. Can't speak to others, but I use present tense for my current position and past tense for prior positions.


Okay, thanks for the response! I really appreciate your help

Mockingbird42
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Re: Resume Questions (Nobody to ask IRL)

Postby Mockingbird42 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:31 pm

The rule for resumes is 1 page per 10 years of substantive experience. I had over 5 years of really substantive things and was able to keep it one page. I recommend it if only to make sure that your real accomplishments are highlighted, not just hidden among more mundane responsibilities.

cavalier1138
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Re: Resume Questions (Nobody to ask IRL)

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:45 pm

You can technically go over one page, but you shouldn't. I promise that no matter how significant you think the experience was; it can be summed up in a few words.

Resumes are not for providing a prospective employer/school with an exhaustive account of your time spent researching a highly specific issue or of each client that you provided consultation services for during your tenure at a specific company. Just hit them with the basics and move on.

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oshberg28
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Re: Resume Questions (Nobody to ask IRL)

Postby oshberg28 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:25 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:You can technically go over one page, but you shouldn't. I promise that no matter how significant you think the experience was; it can be summed up in a few words.

Resumes are not for providing a prospective employer/school with an exhaustive account of your time spent researching a highly specific issue or of each client that you provided consultation services for during your tenure at a specific company. Just hit them with the basics and move on.


This. I had 7 years of very unique work experience that spanned 5 continents - one page resume.

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Platopus
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Re: Resume Questions (Nobody to ask IRL)

Postby Platopus » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:52 pm

oshberg28 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:You can technically go over one page, but you shouldn't. I promise that no matter how significant you think the experience was; it can be summed up in a few words.

Resumes are not for providing a prospective employer/school with an exhaustive account of your time spent researching a highly specific issue or of each client that you provided consultation services for during your tenure at a specific company. Just hit them with the basics and move on.


This. I had 7 years of very unique work experience that spanned 5 continents - one page resume.


I think Chicago is a notable exception to this "rule", as they explicitly state:

"Your resume may be more than one page. We do not want you to leave out anything important and you can go into more detail than you would in a typical resume for employment (use your judgment though; very rarely does one need more than 2-3 pages)."

"Your resume should not be limited to legal-related employment or activities. We want to see all of your work experience and activities to gain a more holistic picture of you. "

Obviously, you don't need to spend more than a few words explaining your college job at McDonald's, but this seems to be an explicit invite to provide more detail on substantive work experience.

Not debating any of the points raised here, just pointing out a notable exception.

edit: Harvard also seems to be okay with longer resumes: http://hls.harvard.edu/content/uploads/ ... resume.pdf

Again, not saying that it's applicable to all schools, but it didn't hurt this candidate to include 4 bullet points on her college dance job.

rachelac
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Re: Resume Questions (Nobody to ask IRL)

Postby rachelac » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:58 pm

Platopus wrote:
oshberg28 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:You can technically go over one page, but you shouldn't. I promise that no matter how significant you think the experience was; it can be summed up in a few words.

Resumes are not for providing a prospective employer/school with an exhaustive account of your time spent researching a highly specific issue or of each client that you provided consultation services for during your tenure at a specific company. Just hit them with the basics and move on.


This. I had 7 years of very unique work experience that spanned 5 continents - one page resume.


I think Chicago is a notable exception to this "rule", as they explicitly state:

"Your resume may be more than one page. We do not want you to leave out anything important and you can go into more detail than you would in a typical resume for employment (use your judgment though; very rarely does one need more than 2-3 pages)."

"Your resume should not be limited to legal-related employment or activities. We want to see all of your work experience and activities to gain a more holistic picture of you. "

Obviously, you don't need to spend more than a few words explaining your college job at McDonald's, but this seems to be an explicit invite to provide more detail on substantive work experience.

Not debating any of the points raised here, just pointing out a notable exception.

edit: Harvard also seems to be okay with longer resumes: http://hls.harvard.edu/content/uploads/ ... resume.pdf

Again, not saying that it's applicable to all schools, but it didn't hurt this candidate to include 4 bullet points on her college dance job.


I'd go even further and say that the vast majority of law schools are an exception to the 1 page/decade rule. Most apps specifically said 1-2 pages was fine and they wanted details about things. My work resume just lists volunteering and lacks an "interests" section but enough schools/TLS posts convinced me that they wanted details that I went ahead and included a lot of info on my law school version. I don't have a huge cycle to speak to yet, but I got into Duke off PT pretty quickly and the attorneys I showed mine to really liked it.

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Platopus
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Re: Resume Questions (Nobody to ask IRL)

Postby Platopus » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:03 pm

rachelac wrote:
I'd go even further and say that the vast majority of law schools are an exception to the 1 page/decade rule. Most apps specifically said 1-2 pages was fine and they wanted details about things. My work resume just lists volunteering and lacks an "interests" section but enough schools/TLS posts convinced me that they wanted details that I went ahead and included a lot of info on my law school version. I don't have a huge cycle to speak to yet, but I got into Duke off PT pretty quickly and the attorneys I showed mine to really liked it.


I think the main thing is to be smart about it. If you are a K-JD and you barely have anything to fill up one page, then 2 is definitely over-kill. But if you have 5 years of WE and you're going to cram everything into one page for the sake of it being one page, then why not just bump it to 1 1/2 - 2 and make it easier to read. There's definitely a point where it becomes overkill, but I think a law school resume is serving a fundamentally different purpose than a job resume.

etramak
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Re: Resume Questions (Nobody to ask IRL)

Postby etramak » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:20 pm

Mine is 2 pages. I have about 3 years of work experience but from four or five different jobs. I could squeeze all my WE into one page, but since a lot of schools ask you to list ECs as well, I put all those on the second page.
Last edited by etramak on Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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UVA2B
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Re: Resume Questions (Nobody to ask IRL)

Postby UVA2B » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:24 pm

Strictly confining to admissions, having a two page resume won't really matter. But the resume you use for applying to jobs once in law school will be one page, I promise you.

cavalier1138
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Re: Resume Questions (Nobody to ask IRL)

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:37 pm

rachelac wrote:I'd go even further and say that the vast majority of law schools are an exception to the 1 page/decade rule. Most apps specifically said 1-2 pages was fine and they wanted details about things. My work resume just lists volunteering and lacks an "interests" section but enough schools/TLS posts convinced me that they wanted details that I went ahead and included a lot of info on my law school version. I don't have a huge cycle to speak to yet, but I got into Duke off PT pretty quickly and the attorneys I showed mine to really liked it.


I promise that there aren't any adcomms wondering why they had to read such an organized and concise resume. And I promise that the vast majority of people who are pushing for a longer resume here have less work experience than those pushing for limiting it to one page. Once you work more jobs, you really start to figure out that you just aren't that interesting.

This is mostly moot, because your resume has fuck-all to do with admissions.

rachelac
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Re: Resume Questions (Nobody to ask IRL)

Postby rachelac » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:41 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
rachelac wrote:I'd go even further and say that the vast majority of law schools are an exception to the 1 page/decade rule. Most apps specifically said 1-2 pages was fine and they wanted details about things. My work resume just lists volunteering and lacks an "interests" section but enough schools/TLS posts convinced me that they wanted details that I went ahead and included a lot of info on my law school version. I don't have a huge cycle to speak to yet, but I got into Duke off PT pretty quickly and the attorneys I showed mine to really liked it.


I promise that there aren't any adcomms wondering why they had to read such an organized and concise resume. And I promise that the vast majority of people who are pushing for a longer resume here have less work experience than those pushing for limiting it to one page. Once you work more jobs, you really start to figure out that you just aren't that interesting.

This is mostly moot, because your resume has fuck-all to do with admissions.


I'm definitely not pushing to put stuff on for the sake of putting things on and use a 1 page for jobs, but as someone with 3.5 years full-time work plus a lot of volunteering and relevant part time work in college, I found it difficult to provide the information asked for without breaking a page. I just don't think going over one page for admissions is as off-limits as it seems to be presented in this specific thread. As you said, though, I doubt an adcomm is ever going to be upset by a one-page.

cavalier1138
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Re: Resume Questions (Nobody to ask IRL)

Postby cavalier1138 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:43 pm

rachelac wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
rachelac wrote:I'd go even further and say that the vast majority of law schools are an exception to the 1 page/decade rule. Most apps specifically said 1-2 pages was fine and they wanted details about things. My work resume just lists volunteering and lacks an "interests" section but enough schools/TLS posts convinced me that they wanted details that I went ahead and included a lot of info on my law school version. I don't have a huge cycle to speak to yet, but I got into Duke off PT pretty quickly and the attorneys I showed mine to really liked it.


I promise that there aren't any adcomms wondering why they had to read such an organized and concise resume. And I promise that the vast majority of people who are pushing for a longer resume here have less work experience than those pushing for limiting it to one page. Once you work more jobs, you really start to figure out that you just aren't that interesting.

This is mostly moot, because your resume has fuck-all to do with admissions.


I'm definitely not pushing to put stuff on for the sake of putting things on and use a 1 page for jobs, but as someone with 3.5 years full-time work plus a lot of volunteering and relevant part time work in college, I found it difficult to provide the information asked for without breaking a page. I just don't think going over one page for admissions is as off-limits as it seems to be presented in this specific thread. As you said, though, I doubt an adcomm is ever going to be upset by a one-page.


As someone with over twice your work experience coming in to school, you will get better at trimming the fat.

I don't think that going over one page is off-limits. It's just unnecessary, and you should get used to keeping your resume to one page. Your CV can be as long as you like, but unless you go in to academia, no one wants to see your CV.

etramak
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Re: Resume Questions (Nobody to ask IRL)

Postby etramak » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:42 pm

I think an important caveat here (yes, I am a 0L, so please rip me apart if I'm wrong) is that law schools, or, at least some of them, are interested in the WE and ECs that your average law firm would find irrelevant, so your law school resume is naturally going to be up to a half a page longer.

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UVA2B
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Re: Resume Questions (Nobody to ask IRL)

Postby UVA2B » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:06 pm

etramak wrote:I think an important caveat here (yes, I am a 0L, so please rip me apart if I'm wrong) is that law schools, or, at least some of them, are interested in the WE and ECs that your average law firm would find irrelevant, so your law school resume is naturally going to be up to a half a page longer.


You're wrong. Law schools use the resume to learn more about you that they might not otherwise find in your app, but they genuinely don't care about the minutiae of your experiences.

The more work experience you get, the more you'll feel an ability to trim fat and get rid of stuff that is unimportant about your work experience and education and what it says about you.

This is a good exercise for any 0L reading this: your resume is a signaling device to whoever you want to read it about what really matters about you as an applicant. Your ability to distill that to a single page is an important skill that professionals reading it will be judging you on it.

As I said originally, it won't really matter for admissions because the resume is a relatively minor part of your application (still important, but more in the don't screw it up kind of way). But as soon as you get to law school, you will be required to cut out most of your hulking behemoth of information on your current resume to make it lean, mean, and effectively signaling to employers why they should hire you. That's when your resume skills will truly be put to the test.




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