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Gap on my Resume

Posted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:56 pm
by incase2011
I'm looking for a legal job without success atm. I recently moved, and I've been out of work for about 4 months studying for the LSAT and applying to schools. Obviously this isn't a good thing no matter how you look at it, but I was hoping to gain some perspective on how much this will hurt me my 1L summer and my 2L OCI.

Re: Gap on my Resume

Posted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:59 pm
by mythosopher
You can "fill" the gap by explaining that you moved and were looking for new employment. It looks far better than leaving it blank, which could signify you were lazy and didn't do anything or got fired from a job. Nobody is going to blame you for being unemployed because you moved.

Re: Gap on my Resume

Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:09 am
by incase2011
Ya that's exactly what I'm worried about, so I would just make a bullet point to explain that I moved back home (probably not as good a sign as moving in general lol) to study for the LSAT, etc.? That's a good idea, thanks. I didn't know that was appropriate for a resume.

Re: Gap on my Resume

Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:11 am
by powerlawyer06
mythosopher wrote:You can "fill" the gap by explaining that you moved and were looking for new employment. It looks far better than leaving it blank, which could signify you were lazy and didn't do anything or got fired from a job. Nobody is going to blame you for being unemployed because you moved.


Are you suggesting that OP write "looking for job” on his/her resume. That is bad advice. If it is for an interview you can verbally explain it to them. If it is for law school apps then don't worry because it won't hurt you. They really care more about GPA/LSAT. If the gap lengthens to anything longer than six months and you are really freaked out by it you can write an addendum to your apps explaining moving/studying for LSAT.

It is also my understanding that pre-law school employment can help your post-law school employment prospects but no employment or non-prestigious employment won't hurt you. But someone who has been through OCI can probably answer this question better.

Re: Gap on my Resume

Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:12 am
by minnesotasam
Volunteer.

Re: Gap on my Resume

Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:13 am
by powerlawyer06
incase2011 wrote:Ya that's exactly what I'm worried about, so I would just make a bullet point to explain that I moved back home (probably not as good a sign as moving in general lol) to study for the LSAT, etc.? That's a good idea, thanks. I didn't know that was appropriate for a resume.


Please don't do that. That would never be okay on a resume.

Re: Gap on my Resume

Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:16 am
by incase2011
Actually, I have a pretty good lead for a position at a local Legal Aid office. I might be able to swing an internship pretty soon as well. We'll see. Definitely going to be a little weird if I go blank for 4 months, and then "wake up" all the sudden with 2 jobs.

Re: Gap on my Resume

Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:20 am
by incase2011
Obviously I'm concerned about finding something 1L summer, but I'm only concerned about that because it's important for my 2L OCI. Any insight from someone who's gone through these steps toward a legal career, preferably with a shaky resume prior to law school or knowledge thereof, would be invaluable.

Re: Gap on my Resume

Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:43 am
by Anonymous User
Due to the awesomeness of my life I have lots of gaps more than four months. YEA! (Seriously, I have enjoyed the fuck out of my life). I just arrange my resume such that is not obvious. Things I do: List my jobs by approximate times instead of exact dates (Fall-Summer) or general years (2005-2007). I also don't list my jobs in chronological order. I list them by skill category, so they're all out of order. Someone would have to piece it together to see if it fits. And then I write "relevant work experience" meaning that there might or might not be more jobs out there, but these are just the relevant ones.

Re: Gap on my Resume

Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:59 am
by incase2011
I see what you're saying. I might be able to work with something along those lines... I like the category idea the most. I worked in a field pretty distinct from law, so that might work well for me.

Re: Gap on my Resume

Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:04 am
by incase2011
Anonymous User wrote:Due to the awesomeness of my life I have lots of gaps more than four months. YEA! (Seriously, I have enjoyed the fuck out of my life). I just arrange my resume such that is not obvious. Things I do: List my jobs by approximate times instead of exact dates (Fall-Summer) or general years (2005-2007). I also don't list my jobs in chronological order. I list them by skill category, so they're all out of order. Someone would have to piece it together to see if it fits. And then I write "relevant work experience" meaning that there might or might not be more jobs out there, but these are just the relevant ones.


Out of curiosity, have you had any luck getting hired? What stage are you at in your LS career?

Re: Gap on my Resume

Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:10 am
by incase2011
powerlawyer06 wrote:
incase2011 wrote:Ya that's exactly what I'm worried about, so I would just make a bullet point to explain that I moved back home (probably not as good a sign as moving in general lol) to study for the LSAT, etc.? That's a good idea, thanks. I didn't know that was appropriate for a resume.


Please don't do that. That would never be okay on a resume.


Haha, that's my gut feeling. I thought I was naive to some new resume rule lol.

Re: Gap on my Resume

Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:25 am
by mythosopher
powerlawyer06 wrote:
incase2011 wrote:Ya that's exactly what I'm worried about, so I would just make a bullet point to explain that I moved back home (probably not as good a sign as moving in general lol) to study for the LSAT, etc.? That's a good idea, thanks. I didn't know that was appropriate for a resume.


Please don't do that. That would never be okay on a resume.


Sorry, should have clarified. Aside from putting "Moved" on your resume (if and only if you feel like you need to), putting things like "Studying for the LSAT" "Looking for employment" "Moved in with my parents" are resume suicide. As someone said, do some volunteer work, and mention that if they ask you about that "gap." You can mention you were looking for employment too, but I doubt that will help. Since it's only 4 months, I'd just skip over it and, if asked, explain that you moved so the transition interrupted any employment you would have otherwise had.

Re: Gap on my Resume

Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:11 am
by incase2011
Ok that makes sense. I think I'm going to categorize into related and unrelated work experience also. I had some legal work experience from college so I can group that together with whatever I find. Thanks everyone, this was a big help.