Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

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Anonymous User
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Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:02 am

As the title indicates, I'm wondering if I should try trim my resume down to one page to align with the traditional law school "model."

I'm a rising 3L. I've actually already parsed my resume down to remove any pre law school work experience (I was straight from undergrad anyway, so the jobs were mostly insignificant to my career path), however the thing that takes up the most space onmy resume is my law school experience. I've been a summer associate at major law firms each of the last two summers, and have a pretty detailed description of the scope and type of work I did at each of the 4 places on my resume. I also had two jobs during the school year, both with fairly significant PI orgs, and also have some detailed descriptions of the work. I also have one other fairly significant work type experience listed on my resume.

I've always heard that most law students don't have the type of legal experience to justify a resume that is longer than one page. I feel like I'm in a situation where I've been blessed with quite a few opportunities to get legal experience, and might just fit into that category of people who can safely go two pages.

What do you all think?

LoyalRebel
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Re: Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby LoyalRebel » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:07 am

For undergrad internships, I always said to hell with what you're "supposed" to do and used two pages. It worked ok most of the time, but at least twice my interviewer didn't read the second page and I had to direct them to it when they inquired about things that were on it.

I've since changed it to one page simply because it's easier to hand to large amounts of people, but it may be beneficial to use two pages if you're only interviewing with a few firms.

They also have programs you can buy for like $20 at Best Buy that are totally dedicated to making resumes. I plan to get one when I start interviewing for law jobs, and I'd imagine they can fit a lot more information on a page than MS Word.

Lawyerhead
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Re: Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby Lawyerhead » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:08 am

To be honest, the only thing that a student's SA work experience is good for is as a talking point. Personally, I don't put much stock in the work a person did in an "artificial" environment over 10 weeks. It's not as if you become an employment law expert by doing some research on a point or 5. Also, during recruiting season, interviewers see SO MANY resumes that going over a page is just going to be seen as a bit annoying, sorry to say.

If you worked in two firms the previous two summers, what you actually did there is going to be the last thing on my mind. I'd want to know why you are sitting in front of me instead of relaxing with an offer from one of them. If you don't have a good explanation, I'll probably spend the 30 minutes or whatnot trying to figure out why you didn't get an offer from those other firms. Sorry, but it's the truth!
Last edited by Lawyerhead on Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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leobowski
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Re: Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby leobowski » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:09 am

Since you're straight out of undergrad, it should be one page. It'd be a different story if you were an investment banker or engineer or something for 10 years before law school.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:09 am

LoyalRebel wrote:They also have programs you can buy for like $20 at Best Buy that are totally dedicated to making resumes. I plan to get one when I start interviewing for law jobs, and I'd imagine they can fit a lot more information on a page than MS Word.

:| Not if you know how to use Word.

Anonymous User
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Re: Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:18 am

Lawyerhead wrote:To be honest, the only thing that a student's SA work experience is good for is as a talking point. Personally, I don't put much stock in the work a person did in an "artificial" environment over 10 weeks. It's not as if you become an employment law expert by doing some research on a point or 5. Also, during recruiting season, interviewers see SO MANY resumes that going over a page is just going to be seen as a bit annoying, sorry to say.

If you worked in two firms the previous two summers, what you actually did there is going to be the last thing on my mind. I'd want to know why you are sitting in front of me instead of relaxing with an offer from one of them. If you don't have a good explanation, I'll probably spend the 30 minutes or whatnot trying to figure out why you didn't get an offer from those other firms. Sorry, but it's the truth!


I honestly thought the same thing with regards to the "artificial" environment and work experience. I only switched to detailed descriptions of the projects because I had a recruiter friend at the DOJ do a total revamp on my resume and ask me to format it that way. She seemed to feel that detailed, paragraph form descriptions were better than the simple, conclusory one liners (i.e. "conducted legal research and wrote memos.") that many law student resumes have.

As far as the offer thing, I got offers at both places 1L summer, but wanted to try something new geographically/had logistical issues. This summer I've received an offer from my first half firm, and am currently still working for my second half firm. Still trying to interview at other places though...I don't think you can ever have too many opportunities, and you should certainly avoid placing your eggs in one basket.

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Re: Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:20 am

I've found a good general rule to be if you're under 30, you probably don't have enough experience for two pages. Have you eliminated bullet points and just used indented sentences? That saved me two rows by itself.

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Re: Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:I've found a good general rule to be if you're under 30, you probably don't have enough experience for two pages. Have you eliminated bullet points and just used indented sentences? That saved me two rows by itself.


Yep. No Bullet points, just indented sentences. If I had bullets the thing would probably be four pages lol.

Lawyerhead
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Re: Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby Lawyerhead » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I've found a good general rule to be if you're under 30, you probably don't have enough experience for two pages. Have you eliminated bullet points and just used indented sentences? That saved me two rows by itself.


Yep. No Bullet points, just indented sentences. If I had bullets the thing would probably be four pages lol.


You really should scale it back. If you spent 5 weeks working on a project - list it. If you spent 4 days researching what constitutes a breach of someone's fiduciary duty, then don't. You may want to tailor your experience to the type of work you want to do. For example, if you want to do IP, list the patent work you did. Don't bother listing the debt work you did (assuming space is a concern). The work you do during the school year might be better to flesh out than your SA stuff. Just my two cents.

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Re: Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby Kretzy » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:00 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I've found a good general rule to be if you're under 30, you probably don't have enough experience for two pages. Have you eliminated bullet points and just used indented sentences? That saved me two rows by itself.


Yep. No Bullet points, just indented sentences. If I had bullets the thing would probably be four pages lol.


I had a number of years of pre-LS experience; I only have four things listed under "experience", it's probably only twice as long as my education info. I'd do some serious cutting. Multi-month or super-interesting projects/info keep, the rest get rid of.

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existenz
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Re: Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby existenz » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:03 am

No resume should ever be over a page, even if you have 10+ years of WE. If you are concise and put only the most relevant (and recent) work experience, it will fit on one page.

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rayiner
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Re: Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby rayiner » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Lawyerhead wrote:To be honest, the only thing that a student's SA work experience is good for is as a talking point. Personally, I don't put much stock in the work a person did in an "artificial" environment over 10 weeks. It's not as if you become an employment law expert by doing some research on a point or 5. Also, during recruiting season, interviewers see SO MANY resumes that going over a page is just going to be seen as a bit annoying, sorry to say.

If you worked in two firms the previous two summers, what you actually did there is going to be the last thing on my mind. I'd want to know why you are sitting in front of me instead of relaxing with an offer from one of them. If you don't have a good explanation, I'll probably spend the 30 minutes or whatnot trying to figure out why you didn't get an offer from those other firms. Sorry, but it's the truth!


I honestly thought the same thing with regards to the "artificial" environment and work experience. I only switched to detailed descriptions of the projects because I had a recruiter friend at the DOJ do a total revamp on my resume and ask me to format it that way. She seemed to feel that detailed, paragraph form descriptions were better than the simple, conclusory one liners (i.e. "conducted legal research and wrote memos.") that many law student resumes have.

As far as the offer thing, I got offers at both places 1L summer, but wanted to try something new geographically/had logistical issues. This summer I've received an offer from my first half firm, and am currently still working for my second half firm. Still trying to interview at other places though...I don't think you can ever have too many opportunities, and you should certainly avoid placing your eggs in one basket.


This is terrible advice. I'd be strongly tempted to just throw away a resume that was written in paragraphs.

Generally: you should be able to skim a resume in under a minute and glean the three things that define the applicant as a person.
Last edited by rayiner on Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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rayiner
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Re: Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby rayiner » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:14 am

Anonymous User wrote:I've found a good general rule to be if you're under 30, you probably don't have enough experience for two pages. Have you eliminated bullet points and just used indented sentences? That saved me two rows by itself.


My dad is 60 and his resume is still a page.

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romothesavior
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Re: Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby romothesavior » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:15 am

If you came straight from undergrad, you have no reason for a multi-page resume.

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Re: Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:16 am

rayiner wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I've found a good general rule to be if you're under 30, you probably don't have enough experience for two pages. Have you eliminated bullet points and just used indented sentences? That saved me two rows by itself.


My dad is 60 and his resume is still a page.


The general rule doesn't mean that being over-30 makes a page inadequate. Generally, a page is more than adequate for those of us with 2-3 jobs and a graduate degree.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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dood
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Re: Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby dood » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:28 am

EDIT: 1 page
Last edited by dood on Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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romothesavior
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Re: Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby romothesavior » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:37 am

dood wrote:terrible advice all over this thread. dear god please talk to ur career office and get specific advice for ur particular situation.

His specific situation? He's worked for a couple of firms as an SA, and he thinks it warrants two pages. That is pretty silly, IMO.

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dood
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Re: Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby dood » Tue Aug 02, 2011 1:41 am

romothesavior wrote:
dood wrote:terrible advice all over this thread. dear god please talk to ur career office and get specific advice for ur particular situation.

His specific situation? He's worked for a couple of firms as an SA, and he thinks it warrants two pages. That is pretty silly, IMO.


my bad, im an idiot. lol i dunno how i misread OPs post.

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vamedic03
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Re: Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby vamedic03 » Tue Aug 02, 2011 12:18 pm

Simple rule - if you are a law student, your resume should be 1 page. If you are straight from undergrad, this shouldn't be a problem. If you worked prior to law school, then distill your experiences into a single bullet point for each. I say this as someone who had 7 years of work experience prior to law school, 2 1L summer jobs, etc. etc. and I still only use 1 page for my resume.

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ggocat
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Re: Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby ggocat » Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:12 pm

1 page, IMO. I include almost no descriptions for jobs.

The most cluttered/unattractive resumes I've reviewed (for interns) include way too much detail about their jobs.

If you include the name of the employer, the name of the division or practice group, and your title, then a potential employer should already have a general idea of the type of work you did. The specifics can come up during the interview, but they often won't even ask.

seatown12
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Re: Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby seatown12 » Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I've been a summer associate at major law firms each of the last two summers, and have a pretty detailed description of the scope and type of work I did at each of the 4 places on my resume. I also had two jobs during the school year, both with fairly significant PI orgs, and also have some detailed descriptions of the work.

Change these to "concise descriptions" and you're good to go.

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ObLaDiObLaDa
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Re: Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby ObLaDiObLaDa » Tue Aug 02, 2011 2:30 pm

Definitely one page. My resume is in a normal font, normal size but manages to have my UG, my law school info, three legal jobs and an internship (each with one to two bullet points to highlight specific experiences) and my interests.

My friend has a two page resume, mostly because she dedicated a significant amount of time to listing every possible thing she did in college. No one cares if you were homecoming queen or were national honor society president in high school (I'm in a small market and I don't even put my high school despite knowing that 95% of people in my area know someone who went there). If you're being interviewed by someone who went to your UG, he'll bring it up and you can find out then that you were in the same frat or chorus or whatever. You don't need to dedicate precious resume space to things like that.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:06 pm

vamedic03 wrote:Simple rule - if you are a law student, your resume should be 1 page. If you are straight from undergrad, this shouldn't be a problem. If you worked prior to law school, then distill your experiences into a single bullet point for each. I say this as someone who had 7 years of work experience prior to law school, 2 1L summer jobs, etc. etc. and I still only use 1 page for my resume.

+1.

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pleasetryagain
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Re: Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby pleasetryagain » Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:20 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:
LoyalRebel wrote:They also have programs you can buy for like $20 at Best Buy that are totally dedicated to making resumes. I plan to get one when I start interviewing for law jobs, and I'd imagine they can fit a lot more information on a page than MS Word.

:| Not if you know how to use Word.


srs.

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Re: Resume Question: Always one page or does experience dictate?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Aug 02, 2011 3:26 pm

I really doubt that any 25 year old has enough interesting work/life experience to warrant a multipage resume. You should trim it down a bit.




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