Bullets or no bullets on resume

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Bullets or no bullets in resume (legal employment)

Bullets
27
55%
No bullets
14
29%
No one cares
8
16%
 
Total votes: 49

User avatar
glewz
Posts: 785
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Bullets or no bullets on resume

Postby glewz » Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:00 pm

Discuss please. I prefer bullets (in most business fields, it is tcr) but I saw a number of legal resumes that have big chunks of text.

E: actually, nearly all the law resumes i've seen did not have bullets.
Last edited by glewz on Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TheFriendlyBarber
Posts: 258
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Re: Bullets or no bullets on resume

Postby TheFriendlyBarber » Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:03 pm

Washington got rid of its Bullets and haven't won anything since. Just sayin'

Anonymous User
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Re: Bullets or no bullets on resume

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:06 pm

Was specifically informed at our school that "legal resumes do not use bullets." FWIW.

shoeshine
Posts: 1241
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Re: Bullets or no bullets on resume

Postby shoeshine » Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:09 pm

Image

Seriously though. I don't use them. I used to use them in my prior career but I switched it up when I started noticing that most legal resumes do not use bullets.

09042014
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Re: Bullets or no bullets on resume

Postby 09042014 » Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:09 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Was specifically informed at our school that "legal resumes do not use bullets." FWIW.


Northwestern has a standard resume form that career services has us use, that does have bullets. Huge block of texts are impossible to read.

Anonymous User
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Re: Bullets or no bullets on resume

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:10 pm

Doesn't really matter as long as everything looks good. The trend seems to be away from using bullets, but there is certainly nothing wrong with it. I use bullets and I sent my resume to about 20 attorneys for review. They gave me a bunch of helpful tips but "take out the bullets" was never mentioned by one of them. So its not like its a big deal to use them. And it certainly hasn't stopped me from getting interviews or offers. It just boils down to your preference. I personally don't like the block-o-text look of resumes without bullets. It seems more difficult to read and looks too cluttered for my liking.

BenJ
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Re: Bullets or no bullets on resume

Postby BenJ » Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:50 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Was specifically informed at our school that "legal resumes do not use bullets." FWIW.


Northwestern has a standard resume form that career services has us use, that does have bullets. Huge block of texts are impossible to read.


NYU's standard resume format explicitly does not use bullets.

I think it's a wash, but definitely no-bullets is the trend. Since no-bullets is pretty unique to law, I think it might look a little bit more tuned-in to have a no-bullets resume. But the difference is small.

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glewz
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Re: Bullets or no bullets on resume

Postby glewz » Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:31 am

Thanks all for the responses.

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zanda
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Re: Bullets or no bullets on resume

Postby zanda » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:47 am

Doesn't your school have sample resumes, the form of which you're expected to follow?

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glewz
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Re: Bullets or no bullets on resume

Postby glewz » Sun Aug 14, 2011 9:47 pm

zanda wrote:Doesn't your school have sample resumes, the form of which you're expected to follow?

They do, but I've seen some MVP friends' resumes deviate from what was recommended by their respective career offices. So, I was curious about your opinions on the matter.

Anonymous User
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Re: Bullets or no bullets on resume

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:13 pm

The general idea at my school was bullets were for resumes that did not have enough substance to "fill up" the page. It's true, bullets just take up space.

Anonymous User
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Re: Bullets or no bullets on resume

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The general idea at my school was bullets were for resumes that did not have enough substance to "fill up" the page. It's true, bullets just take up space.


And you could easily turn that around and say that a lack of bullets are for people who don't know how to be concise. I think its all just a matter of preference. Of all the critiques I got from lawyer-friends and contacts, not a single lawyer mentioned that I should remove my bullets. So I don't think it matters one way or the other. Assuming the resume is neat and formatted well, it is the substance that matters anyway.

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FlightoftheEarls
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Re: Bullets or no bullets on resume

Postby FlightoftheEarls » Sun Aug 14, 2011 10:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:The general idea at my school was bullets were for resumes that did not have enough substance to "fill up" the page. It's true, bullets just take up space.

Or they make the text legible and accessible for a busy reader who will be looking at your resume for the 15-20 second window between when they send the previous interviewer out of the hotel door and when they come to let you in. Look, there isn't really a right or wrong answer for this. The legal community has decided for some reason that it is going to break from the norm and permit people to write paragraphs of descriptive text on their resumes. That's fine. There may arguably be some minor advantage of getting the interviewer excited that you're "tuned-in" to how the legal community operates, but there are enough people who don't do it this way that it won't be weird to do bullets instead.

Personally, I think it's a poor judgment call to make something unnecessarily difficult for the interviewer to read. Just because you can make something dense doesn't mean you should. We're in a profession that seems to get off on writing unnecessarily dense prose, but the very best of the best will explain incredibly complex thoughts in a way that a three-year old can understand. It's up to you to decide which format works best for you, but I much preferred to make things as concise and visually appealing as possible for the people that interviewed me.

Hadlendale
Posts: 36
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Re: Bullets or no bullets on resume

Postby Hadlendale » Sun Aug 14, 2011 11:06 pm

FlightoftheEarls wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The general idea at my school was bullets were for resumes that did not have enough substance to "fill up" the page. It's true, bullets just take up space.

Or they make the text legible and accessible for a busy reader who will be looking at your resume for the 15-20 second window between when they send the previous interviewer out of the hotel door and when they come to let you in. Look, there isn't really a right or wrong answer for this. The legal community has decided for some reason that it is going to break from the norm and permit people to write paragraphs of descriptive text on their resumes. That's fine. There may arguably be some minor advantage of getting the interviewer excited that you're "tuned-in" to how the legal community operates, but there are enough people who don't do it this way that it won't be weird to do bullets instead.

Personally, I think it's a poor judgment call to make something unnecessarily difficult for the interviewer to read. Just because you can make something dense doesn't mean you should. We're in a profession that seems to get off on writing unnecessarily dense prose, but the very best of the best will explain incredibly complex thoughts in a way that a three-year old can understand. It's up to you to decide which format works best for you, but I much preferred to make things as concise and visually appealing as possible for the people that interviewed me.


I was the anon above, sorry.

I think you're right, but my experience so far has taught me the opposite. An interviewing associate at a bigfirm came and talked to our law review the other week about our resumes. Mine was particularly light. He took my resume and compared it to someone else's and he said at first glance he can already tell that the other person is probably a better candidate than me. As you said, sometimes it's only a 10-25 second window and I'd rather leave an employer thinking "wow this person has too much stuff here for me to take in right now" than "thank god I didn't have to read that much."

It's not about making the resume unnecessarily difficult. The point is that it is NECESSARILY more difficult than the next person's because you have accomplished a lot and want to convey that to your prospect employer.

Anonymous User
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Re: Bullets or no bullets on resume

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 14, 2011 11:12 pm

Hadlendale wrote:
FlightoftheEarls wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The general idea at my school was bullets were for resumes that did not have enough substance to "fill up" the page. It's true, bullets just take up space.

Or they make the text legible and accessible for a busy reader who will be looking at your resume for the 15-20 second window between when they send the previous interviewer out of the hotel door and when they come to let you in. Look, there isn't really a right or wrong answer for this. The legal community has decided for some reason that it is going to break from the norm and permit people to write paragraphs of descriptive text on their resumes. That's fine. There may arguably be some minor advantage of getting the interviewer excited that you're "tuned-in" to how the legal community operates, but there are enough people who don't do it this way that it won't be weird to do bullets instead.

Personally, I think it's a poor judgment call to make something unnecessarily difficult for the interviewer to read. Just because you can make something dense doesn't mean you should. We're in a profession that seems to get off on writing unnecessarily dense prose, but the very best of the best will explain incredibly complex thoughts in a way that a three-year old can understand. It's up to you to decide which format works best for you, but I much preferred to make things as concise and visually appealing as possible for the people that interviewed me.


I was the anon above, sorry.

I think you're right, but my experience so far has taught me the opposite. An interviewing associate at a bigfirm came and talked to our law review the other week about our resumes. Mine was particularly light. He took my resume and compared it to someone else's and he said at first glance he can already tell that the other person is probably a better candidate than me. As you said, sometimes it's only a 10-25 second window and I'd rather leave an employer thinking "wow this person has too much stuff here for me to take in right now" than "thank god I didn't have to read that much."

It's not about making the resume unnecessarily difficult. The point is that it is NECESSARILY more difficult than the next person's because you have accomplished a lot and want to convey that to your prospect employer.


Sorry, but I just don't buy this as the general consensus. Wall-o-text = good thing? Might as well make the resume multiple pages, since it will certainly look like you have tons of experience and things to speak of. But why don't we use multiple page resumes? Because brevity is a virtue. If your logic held true, then a recruiter who is handed a 2 page resume would immediately assume the candidate is better than the 1 page resume of another candidate, and that simply isn't the case.

Hadlendale
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 2:00 pm

Re: Bullets or no bullets on resume

Postby Hadlendale » Sun Aug 14, 2011 11:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Hadlendale wrote:
FlightoftheEarls wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The general idea at my school was bullets were for resumes that did not have enough substance to "fill up" the page. It's true, bullets just take up space.

Or they make the text legible and accessible for a busy reader who will be looking at your resume for the 15-20 second window between when they send the previous interviewer out of the hotel door and when they come to let you in. Look, there isn't really a right or wrong answer for this. The legal community has decided for some reason that it is going to break from the norm and permit people to write paragraphs of descriptive text on their resumes. That's fine. There may arguably be some minor advantage of getting the interviewer excited that you're "tuned-in" to how the legal community operates, but there are enough people who don't do it this way that it won't be weird to do bullets instead.

Personally, I think it's a poor judgment call to make something unnecessarily difficult for the interviewer to read. Just because you can make something dense doesn't mean you should. We're in a profession that seems to get off on writing unnecessarily dense prose, but the very best of the best will explain incredibly complex thoughts in a way that a three-year old can understand. It's up to you to decide which format works best for you, but I much preferred to make things as concise and visually appealing as possible for the people that interviewed me.


I was the anon above, sorry.

I think you're right, but my experience so far has taught me the opposite. An interviewing associate at a bigfirm came and talked to our law review the other week about our resumes. Mine was particularly light. He took my resume and compared it to someone else's and he said at first glance he can already tell that the other person is probably a better candidate than me. As you said, sometimes it's only a 10-25 second window and I'd rather leave an employer thinking "wow this person has too much stuff here for me to take in right now" than "thank god I didn't have to read that much."

It's not about making the resume unnecessarily difficult. The point is that it is NECESSARILY more difficult than the next person's because you have accomplished a lot and want to convey that to your prospect employer.


Sorry, but I just don't buy this as the general consensus. Wall-o-text = good thing? Might as well make the resume multiple pages, since it will certainly look like you have tons of experience and things to speak of. But why don't we use multiple page resumes? Because brevity is a virtue. If your logic held true, then a recruiter who is handed a 2 page resume would immediately assume the candidate is better than the 1 page resume of another candidate, and that simply isn't the case.


This is a fair point. The associate we spoke with also talked about two-page resumes as a cardinal sin. Maybe this guy just has a backwards method of doing things, but personally I think my resume is a lot more impressive now that I've made some of the changes he suggested.

Also, the opposite of what you said certainly isn't true either. Just like no one wants to read a 4-page resume, a largely white page with your GPA, degrees, and a few job positions is also going to make you stand out but in a bad way. There must exist a balance that you as an individual have to feel comfortable with: a one-page resume that is visually appealing but also conveys deep qualifications and experience.

I just wanted to share this perspective I received. While some employers may appreciate bullet points and a quick read, others will also look at them as "filler" to cover up for a lack of experience or qualifications.

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vamedic03
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Re: Bullets or no bullets on resume

Postby vamedic03 » Sun Aug 14, 2011 11:36 pm

IT DOESN'T MATTER. If you have actual work experience, this will be clear with or without bullet points. If you don't, this will be clear with or without bullet points.

FWIW - I use bullet points and everyone else's resumes that I have seen use bullet points.




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