When Can a Resume be two pages?

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Anonymous User
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When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:19 am

Im a 2L, finishing the year. CSO has been having me squish my resume on one page forever now, deleting stuff, making the font smaller and smaller, etc etc.

I worked at a T5 law firm during college, and at a diff T5 firm after college. I had 2 jobs as a 1L summer, and have had an externship every semester, and am an RA. It's almost impossible at this point, but now CSO is telling me take off everything b4 law school, but i think thats dumb, b/c even though its prior to law school, its legal experience at v5 firms.

To put it into perspective, im summering with a midsized firm and want to try for a bigger firm next year.

When can our resumes start being 2 pages?

igo2northwestern
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby igo2northwestern » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:24 am

It's a pretty hard and fast rule, so I would not deviate if I were you. Cut some lines to get at least one of them in, I guess.

I was in a similar predicament but had to make it work. Also spoke with some firm recruiters who echoed the sentiments of career services.

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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:27 am

Anonymous User wrote:When can our resumes start being 2 pages?

If you are this guy.

Otherwise, literally never. You need to leave stuff out, rearrange and edit.

I really think this is more of a question about getting over your own ego. Whatever you think you did that is super important, an HR person has probably seen it a million times before and a hiring partner has done something twice as prestigious. So keep it pithy.

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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:31 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:When can our resumes start being 2 pages?

If you are this guy.

Otherwise, literally never. You need to leave stuff out, rearrange and edit.

I really think this is more of a question about getting over your own ego. Whatever you think you did that is super important, an HR person has probably seen it a million times before and a hiring partner has done something twice as prestigious. So keep it pithy.


It's really not that at all. Two jobs descriptions are one line each...the rest abt. 3. If you have prior work experience, and externships every semesters, plus RA, its alot of lines lol. The font is already small, and theres really no room... AND i havent even added a description for my summer firm (obviously)

Thanks for the advice. I will prob stick with one page somehow, but it def has nothing to do with my ego.

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sunynp
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby sunynp » Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:01 am

I think career services is correct. Your work at the T5 firm before law school is not going to be viewed as legal work. Don't think hanging on to that is going to get you more jobs.

RW65
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby RW65 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 7:08 am

I recently saw the resume of an attorney who started as an ADA in 1993, left that office in 1999 to work at a firm. He worked at a number of firms from 1999 through the present. He is also involved in politics and he teaches as an adjunct as well. His resume was 1 page. If he can do it, you can do it.

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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:57 am

I'll rain on the parade here. I have a mediocre GPA, but a large number of internships, work experience, and community involvement that are specifically relevant to certain practice areas. My OCS gave me permission to expand it to a two page resume for two reasons. First, there was one specific job that I had that was fairly prestigious, but scared employers into thinking I didn't want to work at a law firm. So they had me bury it on the second page. That kept it around for the prestige, but made it clear it was a minor part of my life. The second reason to make it two pages was that I was trading on my experience in this particular field over my GPA/schooling, so showing I had significantly more than a normal person helped. But, they did make it clear this was a bizarre exception to the rule and only came into play because I had clearly focused on non-grade things related to my desired field to an absurd degree.

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monkey85
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby monkey85 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:01 am

Neither are you a PhD with publications nor a legal academic with publications. Keep your resume to one page. Anything longer and you'll stand out - in a bad way.

1 and done.

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KMaine
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby KMaine » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:20 am

I had 13 years of work experience before law school and had a 1 page resume. You are not special. Go with 1 page.

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skw
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby skw » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:32 am

KMaine wrote:I had 13 years of work experience before law school and had a 1 page resume. You are not special. Go with 1 page.


Ditto. 12 years WE. Started at 2 pages and when I worked with CS to cut it, it ended up one page and is much stronger now. When you get it to one page, you have one page chock full of substance. If you go with 2, first off there is a stigma that you think you're more important than you are. Second, a more impact-ful 1 pager makes a better impression.

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patrickd139
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby patrickd139 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:33 am

KMaine wrote:I had 13 years of work experience before law school and had a 1 page resume. You are not special. Go with 1 page.

This. So much this.

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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby johndhi » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:38 am

Only when you have made academic scholarship to reference. Sounds like you don't. Put both the college jobs in the same section or something and use commas; use the same bullets to desribe them - they sound pretty much identical, just two different names. As you seem to recognize the only reason they're there is so peopel read "DPW" and "Cravath" or whatever, so let them do that but don't include the fact that you "incorporated logistics between mergers and capital markets groups." No one cares, the names are enough and if you're cool in person, you're hired.

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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:59 am

OP. IDK why people are so hostile,when all i did was ask a question. I do not go to a T14 and at my school you have an externship every semester. Thus, I have 6 legal jobs to put on the resume. As well as 2 prior jobs. As well as publication and academic stuff. I do not think I am any more special than anyone else. If I was, i wouldnt be thinking about my resume b/c I would have a V10 firm, and not a midsized firm this summer.

It was a question. And everything is already cut down. The one thing I can do is put my name address etc all on one line across the page instead of how i have it now on diff lines.

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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP. IDK why people are so hostile,when all i did was ask a question. I do not go to a T14 and at my school you have an externship every semester. Thus, I have 6 legal jobs to put on the resume. As well as 2 prior jobs. As well as publication and academic stuff. I do not think I am any more special than anyone else. If I was, i wouldnt be thinking about my resume b/c I would have a V10 firm, and not a midsized firm this summer.

It was a question. And everything is already cut down. The one thing I can do is put my name address etc all on one line across the page instead of how i have it now on diff lines.


Definitely put your contact info on one line.

People are hostile because it's an Internet web forum. Welcome to the Internet. Another reason is probably that you say "everything is already cut down" like you absolutely can't remove anymore. We've all seen someone's resume who says that, but it turns out there is plenty that could be cut. Have someone look at it objectively for you.

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IAFG
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby IAFG » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:10 pm

If you have had full-time post-college experience, you drop those college internships/externships.

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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby sparty99 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:27 pm

It is okay for a resume to be two pages, the one page rule is the traditional rule, which is being abolished. Two pages is acceptable.

However, I doubt your work experience would satisfy a two page requirement. Unless your experience prior to law school was significant, you are being too wordy or are putting down all the jobs that you have had. Brevity in terms of words and what you put down is important. Not everything has to be said.

That RA position can probably be deleted. You can probably cut down on your academic awards if you got carried away and listed scholarships during your undergrad. You worked at a V5 in college. Okay. Then you worked at another V5 after. Just keep the one after, the other one is redudant, unless you apply to that firm. Also, two job descriptions is short. You should get rid of some jobs and really highlight where you excelled at one specific job.

LawIdiot86
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:40 pm

sparty99 wrote:It is okay for a resume to be two pages, the one page rule is the traditional rule, which is being abolished. Two pages is acceptable.

However, I doubt your work experience would satisfy a two page requirement. Unless your experience prior to law school was significant, you are being too wordy or are putting down all the jobs that you have had. Brevity in terms of words and what you put down is important. Not everything has to be said.

That RA position can probably be deleted. You can probably cut down on your academic awards if you got carried away and listed scholarships during your undergrad. You worked at a V5 in college. Okay. Then you worked at another V5 after. Just keep the one after, the other one is redudant, unless you apply to that firm. Also, two job descriptions is short. You should get rid of some jobs and really highlight where you excelled at one specific job.


No, it's not. My OCS made a big deal over mine being two pages and made sure to stress it was an extreme outlier situation. Several firms commented on it being odd, but it clicked with the firm I eventually was offered at. Many of my networking contacts thought it was also very odd. The Rule is not being abolished and OP needs a much better reason (PhD, publications, extensive non-profit/community involvement related to his field, extensive professional-level work pre-law school) before he can consider it. Internships are not a good reason.

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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby sparty99 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:31 pm

LawIdiot86 wrote:
sparty99 wrote:It is okay for a resume to be two pages, the one page rule is the traditional rule, which is being abolished. Two pages is acceptable.

However, I doubt your work experience would satisfy a two page requirement. Unless your experience prior to law school was significant, you are being too wordy or are putting down all the jobs that you have had. Brevity in terms of words and what you put down is important. Not everything has to be said.

That RA position can probably be deleted. You can probably cut down on your academic awards if you got carried away and listed scholarships during your undergrad. You worked at a V5 in college. Okay. Then you worked at another V5 after. Just keep the one after, the other one is redudant, unless you apply to that firm. Also, two job descriptions is short. You should get rid of some jobs and really highlight where you excelled at one specific job.


No, it's not. My OCS made a big deal over mine being two pages and made sure to stress it was an extreme outlier situation. Several firms commented on it being odd, but it clicked with the firm I eventually was offered at. Many of my networking contacts thought it was also very odd. The Rule is not being abolished and OP needs a much better reason (PhD, publications, extensive non-profit/community involvement related to his field, extensive professional-level work pre-law school) before he can consider it. Internships are not a good reason.


If you read anything I said, then you would know that I said I didn't think his experience would allow him to have a two page resume. However, the one page rule is archaic. It is okay to have a two page resume depending on the situation.

http://www.quintcareers.com/resume_length.html

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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby shoeshine » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:44 pm

sparty99 wrote:
If you read anything I said, then you would know that I said I didn't think his experience would allow him to have a two page resume. However, the one page rule is archaic. It is okay to have a two page resume depending on the situation.

http://www.quintcareers.com/resume_length.html


Yeah but no one is reading more than a page for entry level positions where they have over 100+ applicants (i.e. every job OP is applying for).

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TommyK
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby TommyK » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:48 pm

shoeshine wrote:Yeah but no one is reading more than a page for entry level positions where they have over 100+ applicants (i.e. every job OP is applying for).


Nobody reads the resume for more than about 45 seconds any way... The longer it is, the less time you spend as you go down, understanding the important stuff is at the top. So they may see school you went to, rank, latin honors, board positions on journal (which are all at the top), give a quick look at timeframe at job progression and positions held and not really read much on the bullets unless something piques their interest, and give only the most cursory look at shit below that.

A two-page is less-than-ideal for the reasons enumerated by previous posters, but also because it dillutes what are your biggest selling points. If you're top 20% from a T6 and hold a major editorial role, then having some of the less compelling pieces of your background is just distracting. The only job a resume has is to get you a conversation. It should pique the interest, not tell the whole story.

All in all, resumes don't matter nearly as much as what the average person spends on them would indicate.
Last edited by TommyK on Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

MrAnon
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby MrAnon » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:50 pm

no one is ever going to pick up your resume and say OMG TWO PAGES? WHAT A FOOL! Career services is just trying to justify its own existence by turning stuff like this into a project.

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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:56 pm

What happens when I add an explanation for my summer position. And then maybe have 2 diff externships as a 3L? After a certain point, then I just have to cut out legal jobs, which I don't know why you would do that, b/c one experience may click with one reader.

At some point, it just seems silly to me to cut out important internships/jobs (even if you only have 1 line for the description), and to keep squishing together the doc with no spaces and smaller font.

I understand, and am going to edit it for now. Putting my name address and contact info all on one line across the top helps. But after the summer, I will have a much harder time again.

Also cutting out the RA would probably not be a good idea, b/c she is pretty famous (author, political figure, former head of govt agency...).

But again, I do agree. It just gets increasingly difficult to do. I know at the top schools most students dont take a new externship every semester.

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monkey85
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby monkey85 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:02 pm

MrAnon wrote:no one is ever going to pick up your resume and say OMG TWO PAGES? WHAT A FOOL! Career services is just trying to justify its own existence by turning stuff like this into a project.


How many pages is your resume? Have you landed your dream job?

Not a jab at you - simply wondering if you practice what you preach; and if you have anecdotal evidence so that OP can make a more informed decision based on your suggestion that he could/should go over 1 page.

Anonymous User wrote:After a certain point, then I just have to cut out legal jobs, which I don't know why you would do that, b/c one experience may click with one reader.


OP, the point is to tailor your resume to EACH position. I de-stressed my business undergrad when I applied (and landed) my NGO internship. I didn't put my public interest junk when I applied (and landed) my corporate law SA. You do not put ALL of your experience - but only the RELEVANT experience.

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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:19 pm

for most audiences, your resume should be 1 page

however, for IP/patent employment, it is generally acceptable and even encouraged by most recruiters to have a resume over 1 page if it means that you can explain your accomplishments with technical details that would speak for your science/engineering experience
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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leobowski
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby leobowski » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:44 pm

MrAnon wrote:no one is ever going to pick up your resume and say OMG TWO PAGES? WHAT A FOOL!



Wrong, this actually does happen.

Pro-tip: trolling works better when you actually know what you're talking about.




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