When Can a Resume be two pages?

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TommyK
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby TommyK » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:56 pm

monkey85 wrote: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.



1 page. Dream job - no, but very comfortable. Right now I'm a corporate recruiter. I've hired people from entry level non-exempt positions to very senior level folks, including some inside counsel and other positions in the legal affairs lines of business for fortune 500 companies. I've seen probably somewhere north of 300k resumes in my time. My point wasn't necessarily as dogmatic as "1 page or die!!1!!"; it was more that it really doesn't matter as much as people think it does. For the most part, people who look over your resume make a key decision in less than a minute of reading your resume - whether it's enough of a match to further consider. You want to put together your most compelling factors in a succinct fashion so important pieces don't get lost among all the "Co-Captain of the 2003 Southern Macon Georgia Community College Softball Team" stuff. More often than not, despite what the candidate thinks of the relevance and magnitude of importance of their background, it can fit onto one page - especially when that person is coming straight from law school.

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20160810
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby 20160810 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:00 pm

When you're 40.

sebastian0622
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby sebastian0622 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote: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.


I think you are making this more difficult than it needs to be. Instead of approaching your resume as everything relevant that you've done in your life that you think might be important, approach it as whatever most important stuff you can fit on one page. You're approaching this from the wrong angle. If your one page is so freakin' awesome that you had to leave other only-slightly-less-freakin'-awesome stuff off for want of space, then you're going to get hired anyway, no?

You also have to understand what a resume is for. It isn't a life story. You use it along with the cover letter to get a job interview. You'll get a chance to flesh out other relevant experiences as they come up in the interview.

Everyone goes through this process when they get to the age where they finally have one page of really solid experience, so what you're going through isn't out of the ordinary. There are thousands of lawyers out there with similar academic records and more work experience than you who have one-page resumes.

TL;DR: You're not that special. Put together the best one page you can and work the rest of your life story into the hiring process later.

Aqualibrium
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:08 pm

My CSO advises that the only time a resume should be two pages is if the second page is a dick pic...

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:36 pm

If you apply to jobs as a law student with a two-page resume, you'll be applying alongside hundreds of other law students who all have one-page resumes. This will appear hubristic on your part and anyone reviewing your application will scrutinize your resume more skeptically, wondering just what it is you've done that is so goddamn impressive as to require more space than all of your colleagues. Maybe you're the rare person who can justify it and the hiring people will go, "Oh, so that's why, okay, s/he is very impressive," and you'll get hired.

imchuckbass58
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby imchuckbass58 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:40 pm

sebastian0622 wrote:I think you are making this more difficult than it needs to be. Instead of approaching your resume as everything relevant that you've done in your life that you think might be important, approach it as whatever most important stuff you can fit on one page. You're approaching this from the wrong angle. If your one page is so freakin' awesome that you had to leave other only-slightly-less-freakin'-awesome stuff off for want of space, then you're going to get hired anyway, no?

You also have to understand what a resume is for. It isn't a life story. You use it along with the cover letter to get a job interview. You'll get a chance to flesh out other relevant experiences as they come up in the interview.

Everyone goes through this process when they get to the age where they finally have one page of really solid experience, so what you're going through isn't out of the ordinary. There are thousands of lawyers out there with similar academic records and more work experience than you who have one-page resumes.

TL;DR: You're not that special. Put together the best one page you can and work the rest of your life story into the hiring process later.


I agree with this completely.

sparty99
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby sparty99 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:10 pm

Like I have said, two pages is okay. I'm a proponent. But even still, my resume is one page and I have more jobs then you...You are putting too much shit. One bullet-point. YAWN. Why even waste space putting that down if it is one bullet point. It is probably not even a results-based resume.

Additionally, as I mentioned, you are getting redundant. An externship every semester? SO what. The employer just cares that you have some legal experience. If one of those externships is specifically related to the employer then you have that. But listing everything you do, no.

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dingbat
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby dingbat » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:06 pm

It's ok to be two pages if everything is relevant - to the recruiter.
Two near identical jobs do not need separate job descriptions.
Also, some jobs might be do straightforward that no description is neccesary (eg paralegal)

The recruiter doesn't care about your extracurricular activities; it's padding if you lack experience and superfluous if you've been in the workforce.
Also, there are many ways to squeeze lines.
Two page resumes are rarely justified and certainly big for entry level positions.
Three pages is only acceptable for C level positions
(except for academia of research positions, where article publications may run for several pages, but even then, it's more of an addendum)

Disclaimer: I have a 2 page resume. However, it is justified.
Even then, I've omitted all jobs from before/during UG and combined 2 from after (as they were essentially the same)

r6_philly
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby r6_philly » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:32 pm

A hiring attorney told me I should have made my resume 2 pages instead of talking about experiences not on my resume. TBF my CV is 4 pages.

2LLLL
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby 2LLLL » Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:38 pm

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.




I agree. The only acceptable reason for a law student to have a 2 page resume is if you have a PhD in an IP-related field and have significant research and/or publications to detail.

r6_philly
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby r6_philly » Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:42 am

2LLLL wrote:
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.




I agree. The only acceptable reason for a law student to have a 2 page resume is if you have a PhD in an IP-related field and have significant research and/or publications to detail.


I don't have a PhD, and it probably hurts to have one in my field. Don't make rules that narrow.

2LLLL
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby 2LLLL » Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:42 am


I don't have a PhD, and it probably hurts to have one in my field. Don't make rules that narrow.



Then you probably shouldn't have a two page resume as a law student. Only in rare, dare I say narrow, cases should a law student have a 2 page resume.

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DocHawkeye
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby DocHawkeye » Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:10 am

monkey85 wrote: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.


I am a Ph.D. with publications. I am also a 1L. My resume is one page.

Anonymous User
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:09 am

My resume is two pages. Of course, I've been out of LS for a decade, so I've had clerkship, firm and government jobs, been lead counsel on cases resulting in seven published state or federal opinions (all of which I list with citations), and have published six articles (three law review and three professional). Though to be fair, I do have a space-filler "research interests" section to make the resume fill up the second page. (Yes, I was worried about giving off the wrong signals with that applying for non-academic jobs, but a recruiter told me that with a half-page of publications, including several academic-sounding titles, employers would kind of suspect that I like to write.)

My resume was one page until about three years ago.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby TaipeiMort » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:12 am

I'll put it this way. Many of the partners interviewing you will not have two page resumes. What does that say about you to them?

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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:22 am

I'll put it this way. Many of the partners interviewing you will not have two page resumes. What does that say about you to them?


That they have been at the same firm since law school and probably do not have many/any publications, adjunct teaching jobs, etc.

Oh, and that they also have separate documents listing client rosters and representations (cases or deals) that they would submit with their resumes if ever looking to lateral.

Renzo
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby Renzo » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:28 am

My resume at OCI was two pages, because I have about 12 years' work experience in really unusual in interesting jobs, and I wanted to give the screener-interviewers some material to work with. Outside of that, I can get it down to a page, despite several diplomas, a long work history, and more law-related jobs than most (different jobs each summer and each term-year during law school). So if I can get it down to a page, you can too. Hit the highlights of anything you can't squeeze on a page in your cover letter.

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Rotor
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby Rotor » Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:45 am

As others have suggested, lump similar jobs into one bullet. I had 20+ year military career that I summarized in one bullet with a "details, over" at the end. That way, it was a one-pager for the short-attention-span readers who didn't flip it over, but a two-pager for those who were interested. I had good comments about the organization throughout the hiring process. That said, some of my jobs were managing budgets in the billions or leading over 300 people. For your externships, I suspect they are capable of being combined without going into additional detail.

LawIdiot86
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby LawIdiot86 » Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:04 pm

Rotor wrote:As others have suggested, lump similar jobs into one bullet. I had 20+ year military career that I summarized in one bullet with a "details, over" at the end. That way, it was a one-pager for the short-attention-span readers who didn't flip it over, but a two-pager for those who were interested. I had good comments about the organization throughout the hiring process. That said, some of my jobs were managing budgets in the billions or leading over 300 people. For your externships, I suspect they are capable of being combined without going into additional detail.


On my resume, I generally have each internship under Employment/Experience as:

Code: Select all

Agency, Office, Location
Title, Time
*   Detail 1
*   Detail 2
*   Detail 3



If I needed to condense it, I would just put a new line under my school saying:

Code: Select all

Internships: Agency 1, Title
    .        Agency 2, Title

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TaipeiMort
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby TaipeiMort » Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:00 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I'll put it this way. Many of the partners interviewing you will not have two page resumes. What does that say about you to them?


That they have been at the same firm since law school and probably do not have many/any publications, adjunct teaching jobs, etc.

Oh, and that they also have separate documents listing client rosters and representations (cases or deals) that they would submit with their resumes if ever looking to lateral.


My point is that 2 pages will put a target on your back.

Anonymous User
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:09 pm

For most purposes, it should be 1 page. When I applied to law school, I made it 2 pages since I wanted to include various school organizations, community service activities, etc. and go into a bit of detail regarding my leadership roles, etc. A number of schools specifically told me that a 2 page resume was entirely sufficient for the app process.

That being said, for OCI and job applications, make sure it is one page.

nymario
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby nymario » Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:01 pm

skw wrote:
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.



I'll add to the chorus. 11 years WE here, including military, civilian government contractor, and an investment bank. Since law school, I am a RA, judicial internship, and have my forthcoming SA on my one page resume.

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howell
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby howell » Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:04 pm

A bank of sample resumes wouldn't be the worst thing for TLS and/or the content competition here. Obviously, we aren't just going to post our resumes, but if anyone has links to good examples or would be willing to essentially redact theirs, I think that would really help the people that feel like it's difficult to get it down to 1 page.

Here are some samples that we could critique (starting on page 3). For example, I don't like the paragraph method for job descriptions - I can't see anyone reading that. But some of the sections on law school with rank, awards, publications, etc. seem pretty easy to read.

From a cynical perspective, for law firm and clerking jobs, just about everything can be done in five lines - name, rank, school, and a couple of honors/activities do about 95% of of the weeding out for these jobs. Public interest and other types of jobs might look for a bit more.

Anonymous User
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:13 pm

howell wrote:A bank of sample resumes wouldn't be the worst thing for TLS and/or the content competition here. Obviously, we aren't just going to post our resumes, but if anyone has links to good examples or would be willing to essentially redact theirs, I think that would really help the people that feel like it's difficult to get it down to 1 page.

Here are some samples that we could critique (starting on page 3). For example, I don't like the paragraph method for job descriptions - I can't see anyone reading that. But some of the sections on law school with rank, awards, publications, etc. seem pretty easy to read.

From a cynical perspective, for law firm and clerking jobs, just about everything can be done in five lines - name, rank, school, and a couple of honors/activities do about 95% of of the weeding out for these jobs. Public interest and other types of jobs might look for a bit more.


11 Font, Times New Roman. Done.

John Doe (15 Font)
CONTACT INFO

EDUCATION
Harvard Law, Cambridge
J.D., May 2013
• Rank
• Law Review
• Moot Court

Notre Dame, South Bend
Bachelor of Science, Engineering, 2009
• Rank
• XXXX
• XXXX

LEGAL EXPERIENCE
FIRM NAME
Summer Associate, Date
• One line description
• XXXX
• XXXX
• XXXX

OTHER EXPERIENCE
Bank of America
Associate, DATE
• xx
• xx

Goldman Sachs, New York
Analyst, Date
• XX
• XX
• XX

Bain Capital, New York
Analyst, Date
• XX
• XX
• XX
• XX

McKinsey & Company, Chicago, IL
Analyst, Date
• XX
• XX
• XX

ACTIVITIES
• xx
• xx
• xx

r6_philly
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Re: When Can a Resume be two pages?

Postby r6_philly » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:24 am

TaipeiMort wrote:My point is that 2 pages will put a target on your back.


That's not a bad thing for some folks.

But I do want to qualify that I am IP, and I am not looking for jobs that are hiring me for my non-technical accomplishments, so they don't mind me putting on a page full of tech stuff. My resume has a "skills" section, for example. And everything on my resume gets talked about, if I cut them, I am selling myself short.




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