"Interests" resume section

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CandyLand
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"Interests" resume section

Postby CandyLand » Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:43 pm

There is a near consensus among judges, career advisers, and firm interviewers that they like to see an "Interests" section. The only authority (a dean) I've heard express uncertainty about it seems to have come around to the idea because she hears so many employers and judges express that they like it.

For clerkship apps, it seems that it's another opportunity to differentiate yourself and boost your chances of getting an interview, but its success depends largely on what you list and the judge's own interests and idiosyncrasies regarding what they want to see and don't want to see in this section. For OCI, it provides icebreakers, especially if your interviewer is into something similar.

For non-OCI, its value seems much less certain, so I'm interested in opinions on that. For example, government hiring and honors programs?

I'm refining my clerkship resume right now (along with many other 2Ls and 3Ls, I'm sure), and I thought it might be helpful to start a thread with what we have listed as our interests and general advice we have heard about it. So what do you have listed? I'm working on the exact phrasing but I've basically got: yoga; volunteering with and fostering rescue dogs; musicals and plays; watching documentaries. Might add that I like reading about microeconomics, human psychology, and digital entrepreneurship, but it's probably too detailed or long or whatever.

hamsamitchguy03
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Re: "Interests" resume section

Postby hamsamitchguy03 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:48 pm

ed ited
Last edited by hamsamitchguy03 on Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

Anonymous User
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Re: "Interests" resume section

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:52 pm

The interests section has been a nice conversation point in non-OCI interviews.

I only include (and from what I've heard, this is fairly standard) three interests. Each one is described in 1-2 words. (E.g., "Writing, Basket Weaving, and College Croquet.")

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: "Interests" resume section

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:32 pm

FWIW, I have been sky-diving on and off for 2 years and recently got my certification to go solo. However, I would never put that on the interests section. Although sky-diving is very, very safe, it has a stigma that people who do it have a death wish. Just make sure that your interests won't raise any concerns about you living a long life.

concurrent fork
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Re: "Interests" resume section

Postby concurrent fork » Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:13 pm

MrPapagiorgio wrote:FWIW, I have been sky-diving on and off for 2 years and recently got my certification to go solo. However, I would never put that on the interests section. Although sky-diving is very, very safe, it has a stigma that people who do it have a death wish. Just make sure that your interests won't raise any concerns about you living a long life.

"Look, you're a great fit, but we just can't take the risk that you'll die in a skydiving accident. Good luck with the rest of your search."

desertlaw
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Re: "Interests" resume section

Postby desertlaw » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:39 pm

I think you want to put a broad/wide selection of things on there because it will give you a better chance to connect with the interviwer.

But don't put: basketball, baseball, football. Instead, just put: sports

And then you want to add things that will touch a lot of personality types: music, outdoors, sports, academic-interests, etc. For mine, I had an outdoor activity (scuba diving), instrument I played, and then a specific sport I liked playing.

I think the key is that you want something other than your work/school to give you something to connect with the attorney. If you only have sports interests, it might be hard when talking to the person who doesn't know the difference between a homerun and touchdown.

Also, anything particularly interesting is a good idea. As long as it's not really super weird.

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traehekat
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Re: "Interests" resume section

Postby traehekat » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:46 pm

I put something relatively unique/interesting (although not necessarily "impressive" or anything) on my resume for 1L and 2L OCI and I had a pretty high rate of interviews who asked about it, and it almost always led to a fun conversation. I thought about removing it after 1L OCI because it was so random and truthfully it wasn't a "primary" interest of mine or whatever, but I decided to leave it on pretty much as "bait" and it worked perfectly. So my advice is to make a list of 9-10 of your interests, and pick 1 or 2 that you think employers won't be able to resist asking about. Like others have said though, make sure it doesn't cross the line into something that is just weird.

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kalvano
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Re: "Interests" resume section

Postby kalvano » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:53 pm

^^

Same here. I have three things, and one is very unique, and it's been a great conversation-starter in pretty much every interview.

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DCDuck
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Re: "Interests" resume section

Postby DCDuck » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:56 pm

I don't have an "interests" section on my resume for most jobs I apply for because I have work and education experiences I want to highlight and limited space. I have, however, left resume lines on that are maybe a little old, or "unimportant" but that provide something to interesting to talk about. I left on "College Poetry Journal Editor" which led to some fun conversations. I have volunteer work with a foreign-named organization so I can talk about a few years I spent overseas.

I think the important thing is to have items on your resume that will help people identify with you and give you/them something different or interesting to talk about.

071816
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Re: "Interests" resume section

Postby 071816 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:59 pm

My interests section: fornicating, pwning n00bs, and 13th century plate armour.

Geist13
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Re: "Interests" resume section

Postby Geist13 » Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:11 pm

never had a law related interview where they didn't come up in a positive manner. Mine aren't crazy either, one kind of unique, two run of the mill things. I've been asked about them all numerous times.

anonymcoffee
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Re: "Interests" resume section

Postby anonymcoffee » Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:21 pm

i'd want to know what these "unique" interests are :)

Anonymous User
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Re: "Interests" resume section

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:58 pm

MrPapagiorgio wrote:FWIW, I have been sky-diving on and off for 2 years and recently got my certification to go solo. However, I would never put that on the interests section. Although sky-diving is very, very safe, it has a stigma that people who do it have a death wish. Just make sure that your interests won't raise any concerns about you living a long life.

I did my AFF and am around 50 jumps now, and I had it in my interests section during OCI. It was discussed at nearly every interview I've had, and I think it's incredibly easy to spin it as a valuable interest (or at least avoid it being perceived as a negative). I think most people understand that skydiving is a calculated risk and indicates an ability to perform under pressure, and I've found that being able to describe the nuances of what most people perceive to be an adrenaline junkie's sport in an accessible way can actually go a long way towards impressing people.

Just some food for thought, but it never held me back in getting a job.

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Doritos
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Re: "Interests" resume section

Postby Doritos » Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:32 pm

You can always just lie on the interests section so you come off as the most interesting person in the world. As long as you have an internet connection you can do all the research you need to make sure you don't get caught. Oh I see you climbed Mount Everest, what was that like? Well yes in fact I did, there are in fact two routes the southeast ridge from Nepal and the north ridge from Tibet. I took the southeast ridge which is the more frequently used route due to it being a bit easier. blah blah blah wikipedia facts, etc. BAM! you will be swimming in interviews and offers due to your amazing made up life.

desertlaw
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Re: "Interests" resume section

Postby desertlaw » Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:00 pm

That really was my favorite part when I was literally swimming in BigLawl offers, as I recounted all of the lies I told them about my climbing Mt Everest and making gingerbread houses with underprivileged blind minority children. Bahahaha. Law.

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FryBreadPower
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Re: "Interests" resume section

Postby FryBreadPower » Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:05 pm

chimp wrote:My interests section: fornicating, pwning n00bs, and 13th century plate armour.


Fuck why didn't I think of this?

turkeysub
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Re: "Interests" resume section

Postby turkeysub » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:10 pm

.
Last edited by turkeysub on Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kalvano
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Re: "Interests" resume section

Postby kalvano » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:32 pm

You cannot possibly go wrong listing The Wire.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: "Interests" resume section

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:05 am

Listing "Litigation" got me my job in litigation. I'm not kidding, the hiring partner eventually told me that was a real factor, because who the fuck lists that unless they are serious about litigating? None of this "I want broad exposure during my 2L SA experience," which, by the way, is a dirty secret at many firms - you're being hired for a slot somewhere in a specific practice area, they just might not tell you that outright in order to reel you in. Nope, I knew I wanted to litigate, they were hiring into litigation - BOOM, I win.

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TTRansfer
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Re: "Interests" resume section

Postby TTRansfer » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:30 am

concurrent fork wrote:
MrPapagiorgio wrote:FWIW, I have been sky-diving on and off for 2 years and recently got my certification to go solo. However, I would never put that on the interests section. Although sky-diving is very, very safe, it has a stigma that people who do it have a death wish. Just make sure that your interests won't raise any concerns about you living a long life.

"Look, you're a great fit, but we just can't take the risk that you'll die in a skydiving accident. Good luck with the rest of your search."


Would be a great rejection letter, though.

"Look, we don't want to deal with having our attorneys die right after we train them.

Very truly yours,

Asshat Partner"

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Doritos
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Re: "Interests" resume section

Postby Doritos » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:14 am

NotMyRealName09 wrote:Listing "Litigation" got me my job in litigation. I'm not kidding, the hiring partner eventually told me that was a real factor, because who the fuck lists that unless they are serious about litigating? None of this "I want broad exposure during my 2L SA experience," which, by the way, is a dirty secret at many firms - you're being hired for a slot somewhere in a specific practice area, they just might not tell you that outright in order to reel you in. Nope, I knew I wanted to litigate, they were hiring into litigation - BOOM, I win.


lol. I would upvote this if I could.




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