Interests section on resume?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
User avatar
VulcanVulcanVulcan
Posts: 175
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:50 pm

Interests section on resume?

Postby VulcanVulcanVulcan » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:37 pm

So I've read some about having an interests section on a resume--how common is that? And what sort of interests are suitable for putting on there? My concern is sounding ridiculous if I put like "contemporary art" on it or something.

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby r6_philly » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:39 pm

VulcanVulcanVulcan wrote:So I've read some about having an interests section on a resume--how common is that? And what sort of interests are suitable for putting on there? My concern is sounding ridiculous if I put like "contemporary art" on it or something.


It's fine unless you put something weird. I'd define cont. art a bit more, like if you like to compose it or something. Good conversational starters during interviews.

User avatar
Icculus
Posts: 1421
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:02 am

Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Icculus » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:40 pm

Basically an interest section is good to have so that you and the interviewer can have some common ground to talk about if you have similar interests. On my resume I put the kind of music I like and out on that I play a few instruments. I don't know how important it is to have one, but I don't think it hurts if you do.

tmgarvey
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:16 pm

Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby tmgarvey » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:43 pm

I think putting "personal interests" on a resume reeks of amateurism. Nobody really cares, when they are screening a mountain of resumes to pick out the few that they want to talk to further. Nobody is going to invite you for an interview based on your interest in contemporary art (unless you are looking for a job in the art field, representing artists or galleries or publishers, and in that case it's much better to have some work or volunteer experience demonstrating your interest in concrete terms).

Sometimes, when you are actually in an interview, the interviewer might ask what your interests are, or what you like to do in your spare time. Part of getting to know who you are as a person, and how you will fit into the culture of the office. At that point, sure, you talk about your (hopefully non-controversial) interests.

But leave it off the resume. It will make you look like a high school student applying for your first job.

ajaxconstructions
Posts: 248
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 12:24 am

Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby ajaxconstructions » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:45 pm

tmgarvey wrote:I think putting "personal interests" on a resume reeks of amateurism. Nobody really cares, when they are screening a mountain of resumes to pick out the few that they want to talk to further. Nobody is going to invite you for an interview based on your interest in contemporary art (unless you are looking for a job in the art field, representing artists or galleries or publishers, and in that case it's much better to have some work or volunteer experience demonstrating your interest in concrete terms).

Sometimes, when you are actually in an interview, the interviewer might ask what your interests are, or what you like to do in your spare time. Part of getting to know who you are as a person, and how you will fit into the culture of the office. At that point, sure, you talk about your (hopefully non-controversial) interests.

But leave it off the resume. It will make you look like a high school student applying for your first job.


No

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby r6_philly » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:47 pm

tmgarvey wrote:I think putting "personal interests" on a resume reeks of amateurism. Nobody really cares, when they are screening a mountain of resumes to pick out the few that they want to talk to further. Nobody is going to invite you for an interview based on your interest in contemporary art (unless you are looking for a job in the art field, representing artists or galleries or publishers, and in that case it's much better to have some work or volunteer experience demonstrating your interest in concrete terms).

Sometimes, when you are actually in an interview, the interviewer might ask what your interests are, or what you like to do in your spare time. Part of getting to know who you are as a person, and how you will fit into the culture of the office. At that point, sure, you talk about your (hopefully non-controversial) interests.

But leave it off the resume. It will make you look like a high school student applying for your first job.


Nothing about me or my interests are amateur. It gets talked about in every screening or callback interview for more than 5 minutes. No it doesn't add to your academic credentials, but it does add to you as a well-rounded person and/or personality or personal qualities. I also have a volunteer section, which never gets talked about.

User avatar
zanda
Posts: 526
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:36 am

Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby zanda » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:52 pm

It's a must. Put something true, interesting, and uncontroversial.

tmgarvey
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:16 pm

Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby tmgarvey » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:54 pm

r6_philly wrote:
Nothing about me or my interests are amateur. It gets talked about in every screening or callback interview for more than 5 minutes. No it doesn't add to your academic credentials, but it does add to you as a well-rounded person and/or personality or personal qualities. I also have a volunteer section, which never gets talked about.
My guess would be that you have awesome credentials and would get invited for the interview without the "personal interests" section, and that it is only mentioned because it happens to be on the resume and they have already decided to talk to you.

I've done a bit of screening and interviewing (not tons, I will admit), but I always think "personal interest" sections are unnecessary and superfluous, at best. Everyone has some kind of personal interest. I don't think it helps you get interviewed, and it has always made a negative impression on me to see it on a resume.

I also think that is the advice given by most job-search gurus.

dixon02
Posts: 374
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:27 am

Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby dixon02 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:57 pm

An Interests section is like any other part of your resume: anything you put should be strategic and be there for a reason. As a few people above said, the typical reason for Interests is that they are good conversation starters. But they should be pretty mainstream and should carry 0 risk. Examples: mountain biking, playing guitar, woodworking, etc. The ideal scenario is something that is common enough that at least some interviewers will share that interest and specific enough that they will want to talk about it. There is a sort of mutual bond between people who share specific interests.

Things to avoid: don't be general. This , not Interests sections in general, reeks of amateurism. Don't list "Outdoors" or "Sports" as interests. That looks stupid. Be more specific than that. And don't do anything that could be weird or could turn some people off. There was a thread once where someone asked if they could put that they were a handgun enthusiast. Don't do that. If you have to ask, the answer is no.

As for contemporary art, I don't see much to gain from that. It doesn't seem to fall into the first category. If anything, be more specific. Do you create contemporary art? Critique it? Simply go to museums and stare at it?

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby r6_philly » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:59 pm

tmgarvey wrote:My guess would be that you have awesome credentials and would get invited for the interview without the "personal interests" section, and that it is only mentioned because it happens to be on the resume and they have already decided to talk to you.

I've done a bit of screening and interviewing (not tons, I will admit), but I always think "personal interest" sections are unnecessary and superfluous, at best. Everyone has some kind of personal interest. I don't think it helps you get interviewed, and it has always made a negative impression on me to see it on a resume.

I also think that is the advice given by most job-search gurus.


Every sample resume at my T14 or many others contain an interests section. I would qualify that only put something there if you actually is pretty passionate about the interest.

I didn't suggest interest section will help you get an interview, that's not the point. It helps the actual interview. It's at least 5 minutes in every interview I get to talk about what I am good at, and not answering tough questions about other things (maybe things I am not good at).

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby r6_philly » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:02 pm

dixon02 wrote:An Interests section is like any other part of your resume: anything you put should be strategic and be there for a reason. As a few people above said, the typical reason for Interests is that they are good conversation starters. But they should be pretty mainstream and should carry 0 risk. Examples: mountain biking, playing guitar, woodworking, etc. The ideal scenario is something that is common enough that at least some interviewers will share that interest and specific enough that they will want to talk about it. There is a sort of mutual bond between people who share specific interests.


Not always true :mrgreen: You can make it work, depending on your personality. If it's a good extension of your personality, and it carries positive qualities, then it may be very good to standout from the norm. You can have multiple interests, so a decent spread would be best.

dixon02
Posts: 374
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:27 am

Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby dixon02 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:07 pm

r6_philly wrote:
dixon02 wrote:An Interests section is like any other part of your resume: anything you put should be strategic and be there for a reason. As a few people above said, the typical reason for Interests is that they are good conversation starters. But they should be pretty mainstream and should carry 0 risk. Examples: mountain biking, playing guitar, woodworking, etc. The ideal scenario is something that is common enough that at least some interviewers will share that interest and specific enough that they will want to talk about it. There is a sort of mutual bond between people who share specific interests.


Not always true :mrgreen: You can make it work, depending on your personality. If it's a good extension of your personality, and it carries positive qualities, then it may be very good to standout from the norm. You can have multiple interests, so a decent spread would be best.


I don't disagree that you can make it work, but personally it's just a risk I would never take. I'd rather keep it normal, give them something to ask me about that I can confidently talk about it, and not put anything on there that might steer folks away.

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby r6_philly » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:11 pm

dixon02 wrote:
I don't disagree that you can make it work, but personally it's just a risk I would never take. I'd rather keep it normal, give them something to ask me about that I can confidently talk about it, and not put anything on there that might steer folks away.


My personality is aggressive while responsible, and my interests and WE reflect that. It essentially is my "brand", so it works for me. I believe our interests reflects pretty accurately who I am, so anyone can make their interest work for them, let it be a hang glider, sky diver, bungee or base jumper, etc. They wouldn't all of a sudden turn into a different person at work. You sound like a risk adverse person, so those type of things wouldn't work for you, of course. But I wouldn't make a general statement to stay away from risk. All depends on who and what.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273108
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:25 pm

Anon for sensitivity. I received the editing position with the nation's most syndicated columnist largely in part from my interests: jazz, racquet sports, and fantasy football. Prior to this, I thought interests sections were completely low-brow.

User avatar
akili
Posts: 1950
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:21 pm

Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby akili » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:30 pm

Our CSO pretty much required us to put an interest section and it definitely helped me get my 1L summer gig.

User avatar
VulcanVulcanVulcan
Posts: 175
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:50 pm

Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby VulcanVulcanVulcan » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:10 am

This has all been helpful.

By "contemporary art" above, I meant like going to museums and looking at the art, more than "doing" art. So maybe not that.

Anyway, here's what I am thinking of putting down--does this make me look too boring and nerdy: Running, travel, reading fiction, Game of Thrones.

Should I be more specific than that?

User avatar
cinephile
Posts: 3469
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:50 pm

Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby cinephile » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:14 am

I would be more specific about where you travel or what kind of fiction.

firm administrator
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:50 pm

Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby firm administrator » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:34 am

Definitely, you would be surprised how many hiring authorities (administrators, attorneys) carefully review the interests/hobbies section. Each firm has a slightly different "culture" and are always looking at how future hires can fit in. Nothing beats the interview but this might get you in the door for the interview. My advice- restrict interests to relevant items that will also help you integrate with fellow attorneys and future clients. For example- interests dominated by chess, backgammon, computers, etc. might suggest an introverted type personality. There are plenty of smart and talented graduates coming out of law school- you need to separate yourself from the crowd at every opportunity.

User avatar
Gecko of Doom
Posts: 415
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 8:32 pm

Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Gecko of Doom » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:38 am

VulcanVulcanVulcan wrote:This has all been helpful.

By "contemporary art" above, I meant like going to museums and looking at the art, more than "doing" art. So maybe not that.

Anyway, here's what I am thinking of putting down--does this make me look too boring and nerdy: Running, travel, reading fiction, Game of Thrones.

Should I be more specific than that?

I'm a Game of Thrones fan, but I would not mention it in an interests section. There are people who will read that and immediately envision Cartman in that Warcraft episode.

Running is good. I would be more specific with travel.

User avatar
fatduck
Posts: 4186
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:16 pm

Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby fatduck » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:42 am

i put "Benjamin Franklin, Ulysses S. Grant, Andrew Jackson" on my interests section

talked about it for 5 minutes MINIMUM in every interview

Anonymous User
Posts: 273108
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jul 05, 2012 10:46 am

Is CrossFit a good thing to put on your resume as an interest? I've only been doing it for a few months but can move a good amount of weight for a girl (near the most in my gym) and it seems to attract a lot of intense, Type A lawyerly types. It's culty, which could be good or bad for the Interest section. Would be on the same line with a couple other things, endurance sports (I do long distance cycling and marathons) and cooking.

cojsterling
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:49 pm

Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby cojsterling » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:04 am

I have crossfit on my resume in the interests section and have been asked about it in interviews. A lot of people that workout reguarly know what it is and its a good conversation starter.

firm administrator
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:50 pm

Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby firm administrator » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:06 am

Game of Thrones- No.
Running, exercise interests- Yes. Our firm is big on basketball and has a couple city league teams.
Travel- Yes. Most attorneys (that I know) travel quite a bit and it shows some confidence, ability to think outside the box, adventurous spirit.

Again, every firm is different and it depends on the interview committee. We typically have 6 attorneys on our committees and the "Benjamin Franklin, Ulysses S. Grant, Andrew Jackson" section would be of no interest to 5 of our attorneys but of significant interest to one attorney. You just need to connect with the interviewers.

User avatar
BEAST_mode
Posts: 477
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:00 pm

Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby BEAST_mode » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:15 am

Pretty sure the only reason I have a 1L summer biggov internship is because I had "baseball history" in my interests section. My interview was a more or less a thirty minute strategy session for the approaching fantasy baseball season.

User avatar
fanmingrui
Posts: 194
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:59 pm

Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby fanmingrui » Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:17 am

.
Last edited by fanmingrui on Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.