Interests section on resume?

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BlueLotus
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby BlueLotus » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:46 am

Is an interests section essential for gov/PI resumes, or is this just a biglaw thing?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:05 pm

My understanding was that it's an every resume kind of thing. Although I think there are some people who don't see it as necessary on any resume, so YMMV.

Anonymous User
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:13 pm

Does anyone have ideas on how to make my interests sound more interesting? They are running and soccer. I play intramural soccer for the law school, and I've done a couple of mud races and am training for a half marathon. I feel like they sound better if I can somehow incorporate what I've actually done instead of listing two generic sports, but I don't know how to word it.

Edit: did not mean to resurrect a year old thread, I apparently still think its 2013
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PennBull
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby PennBull » Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:13 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Does anyone have ideas on how to make my interests sound more interesting? They are running and soccer. I play intramural soccer for the law school, and I've done a couple of mud races and am training for a half marathon. I feel like they sound better if I can somehow incorporate what I've actually done instead of listing two generic sports, but I don't know how to word it.


Running Mud Races, Pick-Up Soccer

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sublime
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby sublime » Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:19 pm

..

TooOld4This
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby TooOld4This » Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:20 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:My understanding was that it's an every resume kind of thing. Although I think there are some people who don't see it as necessary on any resume, so YMMV.


I fall in this category. Interests sections are only slightly less stupid than objective sections. The only time I see them are on resumes of people with very little substantive experience. In all the jobs I've interviewed for, I've only had one interviewer in any way suggest that my resume was deficient for not having one. I still got the job and we still managed to discuss the types of things that would normally be in that section.

Don't force this section. If you need to kill some white space, go for it. If you have some inside info about the person who will be looking at your resume and you have a common interest, also feel free to add it here. Don't put down anything obnoxious. Short of that, don't worry about it. I certainly don't "ding" resumes with the line -- but I give it zero weight.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:27 pm

TooOld4This wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:My understanding was that it's an every resume kind of thing. Although I think there are some people who don't see it as necessary on any resume, so YMMV.


I fall in this category. Interests sections are only slightly less stupid than objective sections. The only time I see them are on resumes of people with very little substantive experience. In all the jobs I've interviewed for, I've only had one interviewer in any way suggest that my resume was deficient for not having one. I still got the job and we still managed to discuss the types of things that would normally be in that section.

Don't force this section. If you need to kill some white space, go for it. If you have some inside info about the person who will be looking at your resume and you have a common interest, also feel free to add it here. Don't put down anything obnoxious. Short of that, don't worry about it. I certainly don't "ding" resumes with the line -- but I give it zero weight.

On the opposite side, I have heard MANY anecdotes about successful interviews beginning with or being focused mainly on idle conversation about one of the person's hobbies.

TooOld4This
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby TooOld4This » Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:33 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:
TooOld4This wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:My understanding was that it's an every resume kind of thing. Although I think there are some people who don't see it as necessary on any resume, so YMMV.


I fall in this category. Interests sections are only slightly less stupid than objective sections. The only time I see them are on resumes of people with very little substantive experience. In all the jobs I've interviewed for, I've only had one interviewer in any way suggest that my resume was deficient for not having one. I still got the job and we still managed to discuss the types of things that would normally be in that section.

Don't force this section. If you need to kill some white space, go for it. If you have some inside info about the person who will be looking at your resume and you have a common interest, also feel free to add it here. Don't put down anything obnoxious. Short of that, don't worry about it. I certainly don't "ding" resumes with the line -- but I give it zero weight.

On the opposite side, I have heard MANY anecdotes about successful interviews beginning with or being focused mainly on idle conversation about one of the person's hobbies.


Interest sections are a crutch for interviewers. I'll use them too. The lack of an interest section doesn't make it hard for me to engage in idle conversation, though. I've never recommended a candidate on the basis of an interest section. I don't know of anyone who has dinged a candidate for a lack of interest section.

All I'm saying is don't force it or sweat it. It's not a deal breaker either way, unless you manage to come up with something offensive to put in it.

arklaw13
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby arklaw13 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:32 pm

If possible (as in true) add something related to the market you're targeting. Are you a fan of a local college or professional football team? Put it down. Can't hurt.

sjd1988
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby sjd1988 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:54 pm

arklaw13 wrote:If possible (as in true) add something related to the market you're targeting. Are you a fan of a local college or professional football team? Put it down. Can't hurt.


This got me a Chicago big law call back. Had "[undergraduate school] super fan" in my one line interests section and turned out my screener also went to undergrAd there. We talked college football for 20 minutes. Obviously won't matter if your other qualifications don't measure up and can probably backfire if you list an interest that you know nothing about, but a genuine interest can help make a connection with an interviewer.

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frank617
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby frank617 » Sat Dec 06, 2014 2:40 pm

figured everyone would be less annoyed with me resurrecting this thread rather than starting a new one



I've already sent out about 15 resumes with 1L summer applications, but those were all to judges. Now that I'm starting to get things ready to send out to firms (some biglaw, some midlaw), I'm thinking an interest section is probably a good call since I have the space for the extra line.

How do these sound:

XX Law softball league, skiing, crime novels.

Are the last two too general? Not interesting enough interests?

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BVest
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby BVest » Sat Dec 06, 2014 2:45 pm

frank617 wrote:figured everyone would be less annoyed with me resurrecting this thread rather than starting a new one



I've already sent out about 15 resumes with 1L summer applications, but those were all to judges. Now that I'm starting to get things ready to send out to firms (some biglaw, some midlaw), I'm thinking an interest section is probably a good call since I have the space for the extra line.

How do these sound:

XX Law softball league, skiing, crime novels.

Are the last two too general? Not interesting enough interests?


Not too general. I would generalize the first and be a little more specific re the second... e.g.

League softball, [alpine/cross-country/water] skiing, crime novels.

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Yardbird
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Yardbird » Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:39 am

frank617 wrote:figured everyone would be less annoyed with me resurrecting this thread rather than starting a new one



I've already sent out about 15 resumes with 1L summer applications, but those were all to judges. Now that I'm starting to get things ready to send out to firms (some biglaw, some midlaw), I'm thinking an interest section is probably a good call since I have the space for the extra line.

How do these sound:

XX Law softball league, skiing, crime novels.

Are the last two too general? Not interesting enough interests?
If you're at UVA, softball is hardly unique and everyone talks about it. If you're not at UVA feel free.

The more generic your participation, the more generic your interest should be stated. As an example, my interests were listed as:

Jazz (performing, composing, listening); NCAA hockey; hiking/camping

100% of my interviews for 1L and 2L asked about jazz or hockey. As an example, one interview was 18 minutes of discussing what three jazz albums we would both take if stranded on an island. Then the interviewer realized we were out of time, asked if I had any questions and sent me on my way. Got the callback and the offer (though declined).

I honestly believe the interests section is one big way you can clearly set yourself apart from classmates who are otherwise just as smart as you are, even if their grades are higher or lower than yours. Personality goes a long way. Grades, work experience, and what school you're at will obviously help a lot too.

JohnDewey1
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby JohnDewey1 » Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:28 am

Would putting video games or a specific genre of video games on your interests section be okay? Would that answer change if I worked for a video game developer?

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sublime
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby sublime » Mon Dec 08, 2014 4:02 am

..

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20160810
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby 20160810 » Mon Dec 08, 2014 12:29 pm

This is a huge mistake, under no circumstances should you allow yourself to be seen as a human being.

pattyw2008
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby pattyw2008 » Mon Dec 08, 2014 6:59 pm

The best advice I ever got about an interests section, is that if all you have is generic everybody does it stuff (running, baking, reading) then you should leave it off completely, unless you really need filler. However, if you do something cool like the NCAA Hockey guy or jazz, placed in a national competition.. something intriguing then it will help. But it can't be too intriguing... true story, during a resume review during my summer with DoJ, the reviewer told me someone had included the interests of "rare greek poetry" and he instantly put it in the trash pile, because it seemed too weird.

Anonymous User
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:04 pm

does putting "craft beer and home brewing" in your interest section cross any lines?

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PennBull
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby PennBull » Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:06 pm

Anonymous User wrote:does putting "craft beer and home brewing" in your interest section cross any lines?


no

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skers
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby skers » Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:does putting "craft beer and home brewing" in your interest section cross any lines?


No, just watch your punctuation.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby ManoftheHour » Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:50 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.

This judge that spoke at my school told us that back in his midsize firm days, the firm hired this one guy because the dude's resume said he played short stop in college and the group needed a short stop for their soft ball team.

JohnDewey1
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby JohnDewey1 » Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:46 pm

Okay, so probably no video games. How about advanced statistical analysis of professional baseball (sabermetrics)? Would that sound too nerdy or unique in an interesting way? Would just putting "watching MLB games" be a better alternative?

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ScottRiqui
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby ScottRiqui » Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:55 pm

JohnDewey1 wrote:Okay, so probably no video games. How about advanced statistical analysis of professional baseball (sabermetrics)? Would that sound too nerdy or unique in an interesting way? Would just putting "watching MLB games" be a better alternative?


"Watching MLB games" sounds passive, boring and common, so I probably wouldn't use it.

Sabermetrics is pretty interesting, but definitely put more than just the one word; odds are, no one who isn't into sabermetrics is even going to know what it is, and you want the interviewer to be able to decide, based upon his own interests, if he even wants to ask you about it in the first place.

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PennBull
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby PennBull » Mon Dec 08, 2014 9:57 pm

"advanced sports statistics"

Scuppers
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Scuppers » Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:02 pm

For what it's worth, Columbia Law career services advises against adding an interests section. Not sure if NYC or just out of touch. :-|




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