Interests section on resume?

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bk1
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby bk1 » Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:04 pm

sublime wrote:
JohnDewey1 wrote: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?



I avoided videogames. Probably would. Software development is a lot better than, I like to play CoD

Agreed. I would never put video games. The chance that your resume finds someone who thinks video games are childish (even though that is a ridiculous, boomer-ish belief) is just way too high to risk it. I'd say this even if the law firm you're applying to has a decent number of clients in the video game industry (e.g. SV firms). You're better off finding an opportune time to bring it up in select interviews if something in that interview hints that your interviewer likes video games.

While I personally know people who have had it and it has helped them hit off some conversations with interviewers, I think the risk is far greater than the potential reward. And for people who say "well I wouldn't want to work at a place like that anyway," you need to realize that law firms are not homogeneous. Even if it would be okay with 99% of your interviewers and pretty much everyone you might work with at that firm if you were to get hired there, I still believe the risk that it ends up in front of some old partner who you'd never interact with anyways who sees it as a reason to shoot you down is too high to justify having it on there.

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PennBull
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby PennBull » Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:05 pm

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


out of touch, but it's better to conform to school standards for OCI; for everything else, i'd say screw em

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PennBull
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby PennBull » Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:07 pm

bk1 wrote:you need to realize that law firms are not homogeneous


works the other way too; people need to realize that if they have a chill interviewer they very well may be an outlier to the firm

rack up job offers, THEN get all nitpicky and nosy about firm culture or whatever bullshit you think matters. Agree that you shouldn't put anything risky

GOATlawman
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby GOATlawman » Mon Dec 08, 2014 10:17 pm

bk1 wrote:
sublime wrote:
JohnDewey1 wrote: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?



I avoided videogames. Probably would. Software development is a lot better than, I like to play CoD

Agreed. I would never put video games. The chance that your resume finds someone who thinks video games are childish (even though that is a ridiculous, boomer-ish belief) is just way too high to risk it. I'd say this even if the law firm you're applying to has a decent number of clients in the video game industry (e.g. SV firms). You're better off finding an opportune time to bring it up in select interviews if something in that interview hints that your interviewer likes video games.

While I personally know people who have had it and it has helped them hit off some conversations with interviewers, I think the risk is far greater than the potential reward. And for people who say "well I wouldn't want to work at a place like that anyway," you need to realize that law firms are not homogeneous. Even if it would be okay with 99% of your interviewers and pretty much everyone you might work with at that firm if you were to get hired there, I still believe the risk that it ends up in front of some old partner who you'd never interact with anyways who sees it as a reason to shoot you down is too high to justify having it on there.


Personally I disagree with this somewhat, in that I think how "risky" you should be will depend on other factors including your own personality and your grades

Someone with high grades, or even median grades at one of the top schools, can get offers all over the place just be demonstrating you're not weird and by not offending an interviewer

OTOH, if you have low grades, even at a great school, you really need to make a REAL special connection with an interviewer to get that CB and offer. If you're just another milquetoast JD candidate, they're going to give the CBs to the person with the same personality you had but with median to high grades. I got all of my CBs (and from which I had almost all turn into offers) from screener interviews where something really "clicked." And if you're interviewing in, for example, Silicon Valley, there's gonna a pretty good chance your interviewer has more nerdy interests like video games.

I saw this happen firsthand for a "riskier" interest that someone put something related to gambling/poker on his resume, and talked about playing at Casinos. Something a lot of people would probably shy away from in interviews, but he really hit it off with this.

Also, like 95% of screening interviewers are younger associates, or on the extreme side, a very young partner.

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sublime
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby sublime » Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:23 am

..

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Rahviveh
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Rahviveh » Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:37 am

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?


Reading fangraphs does not make you an analyst. I would not put analysis cause that makes it sound like you've actually done something. Just put "baseball statistics" and people who like sports will know what it means. I put something along these lines and got some good reactions. Anything that will eat the clock is a plus. That said, just as bk1 noted that boomers will look down on video games, boomers don't like sabermetrics either. if you put baseball be prepared to hear some boomers opinion about how some shitty utility player is underrated

You're better off putting hobbies that make you look outgoing IMO, but obviously they have to be genuine. And if you don't have any, find some. There is still time.
Last edited by Rahviveh on Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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banjo
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby banjo » Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:39 am

I put video games. It helped me connect with a few associates here and there, but it practically never led to good conversation with partners. Agree with bk1 - definite no.

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


Unless things changed, this isn't true for private sector employment.

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby JenDarby » Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:46 pm

I think the further into your career you get, the weirder it gets to have an interests section. It makes a ton of sense for OCI and screeners and the like where interviewers are going through piles of resumes that generally look similar. Once you have legal experience though I think it becomes unnecessary. During law school I always had an interests section, but I would feel awkward sending out a resume with one if I were to look into switching jobs down the road.

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bk1
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby bk1 » Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:54 pm

JenDarby wrote:I think the further into your career you get, the weirder it gets to have an interests section. It makes a ton of sense for OCI and screeners and the like where interviewers are going through piles of resumes that generally look similar. Once you have legal experience though I think it becomes unnecessary. During law school I always had an interests section, but I would feel awkward sending out a resume with one if I were to look into switching jobs down the road.

I could see this, though I think I'd have to be further removed from law school to know whether I agreed or not.

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Scuppers » Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:33 pm

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


Unless things changed, this isn't true for private sector employment.


Asked last week regarding summer internship applications. (Mostly judges, in my case.) Guess the distinction might be doing some work there, though I couldn't say why.

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby 20160810 » Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:34 pm

ScottRiqui wrote:
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.

FWIW in my callback with my current firm I spent an entire interview talking about fantasy baseball and sabermetrics.

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Yardbird » Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:00 pm

SBL wrote:
ScottRiqui wrote:
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.

FWIW in my callback with my current firm I spent an entire interview talking about fantasy baseball and sabermetrics.
Odds are you will interview with at least one person who follows sports in some regard, but you might not need to highlight something generic like "MLB" or "NFL" or fantasy on your resume. I walked into one office during a callback and there was an inflatable basketball hoop and a football field poster on the wall, my interviewer was the "Sports Guy" for the firm. He was in the middle of his fantasy football draft during my interview, and we talked draft picks the entire time.

Buck Strickland
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Buck Strickland » Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:11 pm

This thread made me add an interests section to my resume. How's this list? I kind of worry that it makes me sound like a prick

"Music (particularly jazz and classical music), American fiction, exercise, vegetarian cuisine"

I majored in music, so that'll probably be a topic of conversation in interviews regardless. And my hope is that the vegetarian cuisine thing will work on two levels: (1) resonates with vegetarians, and (2) resonates with people who generally enjoy restaurants and food. But I'm aware of the more likely scenario where it elicits an eye roll and an "oh brother..."

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PennBull
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby PennBull » Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:14 pm

generic "exercise" next to vegetarian cuisine will elicit the eyeroll you are trying to avoid

be more specific and eliminate "exercise"

edit: "vegetarian cuisine" is fine--Thug Kitchen is super popular right now, and that's all vegan/vegetarian. As long as you don't sound like a stuffed up asshole if asked about it, it's a cool interest

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Buck Strickland » Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:34 pm

What if I changed it to "weight lifting"? Or is "vegetarian cuisine" plus anything else related to health and fitness just the wrong answer?

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby PennBull » Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:26 pm

Buck Strickland wrote:What if I changed it to "weight lifting"? Or is "vegetarian cuisine" plus anything else related to health and fitness just the wrong answer?


weight lifting is fine

it's the generic nature of "exercise" that seems shitty

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby skers » Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:33 pm

Yeah, look these questions aren't hard. In the interests section you just want to have a few things that could reach a range of people to talk to. You can probably generalize what the personalities at a law firm are going to look like during interviews (some combo of boomers, broy/fratty dudes and females, nerdier types, instagrammers, people all about that culture, ect). Not everyone is going to want to talk about your interests or care, but with 4 things or so you can pretty much cover potentially everyone for something to bullshit about, unless you have something interesting on your resume they will otherwise want to bullshit about.

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby PennBull » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:02 pm

for reference, mine, which were brought up in 95% of interviews:

San Francisco 49ers Football, Utah Jazz basketball, playing saxophone, camping, fishing

Lots of people, men and women alike, loved the stories I had about why I am a 49ers/Jazz fan from Buffalo, anyone with any music inclination wanted to know what I was doing with my sax lately, and people liked to see I wasn't a standard from-the-burbs prep school dipshit with my outdoors activities

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby 20160810 » Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:45 pm

shadowofjazz wrote:Odds are you will interview with at least one person who follows sports in some regard, but you might not need to highlight something generic like "MLB" or "NFL" or fantasy on your resume. I walked into one office during a callback and there was an inflatable basketball hoop and a football field poster on the wall, my interviewer was the "Sports Guy" for the firm. He was in the middle of his fantasy football draft during my interview, and we talked draft picks the entire time.

I agree that specific should always prevail over generic here, but I think fantasy baseball (unlike fantasy football which everyone plays) is probably specific enough to be a good conversation starter.

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kalvano
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby kalvano » Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:46 am

JenDarby wrote:I think the further into your career you get, the weirder it gets to have an interests section. It makes a ton of sense for OCI and screeners and the like where interviewers are going through piles of resumes that generally look similar. Once you have legal experience though I think it becomes unnecessary. During law school I always had an interests section, but I would feel awkward sending out a resume with one if I were to look into switching jobs down the road.


I had to revise my resume earlier this year, and even with only a few months of actual legal work, an interests section definitely looked out of place. With a year or two in, I think you're absolutely correct and it should go. But by that time, you should have experiences to list and discuss, and skills that are (presumably) why you got the interview.

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Yardbird
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Yardbird » Wed Dec 10, 2014 4:28 am

PennBull wrote:for reference, mine, which were brought up in 95% of interviews:

San Francisco 49ers Football, Utah Jazz basketball, playing saxophone, camping, fishing

Lots of people, men and women alike, loved the stories I had about why I am a 49ers/Jazz fan from Buffalo, anyone with any music inclination wanted to know what I was doing with my sax lately, and people liked to see I wasn't a standard from-the-burbs prep school dipshit with my outdoors activities
Seriously, there are a shitton of saxophonists in law school. If only we could all follow in Joshua Redman's footsteps and turn down YLS and go on to arguably become the greatest tenor saxophonist of the modern era (not counting Brecker).

Buck Strickland
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Buck Strickland » Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:49 am

shadowofjazz wrote:
PennBull wrote:for reference, mine, which were brought up in 95% of interviews:

San Francisco 49ers Football, Utah Jazz basketball, playing saxophone, camping, fishing

Lots of people, men and women alike, loved the stories I had about why I am a 49ers/Jazz fan from Buffalo, anyone with any music inclination wanted to know what I was doing with my sax lately, and people liked to see I wasn't a standard from-the-burbs prep school dipshit with my outdoors activities
Seriously, there are a shitton of saxophonists in law school. If only we could all follow in Joshua Redman's footsteps and turn down YLS and go on to arguably become the greatest tenor saxophonist of the modern era (not counting Brecker).


:shock: I didn't know that about Joshua Redman.

Also, best post-Coltrane tenor player has gotta be Sun Ra's John Gilmore. :wink:

Anonymous User
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:16 am

I had multiple people tell me they skip right to the interests section on a resume and read it first.

I took a year off between law school to do a very unique "exprriment" l. Very bohemin but very relatable too.

My piece of advice is, if you did something unorthodox, add it to your resume in a pretty detailed but open ended short form sentence in your interests section. OCS was split on if I should even add it and it came up on 68/72 interviews and took about on average 8 minutes to talk about with most people reacting super positively because it was unique and interesting.


Also practice your story

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Scuppers » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:35 am

So it's too late for my summer apps (thanks a lot, CLS), but you guys have sold me on adding interests for future apps. So what about listing someone related to that field instead of the field itself?

Like instead of: Football, playing piano, writing screenplays

I put something like: Elway, Keith Jarrett, Tarantino

Asking about any of them leads into the general topic and other topics (Elway for fantasy football and because I was a QB in HS, Jarrett because I play piano, Tarantino because Pulp Fiction got me into it).

I didn't notice anyone else do that in these 9 pages except for the $100, $50, $20 guy, so maybe this is a bad strat.

wwwcol
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby wwwcol » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:45 am

Scuppers wrote:So it's too late for my summer apps (thanks a lot, CLS), but you guys have sold me on adding interests for future apps. So what about listing someone related to that field instead of the field itself?

Like instead of: Football, playing piano, writing screenplays

I put something like: Elway, Keith Jarrett, Tarantino

Asking about any of them leads into the general topic and other topics (Elway for fantasy football and because I was a QB in HS, Jarrett because I play piano, Tarantino because Pulp Fiction got me into it).

I didn't notice anyone else do that in these 9 pages except for the $100, $50, $20 guy, so maybe this is a bad strat.


Yeah it's a bad strat bc it comes across as creepy stalkerish (like who's intersted only in people?). The first list was fine, except football is kind of broad. Do you play flag or something? Or watch? If latter, NFL or college?




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