Interests section on resume?

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Anonymous User
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:38 pm

Scuba Diving, Travel, Intramural Athletics, Microfinance....

Do I have to elaborate on "travel" if I have a line in my UG education for study abroad? Or should I not even have that line? Concerned about spending an entire line just to say some of the countries I've been to.

Also, is "intramural athletics" more useless than just naming a sports team (or sport) I'm passionate about? What if I add co-captain of 'x' teams...does that help/hurt, or is it just plain dumb?

Finally, I'm sure this is WAY over-analyzing, but how do you think it plays to have a rival team of the market you're interested in. Say Cubs fan to STL, or a Sox Fan to NY? Could that actually be a negative?

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Finally, I'm sure this is WAY over-analyzing, but how do you think it plays to have a rival team of the market you're interested in. Say Cubs fan to STL, or a Sox Fan to NY? Could that actually be a negative?

I think this is mainly fine/a good opportunity to let the lawyers get in some good-natured teasing and show that you have a sense of humor etc. Maybe make an exception for those places that take these things way too seriously. Sox fan to NYC, probably okay; Yankees fan to Boston, maybe think twice.

Edit: Honestly, unless you think it might raise legitimate questions about your reasons for wanting to go to the market. Cubs fan interviewing in St. Louis might suggest someone who is from Chicago, likes Chicago, and would rather work in Chicago and is treating St. Louis as a backup.

But truthfully I don't think any of this matters much. What goes in your interest section should be determined mainly by what you are interested in. Sounds obvious, but the point is that these are the things you should be able to talk about in your interviews in depth and with enthusiasm. That's what matters most.

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Ozymandias
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Ozymandias » Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Scuba Diving, Travel, Intramural Athletics, Microfinance....

Do I have to elaborate on "travel" if I have a line in my UG education for study abroad? Or should I not even have that line? Concerned about spending an entire line just to say some of the countries I've been to.

Ozymandias wrote:But just saying "travel" is boring and kind of silly. Almost everyone I know loves to travel.

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 08, 2012 2:53 pm

Put me in the camp that never would have used an interests line without this post. I interviewed for public accounting, F500 corporate finance, and banking in undergrad and all 3 would have laughed about such a line. Usually this was something that came up during the natural conversation of the interview rather than being spelled out on the resume.

I have 2 high-quality, real-world post-college work experience summaries that are already cut down to minimal lines to fit education and my 1L position. Is it still worth cutting more from them if I don't have a great interests section? My resume is heavily tailored to a secondary market I don't want to end up back in, and my interests are related to sports and activities of that region. In my situation, should I leave them off rather than exhibit more ties to the secondary market?

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 08, 2012 4:53 pm

Ozymandias wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Scuba Diving, Travel, Intramural Athletics, Microfinance....

Do I have to elaborate on "travel" if I have a line in my UG education for study abroad? Or should I not even have that line? Concerned about spending an entire line just to say some of the countries I've been to.

Ozymandias wrote:But just saying "travel" is boring and kind of silly. Almost everyone I know loves to travel.


I agree that almost everyone "likes" to travel, but I think a far smaller minority have actually done all that much of it. Without sounding like a huge douche, what I'm really trying to say is not that I'm 'interested' in traveling, but that I've actually traveled fairly extensively (6 continents, bunch of countries). Is there anyway to say this without listing several? Frankly, I'd have little to say about quite a few of them.

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Ozymandias
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Ozymandias » Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Ozymandias wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Scuba Diving, Travel, Intramural Athletics, Microfinance....

Do I have to elaborate on "travel" if I have a line in my UG education for study abroad? Or should I not even have that line? Concerned about spending an entire line just to say some of the countries I've been to.

Ozymandias wrote:But just saying "travel" is boring and kind of silly. Almost everyone I know loves to travel.


I agree that almost everyone "likes" to travel, but I think a far smaller minority have actually done all that much of it. Without sounding like a huge douche, what I'm really trying to say is not that I'm 'interested' in traveling, but that I've actually traveled fairly extensively (6 continents, bunch of countries). Is there anyway to say this without listing several? Frankly, I'd have little to say about quite a few of them.

Look, put "travel" if you want. I'm just saying that every attorney I've spoken to about interests sections has said not to put anything generic like "reading" or "travel," and I've gotten a great response in interviews listing a specific country/culture. And I do think most interviewees have traveled.

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ilovesf
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby ilovesf » Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:09 pm

People wouldn't put travel under their interests unless they've ACTUALLY traveled. There are a lot of things I'm interested in doing in the future, but I'm not going to list them under my interests. Either elaborate, or don't expect anyone to ask you about it because it's too general to be interesting.

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby dixon02 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:21 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
I agree that almost everyone "likes" to travel, but I think a far smaller minority have actually done all that much of it. Without sounding like a huge douche, what I'm really trying to say is not that I'm 'interested' in traveling, but that I've actually traveled fairly extensively (6 continents, bunch of countries). Is there anyway to say this without listing several? Frankly, I'd have little to say about quite a few of them.


At the very least, I guess put international travel. But really, just pick an area you've been to multiple times or are particularly smitten with and put that. Who cares if it's not a perfect articulate of your interests. You're not creating a biography, you're trying to come up with talking points that will get you a job. Don't overthink it.

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:28 pm

Okay. Advice heeded, I've tweaked it. Follow up question, I was told by my OCS to do a "personal" section rather than "interests," so the way it's structured is:

1st line - certifications (from a previous finance life) and language(s)
2nd line - interests include: SCUBA diving, skydiving, Australia, intramural athletics (co-captain - x, y), microfinance.

Is this okay? In particular, should I replace the intramural stuff w/ a specific sport or sports team I'm knowledgeable about? Delete it altogether? I don't know if captaining intramural teams looks like an absolute joke or shows any initiative/leadership (though I'm starting to suspect the former the more I think about it).

Also, I tend to think skydiving is cool but (relatively) few people I know have done it, so I don't know if it's the kind of thing that would get any mileage (same goes for scuba diving, but to a lesser degree). Would I be better off putting something a bit more common that I can talk knowledgeably about (i.e., fantasy football)?

Suggestions/criticisms appreciated.

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby JCFindley » Sun Jul 08, 2012 10:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Okay. Advice heeded, I've tweaked it. Follow up question, I was told by my OCS to do a "personal" section rather than "interests," so the way it's structured is:

1st line - certifications (from a previous finance life) and language(s)
2nd line - interests include: SCUBA diving, skydiving, Australia, intramural athletics (co-captain - x, y), microfinance.

Is this okay? In particular, should I replace the intramural stuff w/ a specific sport or sports team I'm knowledgeable about? Delete it altogether? I don't know if captaining intramural teams looks like an absolute joke or shows any initiative/leadership (though I'm starting to suspect the former the more I think about it).

Also, I tend to think skydiving is cool but (relatively) few people I know have done it, so I don't know if it's the kind of thing that would get any mileage (same goes for scuba diving, but to a lesser degree). Would I be better off putting something a bit more common that I can talk knowledgeably about (i.e., fantasy football)?

Suggestions/criticisms appreciated.


I would think both skydiving and scuba are interesting even to people that haven't done it. And for those that have it is a more serious connection than general travel and such.

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby dixon02 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Okay. Advice heeded, I've tweaked it. Follow up question, I was told by my OCS to do a "personal" section rather than "interests," so the way it's structured is:

1st line - certifications (from a previous finance life) and language(s)
2nd line - interests include: SCUBA diving, skydiving, Australia, intramural athletics (co-captain - x, y), microfinance.

Is this okay? In particular, should I replace the intramural stuff w/ a specific sport or sports team I'm knowledgeable about? Delete it altogether? I don't know if captaining intramural teams looks like an absolute joke or shows any initiative/leadership (though I'm starting to suspect the former the more I think about it).

Also, I tend to think skydiving is cool but (relatively) few people I know have done it, so I don't know if it's the kind of thing that would get any mileage (same goes for scuba diving, but to a lesser degree). Would I be better off putting something a bit more common that I can talk knowledgeably about (i.e., fantasy football)?

Suggestions/criticisms appreciated.


This looks good to me. Agreed with above poster that scuba/skydiving are interesting things and are sure to draw some questions. Doesn't seem too risky to me to put on there. I also think intramural sports is a good one, and nothing wrong with writing you're a captain. Like you said, shows leadership, but also shows that you legitimately spend time playing sports and are not just putting filler in your resume. No firm is going to see that you are the captain of a flag football team and think "this guy's a leader." But they will see someone who makes being active and involved a priority; that's a good thing.

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Postby bloobook » Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:03 am

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Last edited by bloobook on Fri Jul 27, 2012 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby cinephile » Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:35 am

bloobook wrote:My opinion/info from the career center: Your resume should be one page. If you have room for interests in addition to your work experience, activity in school organizations, and your education information, you're probably missing something vital.

I think a better approach is to indicate a professional/academic organization you're involved in that relates to your interests, so you have an opportunity to bring them up if the interviewer is interested. But merely having an "interests" section seems unprofessional.


The point of the interests section is to show that you're relatable and gives the interviewer something fun to talk about. If you're listing more professional and academic organizations, then you can't demonstrate that you're human and capable of having a life outside of work/school.

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Ozymandias » Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:37 am

bloobook wrote: If you have room for interests in addition to your work experience, activity in school organizations, and your education information, you're probably missing something vital.

Completely disagree, and my interests section has been vital to my interviews.

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby emkay625 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:44 am

Related question - what to put for interests?

I feel like mine are fairly general OR lame/unrelateable: cooking, working out, acting/watching live theatre, watching college football.

how can i make these sound better?

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Bildungsroman » Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:23 am

bloobook wrote:My opinion/info from the career center: Your resume should be one page. If you have room for interests in addition to your work experience, activity in school organizations, and your education information, you're probably missing something vital.

I think a better approach is to indicate a professional/academic organization you're involved in that relates to your interests, so you have an opportunity to bring them up if the interviewer is interested. But merely having an "interests" section seems unprofessional.

Literally every 2L and 3L I've talked with about applying/interviewing said that their own interests section was vital and very useful during the interviews. But to be fair, they're jus dozens of people with recent first-hand experience and successful outcomes. I'm sure the middle-aged non-lawyers in your career services office have better info.

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby dixon02 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:43 am

emkay625 wrote:Related question - what to put for interests?

I feel like mine are fairly general OR lame/unrelateable: cooking, working out, acting/watching live theatre, watching college football.

how can i make these sound better?


Any particular style of cooking? (French, Italian, desserts, etc...if not, pick your favorite that you could talk about if asked). Working out is probably not worth putting on a resume if it's just going to the gym. If it's running or triathlons or something like that, go for it. Live theater seems fine. Any favorite college football team or conference that you prefer to watch? Your interests are generally fine, just make them a little more specific.

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby lolwat » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:07 am

My opinion/info from the career center: Your resume should be one page. If you have room for interests in addition to your work experience, activity in school organizations, and your education information, you're probably missing something vital.


Having an interests section once you graduate from law school can be a different question (which I'd like some insight about if possible, since I'm in this boat). But while you're in law school, you should have one.

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby notedgarfigaro » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:17 am

bloobook wrote:My opinion/info from the career center: Your resume should be one page. If you have room for interests in addition to your work experience, activity in school organizations, and your education information, you're probably missing something vital.

I think a better approach is to indicate a professional/academic organization you're involved in that relates to your interests, so you have an opportunity to bring them up if the interviewer is interested. But merely having an "interests" section seems unprofessional.


To echo everyone else, you're wrong.

Even more telling, there are precious few people currently in law school who has a resume full enough with "vital" information that could not fit an interests section on their resume without going over 1 page.

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby JCFindley » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:49 am

notedgarfigaro wrote:
bloobook wrote:My opinion/info from the career center: Your resume should be one page. If you have room for interests in addition to your work experience, activity in school organizations, and your education information, you're probably missing something vital.

I think a better approach is to indicate a professional/academic organization you're involved in that relates to your interests, so you have an opportunity to bring them up if the interviewer is interested. But merely having an "interests" section seems unprofessional.


To echo everyone else, you're wrong.

Even more telling, there are precious few people currently in law school who has a resume full enough with "vital" information that could not fit an interests section on their resume without going over 1 page.


There are some. Mine is two pages and at that it is trimmed down.

I get where you are coming from Bloo. I would never have imagined putting an interests section on a resume and to be honest would have thought of it as "filler" if I had reviewed one in a previous job.

That said, this is a whole new game for me. I have never been in a job market where interviewers came to school and had to read through dozens of resumes that ALL look basically the same. I can see how an interviewer would get bored stiff looking at that many cookie cutter resumes where really the only difference is a smattering of different WE and the "interests" section. As I understand this, and correct me if I am wrong, the interviewers are going to be looking only at people who are between X and Y in class rank. That means most of the resumes will even have similar grades and probably similar lines about LR and secondary journals. Prior WE may or may not be all that interesting so that leaves the interest section as the one section that will appreciably vary between applicants and actually be an interesting subject that is different for each applicant.

I am still not dead sure the fact that I am an SEC NCAA football fanatic will make or brake a deal but hey, it's one line. So long as it doesn't scream unprofessional I don't see where it will hurt. (If most people are doing it then it shouldn't stand out poorly BTW)

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby lolwat » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:47 am

The only way your resume should be 2 pages is if you had a lot of relevant WE prior to law school. You wouldn't even want to put ALL of your WE unless they're all relevant, the only exception being if you have so little WE that working at a fast-food restaurant might make it on there anyway. Regardless, that's fine and is actually one of the few exceptions to the heavily-suggested 1-page resumes. Mine's 2 pages now after graduating because of 1L job, 2L job, post-graduate jobs, and upcoming clerkship. Even so, the second page is still only about a half page and this is after breaking up things into separate lines so the second page isn't like 4 lines long. Trimming is very easy to do.

Interests that a lot of people can relate to gets you past the fit test. Which, by the time you get to interviews, is more or less what a lot of people will be looking for. Getting the interview in the first place already means you're qualified based on grades/LR/etc.

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Gorki » Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:48 pm

Great advice in this thread.

I was wondering whether I should put down my favorite type of music, or if I should only put music in my interests if I actually compose or produce that type of music. Would it be awkward to have the question raised when all I can do is list off my favorite musicians and why I like them/concerts and performances I have attended?

Also, if I were to list "Bicycling, kayaking" is this specific enough? Should I be pointing out specific trips or competitions I have participated in? I really enjoy both activities but I am by no means D1/Olympic tier as some in this thread have suggested. Is it okay to have these when my interest is mostly leisure?

Thanks.

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cinephile
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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby cinephile » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:19 pm

Gorki wrote:Also, if I were to list "Bicycling, kayaking" is this specific enough? Should I be pointing out specific trips or competitions I have participated in? I really enjoy both activities but I am by no means D1/Olympic tier as some in this thread have suggested. Is it okay to have these when my interest is mostly leisure?

Thanks.


I think that's fine. I'm not a great salsa dancer, but it's something I enjoy doing. As long as you can talk about it with someone, I think that's what counts.

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:23 pm

cinephile wrote:
Gorki wrote:Also, if I were to list "Bicycling, kayaking" is this specific enough? Should I be pointing out specific trips or competitions I have participated in? I really enjoy both activities but I am by no means D1/Olympic tier as some in this thread have suggested. Is it okay to have these when my interest is mostly leisure?

Thanks.


I think that's fine. I'm not a great salsa dancer, but it's something I enjoy doing. As long as you can talk about it with someone, I think that's what counts.


Agreed. If you can be more specific, go for it (river kayaking (apologize if that sounds stupid, not up to date on kayak lingo)? mountain biking? etc.). If not, they're fine and get the point across.

Also think a musical interest is fine. Sounds like you're pretty familiar with the artist's catalog and have been to some shows. That's certainly enough to talk about if asked.

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Re: Interests section on resume?

Postby AVBucks4239 » Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:27 pm

I read the entire thread and the gist of what I got is to be specific enough to get a conversation started.

The guy who posted, "Benjamin Franklin, Ulysses S. Grant, and Andrew Jackson" struck a chord cause I'm a history dork as well. My favorite topic by a mile is the Civil War.

I'm also a huge sports fan. Like I probably care way too much, but that's me. And I know it's something I could talk for hours about and could answer any question with confidence. I'm a huge huge huge Ohio State fan and also cheer for all the hometown (Cleveland) pro teams. Enough for two sections?

Lastly, I like to travel domestically but I've never been abroad. Within the last three years, I've been to Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Boston, Austin, Phoenix, and I don't even remember a few others. How do I express this?

Right now, I have:

Interests: The Civil War, college football, domestic traveling.

Should I have any of the following:

Interests: The Civil War, college football, Cleveland sports, domestic traveling.
Interests: The Civil War, Ohio State football, Cleveland sports, domestic traveling.
Interests: The Civil War, sports, domestic traveling.




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