Should you place personal interests on Resumes?

(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.
Connor Benz
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:49 pm

Should you place personal interests on Resumes?

Postby Connor Benz » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:56 pm

Should you place personal interests on your resume? I was told that you should and that you shouldn't. Even if I could, I can't fit it on my resume which leads me to my next question. Should I remove a minuscule job off my resume? For example, I worked a Nordstrom for a month or two before school started. It does not speak to my skills that I could actually use in a office - besides customer service. Therefore, I do not know it I should leave it on. I figured it is just taking up space and it is not impressive.

User avatar
brotherdarkness
Posts: 3254
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:11 pm

Re: Should you place personal interests on Resumes?

Postby brotherdarkness » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:01 pm

.
Last edited by brotherdarkness on Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

arodtoo
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:42 am

Re: Should you place personal interests on Resumes?

Postby arodtoo » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:02 pm

I would include an interest section. It provides a great conversation starter if nothing else catches the interviewer's eye. The interviewer can only see so many similar legal jobs and talk about them for so long. You have a greater chance of making a connection with some type of interest section. It may not always catch the interviewer's eye, but the value of when it does definitely makes it worthwhile. Just be careful to not have stereotypical, non-unique interests. Make them something specific and something you are actually interested in.

As for the minuscule jobs, I'd definitely take off something you did for a couple of months to make room for an interests section. Working at Nordstroms for a couple of months doesn't speak to your ability and you likely won't get any questions about it.

Connor Benz
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:49 pm

Re: Should you place personal interests on Resumes?

Postby Connor Benz » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:05 pm

arodtoo wrote:I would include an interest section. It provides a great conversation starter if nothing else catches the interviewer's eye. The interviewer can only see so many similar legal jobs and talk about them for so long. You have a greater chance of making a connection with some type of interest section. It may not always catch the interviewer's eye, but the value of when it does definitely makes it worthwhile. Just be careful to not have stereotypical, non-unique interests. Make them something specific and something you are actually interested in.

As for the minuscule jobs, I'd definitely take off something you did for a couple of months to make room for an interests section. Working at Nordstroms for a couple of months doesn't speak to your ability and you likely won't get any questions about it.



I don't have any unique interests :( If anything, I would place baseball and that is about it - maybe cooking. I also modeled for 4 years throughout undergrad and this won't speak to my abilities as well, but it is the longest job I had before law school.

User avatar
BarbellDreams
Posts: 2256
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:10 pm

Re: Should you place personal interests on Resumes?

Postby BarbellDreams » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:08 pm

Yes, you should. Zero chance it backfires unless you put something controversial and has a solid chance to start conversation. I have ALWAYS been asked about at least one thing in my interest section. Literally every interview.

dkb17xzx
Posts: 405
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:25 pm

Re: Should you place personal interests on Resumes?

Postby dkb17xzx » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:10 pm

Yes...definitely do. very important for conversations.

if you decide to put something unique, make sure you can talk about it coherently and competently.

Connor Benz
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:49 pm

Re: Should you place personal interests on Resumes?

Postby Connor Benz » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:13 pm

BarbellDreams wrote:Yes, you should. Zero chance it backfires unless you put something controversial and has a solid chance to start conversation. I have ALWAYS been asked about at least one thing in my interest section. Literally every interview.



What are some of your interests - if you don't mind stating them (I know how anal some law students can be about even small stuff)


User avatar
bearsfan23
Posts: 1529
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:19 pm

Re: Should you place personal interests on Resumes?

Postby bearsfan23 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:31 pm

Definitely agree with what's been said.

No matter what your career services tells you, absolutely put an interests section on your resume. I'm just a 1L but for all the 1L summer interviews I've had so far I've been asked and spent a good portion of the time about something in that section.

The worst thing it can do is just not matter, but it also may help you really connect with an interviewer. Just don't put anything really general, i.e. traveling or watching tv

TooOld4This
Posts: 638
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:09 am

Re: Should you place personal interests on Resumes?

Postby TooOld4This » Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:42 am

Interest sections are white space fillers for people without experience. They are also crutches for interviewers. They aren't worth worrying about, other than to make sure you don't put something offensive or controversial in them. Put one in, leave it out -- it's not going to be outcome determinative.

BostonLove
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:52 pm

Re: Should you place personal interests on Resumes?

Postby BostonLove » Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:54 am

bearsfan23 wrote:Just don't put anything really general, i.e. traveling or watching tv


If you want to put travel, you can, but be more specific - list recent trips or something about the travel (like if you travel to climb mountains or something). Not the same for watching tv, though.

I agree with putting interests, but they should be relatively specific and not possibly controversial. I've also heard that you should treat it similarly to your school involvement - don't include religious or political groups; if you are female, don't include things that make you sound like Suzy Homemaker (I don't put cooking/baking on my resume for this reason); etc. It's sad, but I've heard this from a lot of people who conduct interviews in addition to career services.

User avatar
starrydreamz3
Posts: 677
Joined: Sat May 05, 2007 11:42 am

Re: Should you place personal interests on Resumes?

Postby starrydreamz3 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:11 am

My career services was pretty adamant that interests sections are normally necessary, but shouldn't be included for Public Interest jobs. So firms/in-house definitely, government/non-profit no. Take that for what you will.

User avatar
kd5
Posts: 53
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:57 am

Re: Should you place personal interests on Resumes?

Postby kd5 » Sun Jan 26, 2014 5:22 pm

One hiring partner told me I was picked (off the alternates pile) for an OCI screener inverview because of one of the interests I listed, and then I got a CB and SA offer from that same firm. I'll be an associate there next year.

I got asked about my interests in almost every single interview I had (20+ screeners, most of the interviewers at each of four CBs), and had options at the end of the OCI process, despite no LR and weak local connections (grades in the top 15-20% range at a T20).

People either asked about what exactly the interest entailed or brought it up because they shared the interest and seemed excited to talk about it. It gave me a chance to show I had social skills and could carry a conversation.

Everyone else who has advised avoiding being too general ("travel" or "working out," etc.) is totally correct. If that's what you're going to use the line for, don't bother. But absolutely add an "interests" line with 2-4 items if you have specific interests. Just be sure that you can talk enthusiastically about each interest for at least 30 seconds without getting awkward and that you can be interesting while you're talking about it (even to someone who knows little/nothing about the interest).

The interest I got all the questions about wasn't anything magical, but it was specific enough that it would likely out me if anyone from my firm's recruiting committee was browsing here, so PM me if you're that curious. The important thing about it was that it was specific and said something about my personality.

BostonLove
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:52 pm

Re: Should you place personal interests on Resumes?

Postby BostonLove » Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:01 pm

I'd also add that I think interest sections are more important when you have less work experience, but it is a good section to have no matter what. I did not discuss my interests in all of my interviews as others did (but I talked a lot about my related experience in those interviews) but they were definitely useful for breaking the ice in some interviews.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.