Cover Letter & Resume Questions (with a poll!)

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Which cover letter intro?

"I am a rising second year..." - Include undergrad GPA (3.7).
1
5%
"I am a rising second year..." - DON'T include undergrad GPA.
11
55%
"As a rising second year student ranked #X at XYZ..." - Include undergrad GPA.
3
15%
"As a rising second year student ranked #X at XYZ..." - DON'T include undergrad GPA.
5
25%
 
Total votes: 20

.375 H&H Mag.
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:13 am

Cover Letter & Resume Questions (with a poll!)

Postby .375 H&H Mag. » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:35 pm

TWO quick questions as I'm finalizing my application materials:
1) For my cover letter introduction, which is better?
a) "I am a rising second year student at XYZ, and am applying..."
b) "As a rising second year student ranked #X at XYZ, I am applying..."
*My career services adviser recommends the second, but I'm worried I'll come across as a d-bag for putting my rank so prominently, when its already in my resume. However, I worked hard to get it, it's my best selling point at a lot of firms that otherwise wouldn't consider me, so why not?
2) Should I include my undergrad GPA of 3.7? (I went to a nationally respected, non-Ivy private college.)
Thanks for any advice!

MissMock
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:35 am

Re: Cover Letter & Resume Questions (with a poll!)

Postby MissMock » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:23 am

If you go with option a, you need to do one of two things:

I am a rising second year student at XYZ, and I am applying...
OR
I am a rising second year student at XYZ and am applying...


If you are using a coordinating conjunction (and) to seperate two INDEPENDENT clauses, then you use a comma. If the second part is not an independent clause, no comma.

Hope this helps!
Last edited by MissMock on Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SchopenhauerFTW
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Re: Cover Letter & Resume Questions (with a poll!)

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:34 am

I think if a mod moved this to the employment forum you would get a lot more help.

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

Re: Cover Letter & Resume Questions (with a poll!)

Postby dixon02 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:48 am

Are you talking about including your undergrad GPA in your cover letter or your resume? Do not put it in your cover letter. If you're talking about your resume, it's really not like to make an impact either way. It's probably high enough that you have nothing to lose. Did you receive Latin honors? If so, I would just put that on there and let it speak for itself without the actual number.

Also, the above grammar correction is correct. Do not use a comma to join an independent and subordinate clause. Either add a subject to the second clause or get rid of the comma.

.375 H&H Mag.
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:13 am

Re: Cover Letter & Resume Questions (with a poll!)

Postby .375 H&H Mag. » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:52 pm

dixon02 wrote:Are you talking about including your undergrad GPA in your cover letter or your resume? Do not put it in your cover letter. If you're talking about your resume, it's really not like to make an impact either way. It's probably high enough that you have nothing to lose. Did you receive Latin honors? If so, I would just put that on there and let it speak for itself without the actual number.

Also, the above grammar correction is correct. Do not use a comma to join an independent and subordinate clause. Either add a subject to the second clause or get rid of the comma.

Yeah, I realize that was confusing in the poll. No, I wouldn't put the undergrad GPA in the cover letter. So it would only be in the resume. I imagine a 3.7 is not going to sway anyone one way or the other, but I do worry about having it looked down on more than I think it would be a boost. Thanks.

r6_philly
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Re: Cover Letter & Resume Questions (with a poll!)

Postby r6_philly » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:22 pm

Did you get latin? If so put the latin on there.

jsgrunwald
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Re: Cover Letter & Resume Questions (with a poll!)

Postby jsgrunwald » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:48 pm

I would definitely mention the GPA in the resume, not the cover letter of course.

The GPA is respectable enough (and from a decent enough university) to be worth it. I probably wouldn't put it under my top "bullet points" (if you make your resume with a quick 'tag lines' at the beginning). But I would definitely put it under your Academic Achievements. Obviously chronologically.

Say, Law School Ranking, GPA
Law Related Work (summers, internships, experience, Law Review obviously)
Law School Extracurriculars (clubs, moot court, etc)
Any other experience worth noting that you did during your law years (like an internship at something non-law related)
College Name, Major, GPA
Any other experience you did BEFORE law school (internships during undergrad, etc)
Collegiate activities (keep it short..if there's anything that really stands out..that would be applicable at a higher level. The coed softball team that met Sunday Afternoons..no; but maybe the political or legally related club you started)

r6_philly
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Re: Cover Letter & Resume Questions (with a poll!)

Postby r6_philly » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:56 pm

jsgrunwald wrote:I would definitely mention the GPA in the resume, not the cover letter of course.

The GPA is respectable enough (and from a decent enough university) to be worth it. I probably wouldn't put it under my top "bullet points" (if you make your resume with a quick 'tag lines' at the beginning). But I would definitely put it under your Academic Achievements. Obviously chronologically.


That depends on the school. At T10 schools that would be way below median UGPA.

jsgrunwald
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 6:42 pm

Re: Cover Letter & Resume Questions (with a poll!)

Postby jsgrunwald » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:03 pm

That depends on the school. At T10 schools that would be way below median UGPA.


True. But I assume if he's in law school, it was good enough to get into whatever law school he's currently enrolled in.. I guess the biggest determination would be the degree. If it's a single degree in a soft..like Sociology..don't put it. If it's a tough science or engineering, it's probably worth it. So...guess that's a question for the OP to figure. (Or somehow write it like "3.7 cumulative GPA over 165 credits of writing- and research- intensive courses.")

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

Re: Cover Letter & Resume Questions (with a poll!)

Postby r6_philly » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:09 pm

jsgrunwald wrote:
That depends on the school. At T10 schools that would be way below median UGPA.


True. But I assume if he's in law school, it was good enough to get into whatever law school he's currently enrolled in.. I guess the biggest determination would be the degree. If it's a single degree in a soft..like Sociology..don't put it. If it's a tough science or engineering, it's probably worth it. So...guess that's a question for the OP to figure. (Or somehow write it like "3.7 cumulative GPA over 165 credits of writing- and research- intensive courses.")


It really depends on what job OP is applying for. For biglaw, most T14 students have better UG GPA, so there is no benefit putting it on the resume. Say OP is #1 at a T50. There is no reason to put a 3.7 out there because it will weaken his candidacy when viewed against T14 students (even ones with low LS rank). But if OP is competing with T3 law students for a job, then he should probably put it on there because it will be better than the other candidates and add to his strength.

That's why it's best to just put honor on there. It looks like an honor, and people can't figure out what you really got so they can compare.

.375 H&H Mag.
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:13 am

Re: Cover Letter & Resume Questions (with a poll!)

Postby .375 H&H Mag. » Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:02 am

r6_philly wrote:
jsgrunwald wrote:
That depends on the school. At T10 schools that would be way below median UGPA.


True. But I assume if he's in law school, it was good enough to get into whatever law school he's currently enrolled in.. I guess the biggest determination would be the degree. If it's a single degree in a soft..like Sociology..don't put it. If it's a tough science or engineering, it's probably worth it. So...guess that's a question for the OP to figure. (Or somehow write it like "3.7 cumulative GPA over 165 credits of writing- and research- intensive courses.")


It really depends on what job OP is applying for. For biglaw, most T14 students have better UG GPA, so there is no benefit putting it on the resume. Say OP is #1 at a T50. There is no reason to put a 3.7 out there because it will weaken his candidacy when viewed against T14 students (even ones with low LS rank). But if OP is competing with T3 law students for a job, then he should probably put it on there because it will be better than the other candidates and add to his strength.

That's why it's best to just put honor on there. It looks like an honor, and people can't figure out what you really got so they can compare.


This just about sums it up. I'm at a T30, applying V10-V50, so I'll definitely be competing with the best and the brightest, who presumably had higher GPAs. Latin honors was a 3.8 at my undergrad, so I'll probably just leave it off, and stop fretting about such a minor point.
Thanks all.




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