thecactus wrote:I think the biggest red flag on my resume is that I've worked as a rape crises counselor before coming to law school. IMO this doesn't compromise my dedication to becoming a PD in the slightest, but I know it will come off that way. Every interview I've had, I've been asked about it. So far I think I've been okay at spinning that experience positively, but I need a killer answer.
How long did you have the job, and under what circumstances? Because if it was anything other than your full-time, paid job for several years, I'd just leave it off your resume. If it was while you were in school, or part-time, or for less than a year or two, just leave it off your resume and don't tell anyone about it. Your resume is not a list of everything you've ever done in your life; it's a marketing document designed to highlight the things you have done that most qualify you for the job to which you are applying. This does not fall into that category, so unless it's going to create a suspicious gap in your experience, just don't tell anyone.
Because honestly, while it's something you can get around with a clever answer, it's always going to be a liability. It's always going to be a negative that you have that other candidates don't.
If you have to leave it on because it would create a huge gap, I'd say something about how you thought you wanted to work with victims, but when you got into the family court system, you realized that it's all a huge mess with no clear victims or perpetrators, and you want to fight for the people everyone else thinks are the bad guys, the underdogs, rather than the folks everyone already feels sympathy for. I wouldn't try to spin it as valuable PD experience; it's not, and that sounds like an excuse or a rationalization. Just acknowledge that it was something different from what you thought it would be, and that it won't get in your way.
But honestly, if you can avoid it altogether, do that. In my experience, no one will ask about any gap in your resume less than two years or about any time in college or before college when you weren't working.