Some schools, including Chicago, Duke, and Texas, require a resume; most of the others welcome one. It is generally advisable that you submit one, particularly if you have had substantial work experience. A resume allows you to frame how your experience and progress are viewed, so take advantage of the opportunity. For law school purposes, there is nothing magical about one style of resume versus another. As long as you convey the right information in easily readable (and skimmable) form, you will be fine. Keep a few rules in mind.
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Basic Resume Rules
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- Assume that people will spend only 30 seconds on your resume. Therefore, keep to one page, unless you are an academician doing a C.V. or have already been Secretary of State.
- Emphasize important points rather than try to list everything you have ever done. Less tends to be more for resume purposes; it shows that you can prioritize and organize.
- Emphasize achievements, providing quantitative or tangible proof of your results whenever possible.
- For jobs you wish to describe in detail, consider separating responsibilities (which you can put in an introductory paragraph form) from your achievements (which you can list as bullet points).
- Use "resume-speak"—phrases rather than full sentences.
- Make sure your resume is visually appealing: It should not be so crammed with material that it puts someone off.
- Your resume should be skimmable for main points, including career progress and interests, within 15 to 30 seconds.
- The space devoted to a topic should reflect its importance.
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See 6 Things Attorneys and Law Students Need to Remove from Their Resumes ASAP If They Want to Get Jobs with the Most Prestigious Law Firms for more information.
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