Content of a Resume
Put your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address at the top of your resume (the members of Graduate Career and Professional Development recommend that you use your Georgetown Law e-mail account). Include your work (if applicable) and your home telephone numbers. If you are applying to employers in your home state, you may wish to include both your school and permanent addresses.
Note: You should include all identifying information required in the posting. For example, some government employers will require that you include your Social Security Number (SSN) or at least the last four digits. Just follow the guidelines provided by the employer in the posting.
Job Objective or References
Legal resumes do not include job objectives or references.
List your current (Georgetown Law) education first and proceed in reverse chronological order (e.g., legal education, graduate institution, and undergraduate institution). For each institution, indicate the month and year of graduation or expected graduation (not years in attendance) and the degree obtained or expected.
Under law school education, indicate grades if appropriate (see below), honors, activities, journal, clinic and research projects.
For other educational subheadings, include information about your academic achievements, organizational memberships and any other information closely related to your educational background. If relevant, briefly describe research projects or theses.
Describe any honors you received if not self-explanatory. If you attended a summer abroad program, you can describe it in a separate listing or as a category directly under the undergraduate or graduate listing.
The level of importance placed on law school grades can vary greatly among employers. For example, grades are often a significant consideration for large law firms, and at least one consideration for small and medium firms and federal government agencies. Conversely, public interest employers, whether or not they are interested in grades, are usually more interested in activities and experience that demonstrate a commitment to public interest.
Should you include your law school grades on your resume?
The answer depends on:
- The type of employer; and
- What your grades are.
For most private sector employers and government agencies, your Grade Point Average (GPA) should be stated if it is a 3.0 or above. If it is below a 3.0, consult with a Graduate Career and Professional Development advisor about whether to include it and how to respond to questions about grades during interviews.
For public interest employers, the decision about including your GPA probably will depend on what it is and how much a particular employer values academic performance.
List your GPA as it appears on your transcript -- DO NOT round up or down. If your grades improve over time, you might consider breaking down your GPA by semester or year to reflect the improvement.
Law school honors (Dean's List, scholarships, etc.) should be listed. You should indicate if you are in the top third, top 15% or top 10%, but only if you have received confirmation that you fall within the particular category.
By using the term "experience" as opposed to "employment," you may include volunteer work, clinic experience, and internships in this category.
List your experience in reverse chronological order, beginning with the most recent position. It is not necessary to include every part-time job you have held. For each position, include the name of the employer, the location of the position, your job title and the dates of employment, including months and year.
Include significant and/or relevant part-time or summer employment. Write a brief statement using action verbs to describe your responsibilities and accomplishments.
Resist the temptation to begin every position description with "responsibilities included."
Do not leave big time gaps on your resume.
Specialty Categories (Languages, Community Service, Interests, Bar Memberships)
The purpose of these categories is to highlight particular skills, relevant activities, personal interests or other unique items. Fluency or proficiency in a language should always be included in your resume, preferably in a separate "Language Skills" category.
Volunteer activities indicate community involvement and commitment, and they are particularly useful if directly relevant to positions for which you are applying.
Personal interests are usually included to spark conversation or "break the ice" during interviews. Whether or not you should include a personal interest section generally depends on the type of employer you are targeting (e.g., public interest employers generally do not focus on applicants' personal interests). If you choose to include an interests section, be specific, and only include items that you can discuss comfortably and in that you were recently engaged (e.g., running marathons, reading Russian literature).
We recommend that you also include a "Bar Membership" section listing the date of admission, if applicable.
Do not include overly general interests, such as reading or traveling.
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