Resume Essentials and Tips

Resumes can be tough. How do you bring about your personality, accomplishments, and hard work on just a sheet of paper? Although an interview or personal statement is where you can really show off who you are, it's the resume that helps get you to the point that you're invited in to interview or have your personal statement read over.

Make sure to spend time on your resume while working on your law school applications, even though it may be slightly less important than your LSAT, undergraduate GPA, and personal statement.

What to Include on Your Resume

It can be hard to try and filter your life down to just one piece of plain computer paper (thank goodness law school application resumes can be more than one page!). Here's what you should try to include on your resume:


Be sure to include your name, address, phone number, and email address at the top of your resume.


Next up is your education. Be sure to include the name of your undergraduate college, your anticipated or actual graduation date, the degree you earned/are earning, your GPA, and any minors or certificates you earned as well.

Honors and Awards

Under here you should list any scholarships, awards, honors, etc. that you received. For example, I included my semesters on the Dean's List, the scholarships I received throughout my time in undergrad, and my two awards from student organizations I participated in. 

Job Experience

This is where you include your relevant job experiences. as well as brief descriptions of your job duties. On my resume, I list my job I held throughout college, my two internships, and the job I currently have.

Leadership Experience

Demonstrating that you can be a leader is important to law schools, so it's super important to include this section on your resume. Instead of listing every organization you were a part of, list the ones where you held an office or position. It's better to have a list of a few organizations you were very involved in over a long list of groups you barely participated in. 

Volunteer Experience

This is where you can put any volunteer work you were involved in. I included my two years as a leader for the first-year student welcome program, my time as a Spanish tutor, and my involvement as a member of a philanthropy group that raised money for pediatric cancer patients and their families.

International Experience

If you've ever had the chance to study abroad, hold an internship or a job in a different country, etc., make sure to include this on your resume, too.

Basic Example Resume:

Resume Tips

Here are a few of my essential resume tips to help take your resume to the next level. 

1. Get rid of fluff

Keep things simple. Not only does extra wording take up space that you could be using to get across important information, but it also demonstrates that your writing skills may not be as good as they could be. 

2. Use power verbs

Power verbs demonstrate what you did in a position with great description. Put them in past tense (even for a position you currently hold) and try not to use the same verbs throughout your resume. You can find some examples from my alma mater's career center here to help you while writing your resume. 

3. Include only relevant details

One of my duties for a position I held for an organization in college involved looking over resumes, and let me tell you, including information from high school or something that doesn't belong on a resume does not look good. That is something that many people would see and judge your resume and you based off it immediately. Stay focused. More bullet points does not mean a stronger resume.

4. Don't rush through writing it

Take your time with your resume. Like I mentioned above, in the scheme of law school admissions, the resume isn't as important as your LSAT score or undergraduate GPA, but you should still spend time working on it as good as you can. Writing a few drafts can be helpful to narrow down your resume into something you want to show off.

5. Get feedback

After spending so much time focused on your resume, it might be hard for you to notice mistakes. Having somebody else look it over will bring up issues you may not have noticed and will allow you to make your resume even better.




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