Baum Stevens Bargman

YOUR RESUME By David Bargman

David BargmanComment

The purpose of a resume is to induce the employer to interview you.  Therefore, good resumes are factual, not descriptive.  Your resume should recount your education and experience.  Stay away from general descriptions of yourself since  they do not give your potential employer useful information about you. Separate clearly your education and professional experience.  As a rule of thumb, if you are fewer than 4 years post J.D., you should place your education first.  After that your professional experience becomes most relevant.  Summer jobs in law school and Clerkships are jobs, internships and research projects are education and should be designated as such.  Your resume tells your prospective employer whether you are qualified for a job and you are using it to get in the door.

Do not use your resume to persuade anyone.   Interviewing will determine whether you are the right person for the job.  As Joe Friday [look him up on Google] used to say, “Just the facts Ma’am.” Furthermore, the origins of the “rule” that a resume should be one page are lost in the mists of time. If your job history or list of representative transactions or cases requires more than one page, provide all of the relevant history without regard to space.  While you never, never, omit anything relevant [such as a job so as to  avoid seeming like a jumper], you need not include a G.P.A or class rank unless that will reduce your chances of being interviewed for a job for which you are qualified. Of course, the resume needs to be legible without using a magnifying glass so use a font that is easy to read . Finally technical or personal information (admissions, interests outside the law, and languages, unless a job requirement) should be at the bottom of your resume.

When it comes to your resume less is more and a little goes a long way.  

David Bargman is President of Baum Stevens Bargman, a legal search consultancy.  He works with lawyers on placement, marketing and career development