The résumé has one purpose: Produce a job interview. The purpose of preparing a résumé
is to present yourself to a prospective employer at a glance. (Note: Employers often scan résumés
in 20-30 seconds. Yours must survive the evaluating scan.) The résumé should contain positive
information about your professional self.
The résumé is often your first introduction to an employer and is therefore vital as that
important first impression. It is well worth the time and money it may cost you to compile a
professional, comprehensive résumé. Once an effective résumé has brought you into personal
contact with an employer, you must sell yourself. However, no student should miss out on an
employment opportunity because of an inadequate résumé.
A good résumé is concise and brief. It must be devoid of grammatical, typographical and
spelling errors. Abbreviations should not be used unless their meaning is clear. A résumé
should be attractively arranged on a standard size page. Single-page résumés are ideal, though
two-page résumés may also be used, provided that the information and data are pertinent.
Remember that too much detail or irrelevant information will detract from the effectiveness of
the résumé. Résumés must contain only information that is true and accurate. Information other
than this is a violation of the Honor Code.
Be consistent in wording, usage, syntax, abbreviations, grammar, punctuation, margins
and print style. Waste no words. Avoid "I did" sentences. Begin your employment entries with
assertive, active verbs.
Do not send photocopied copies.
Include an address, email and phone number (avoid cutesy or long telephone answering-
machine messages, as well as inappropriate email addresses!) at which you can be reached. Law
students have lost second interviews when employers, who have phoned to schedule call-back
interviews, were so turned off by the answering-machine message that they elected not to leave a
message and called someone else.
Proofread, have a friend proofread, and proofread again! Errors are fatal flaws and
Keep track of résumés you send by listing them on the Record of Employment Contacts
pages in this Manual or starting a spreadsheet. For each résumé you distribute, note the name of
the employer, the date, the person addressed (if sent with a cover letter), and any additional
information you may need for future reference. As you receive replies, note the date received
and whether they require further action on your part. It’s also an easy way to stay organized, so
you can follow up. Always keep copies of your correspondence and the responses received.
Two sample résumés are included in this manual. If you have any questions concerning
the composition of your résumé, set up an appointment with the staff in the Career Development