Alumni Resume Guide

General Advice

  • Recent graduates should limit their resumes to one page. Alumni with extensive experience may extend resumes to two pages if necessary.
  • Use a traditional font such as Perpetua, Times New Roman or Garamond in 11 or 12 pt. font.
  • Use stylistic devises (caps, small caps, bold, italics and underlining) sparingly to highlight certain items.
  • Avoid acronyms and abbreviations, unless they are universally understood.
  • List your education and experiences in reverse chronological order.
  • Update your resume regularly and tailor it to target specific employers.
  • If submitting an e-copy, create and send a PDF file to ensure that your resume is easy to view.
  • Have a counselor review your resume for clarity, grammar and spelling.

Contact Information

  • Include your name, address, phone number and professional email address at the top of the page.
  • Format contact information consistently on your resume and the letterhead for your cover letters.
  • Consider including a local and permanent address to show ties to a particular geographical area when targeting an out-of-city/state employer.

Experience Section

  • List employer name and location on one line, followed by title and dates on the next line (preferred).
  • Use a consistent format to list dates of employment: month year – month year (preferred).
  • Describe past positions in the past tense, current positions in the present tense.
  • Use action verbs, but be careful to vary them (see attached examples).
  • Provide concise and specific job descriptions that identify what work you performed and show the reader transferable skills, projects or assignments, clients, or co-workers.
  • Try to highlight transferable skills and marketable qualities that match particular job descriptions and practice areas. Ask a counselor if you have questions.

Education Section

  • List degree(s) in the following order: Degree, Latin honors, major, date conferred.
  • Use italics and lower case for Latin honors: cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude.
  • List New York Law School followed by Juris Doctor, Year of Graduation (Juris Doctor or J.D., NOT Juris Doctorate.)
  • Note scholarship(s) with official title and indicate if they are merit-based.
  • Identify which semesters or years you were on the Dean’s List.
  • Include cumulative GPA if over 3.0. Talk to a counselor about handling lower averages.
  • Add relevant upper division elective courses to show a practice area interest.

Skills, Interests, and Professional Affiliations Sections

  • Include strong interests, particularly when they relate to specific achievements or activities. Do not include general interests such as “reading” or “sports”.
  • Do not include basic computer or research skills.  They are assumed.
  • List any language skills and proficiency levels (see attached examples).
  • Include active bar association committee memberships and other professional activities under a “Professional Affiliations” section.
  • Do not add “References available on request.”  They can be provided upon request.

Bar Admission

  • List each state you are admitted to the bar and year of admission in a separate section of your resume.
  • See attached resume samples to see how to list if you are awaiting results or admission.

Resources

Resume Action Verbs

Accomplish
Achieve
Acquire
Administer
Advise
Advocate
Amend
Analyze
Anticipate
Apply
Argue
Arrange
Assess
Attend
Authorize
Brief
Calculate
Catalogue
Classify
Collaborate
Compare
Compile
Complete
Compose
Conceive
Conclude
Condense
Confer
Construct
Convince
Coordinate

Correct
Counsel
Create
Critique
Cross examine
Defend
Delegate
Demonstrate
Design
Determine
Develop
Devise
Digest
Direct
Discover
Disseminate
Document
Draft
Edit
Effect
Eliminate
Elucidate
Establish
Estimate
Evaluate
Execute
Expedite
Explain
Facilitate
Formulate
Gather

Guide
Handle
Help
Highlight
Identify
Implement
Improve
Initiate
Innovate
Inquire
Inspect
Institute
Instruct
Interpret
Interview
Introduce
Investigate
Launch
Lecture
Lead
Litigate
Locate
Maintain
Manage
Maximize
Mobilize
Monitor
Negotiate
Organize
Obtain
Prepare

Produce
Plan
Prosecute
Perform
Propose
Provide
Promote
Process
Research
Recommend
Review
Report
Refer
Record
Represent
Restore
Resolve
Supervise
Summarize
Search
Specialize
Schedule
Select
Solve
Serve
Train
Translate
Update
Write

Sample Resumes

View and download sample resumes