- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Resume Action Verbs