Drafting an effective resume is a challenging proposition. Your resume must be nothing short of perfect, which is a lot of pressure for one document. The resources below are designed to help you create your perfect resume. They will help you to identify and avoid common mistakes, while drawing attention to the skills and qualities that make you a strong candidate. The resources on this page are primarily geared toward international students and alumni, but may be helpful to anyone looking to draft an effective resume.

GPDP Mini-Guide: Resume Writing

For in-person advising related to resume writing, please feel free to contact [email protected] or (for current students) set up an appointment during GPDP office hours announced weekly in the Graduate & International Student eNewsletter.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes! The rule of thumb is one page for every ten years of relevant experience. If you have more than ten years of relevant experience, we can discuss whether you should go beyond one page. But even then one page is usually advisable. Your resume should be accessible and easy to read. Your most relevant and important accomplishments should jump from the page. If you are considering relegating anything to "page 2" (where the reader likely won't pay much attention to it), your first question should be whether it needs to be included at all. See our previous blog posts on the topic for more information:

  • Start building your resume today. Join student or professional organizations, volunteer, join bar association committees, attend conferences, write blog posts. There are a million things you can do immediately to bulk up your resume, so start looking for opportunities. The Graduate & International Student eNewsletter is a great place to start for current students, and the bar associations provide opportunities for everyone to engage in resume-building activities.

  • Like the person with too little experience, you too need to build up your resume. If your resume shows a ton of criminal law, for example, and you want to get into corporate law, you need to find ways of balancing out your criminal law experience with experiences related to your desired area of practice. As you accumulate experiences in the new area (including some of the things listed above such as involvement with bar association committees, writing blog posts, etc.) you will find the balance in your resume gradually tilting in the direction of the new area.

  • If you are looking for a job or anticipate looking for a job, you should always have an up-to-date version of your resume ready to go at all times. You never know when someone might ask you for it and you want to be in a good position to deliver it immediately when asked. Remember that a quality resume cannot be done overnight. Work on your resume now so that you will be prepared when you need it.