I can hear you now… “I’m not interesting enough to have an interest section on my resume.”
Well, yes, you very much are. This is an opportunity to show you are a social, well-rounded law school applicant.
The admissions committee initially focuses on whether you have the “stats” (LSAT score and GPA). But there are many additional factors that are considered in law school admissions decisions.
Having an interest section gives the law school admissions committee additional information that shows you have a unique perspective that will contribute to the incoming class.
Here are the steps to make your interests shine on your law school application resume.
Go ahead, I give you permission to make an unorganized list. It can be in any order you want.
Start with your most recent interests and non-academic accomplishments. Only include things from college or after. Leave out anything from high school or earlier, unless it currently plays a role in your life.
Jot down whatever comes to mind.
Your list may be large or small. Don’t worry - just getting it down is the important part at this point.
Place a star next to those interests that play the biggest role in your life.
Strike-out anything that you did once or twice, or interested you for only a little while. Be ruthless. Cut the fat.
Show your dedication to your selections and how you give time to interests outside academics.
Remember - show you’re well-rounded.
You should have a list of interests and non-academic accomplishments that mean something to you.
Select 3 - 5 that best represent who you are and what you want to share with the admissions committee. There are exceptions to every rule, but this is a general rule of thumb.
Don’t worry that what you’re selecting is too “out there” or “normal.” You never know if someone will identify with being a professional ice skater who loves to oil paint in her spare time.
You might be surprised what will interest the admissions committee members, so be authentic and true to yourself. Just select. Don’t over think this process.
Your interest section can be combined or included with another section, such as skills or accomplishments. Use the section titles that work best with your resume content and formatting.
Use the same header formatting as you do for your education and professional experience sections.
You can use either short phrases for your interests or a more descriptive approach. The choice is yours.
The key is to remember that formatting is very important. Keep it consistent.
You’re on your way to impressing the admissions committee. Don’t worry about whether you’re writing the “right” or “wrong” interests.
The goal in your interest section is to show that you’re well-rounded and spend at least some time outside the library and around other people.
Take a deep breath. You have this.