Q: I am applying for an in-house position, and don’t know if my resume should be all law-related or should also include my prior business experience. That would make it two pages, and I’ve heard you should omit prior career information, and focus squarely on law. What do you suggest?
A: Prior business experience is relevant to transitioning to a legal role in a company, so I say include it. Prior careers, such as corporate work, journalism, and teaching develop skills including sound judgment, respect for detail and deadlines, and effective communication. I am an advocate for keeping the foundation for your legal career on the resume, and am fine with a two-page resume. Include highlight accomplishments and outcomes, in addition to tasks, on your resume; refer in your cover letter to the traits gained from your dual careers that combine to lead you, as a natural progress, to seek an in-house role.
Don’t hide the ball. Instead, differentiate and distinguish yourself in every aspect of your job search, including on your resume.