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Resume: Stylish or Plain?


Hi all,

Can my resume have style? The format I currently use is professional and clean but I was wondering if I should just make my resume super plain (like the example provided by 7sage's admissions course)? Is plain better? I want my resume to look eye-catching but I want to make sure that there's no risk of it downloading wrong or coming off as too much.

Also, is it okay for me to save my finished PS, DS, and Resume as PDFs?

Thank you,


  • Selene SteelmanSelene Steelman Free Trial Member Admissions Consultant
    2032 karma

    Above all else, you want your resume to be clear. The reader's eye should be able to find all relevant information (education, key jobs, responsibilities) on your resume within the first 10-15 seconds without having to hunt around the page. Judicious use of margins, indents, italics and bold can help break up a sea of words to highlight and differentiate information that appear close together (for example: employer, city, length of employment, title). Since you are applying to a law school and not, say, a design school, I would lean towards any presentation that promotes clarity. The 7Sage format is a successful one. You can also look at law school websites under the Career Services sections to see how actual law students are counseled to format their resumes when applying for internships and associate positions. There is no one correct way to construct a resume. Good luck!

    335 karma

    Thanks!!! I will make sure that I keep that in mind.

  • OhnoeshalpmeOhnoeshalpme Alum Member
    2531 karma

    The plain version is ideal. Law school admissions officers aren't going to be impressed by an unusual resume. At best they won't care either way, at worst it annoys them. For law school applications the purpose of the resume is to provide an introductory, clear record of your professional and academic accomplishments. You use the personal statement and additional essays to differentiate yourself from other applicants.

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