Your resume is usually the first item that an employer will review. A resume is a teaser, giving the employer nuggets of information about your qualifications and providing a basis for interview questions. As such, your resume should convey enough information that the employer sees potential, but should avoid giving so much information that nothing is left for discussion during the interview.
Don't fear a basic resume! Using color and graphics is strongly discouraged on a legal resume. Keep it simple and make it easier for employers to do a 10-second scan.
Target different employers with different resumes. How can you highlight a certain practice area and/or geographic location with your experiences? (**Note to 1Ls: this may be difficult during your first year, but think about where or for whom you'd like to work and plan ahead)
Remove "Objective" and "Computer Skills" sections, unless specifically requested by the employer. For example, include computer skills if applying for a job that says something like "A competitive applicant will have experience using Microsoft Word, Excel, and WordPerfect."
Placement: The eye reads from left to right - get important information on the left margin. Items on the top third of the page get the most attention. Lead the eye down the page with clear headings and bullets for rapid scanning.
Wording: Use active voice. Check out this list of active verbs for your resume. The first-person subject "I" is understood, so don't use pronouns in your descriptions. Try and remove any unnecessary words (think LR&W - how do I get the most information across in the fewest words??)
Length: The default is one page, unless you are applying for a public interest or government position. For government and public interest, stick to two pages or less.
If your rank is in the top 50%, it is almost always a good idea to put it on your resume (otherwise, employers might assume the worst if left off).
Represent ONLY the exact numbers as given by the Law School Registrar (as displayed in MyGeorgiaLaw). NEVER estimate or round up your rank or GPA. NEVER use approximate numbers.
NEVER get grade/GPA information from the University Registrar.
List a a specific numeric rank, if you receive one ("Class Rank: 23/221"). You can also provide the percentage ranking ("Class Rank: 23/221, top 11%").
Represent your ranking cohort if you do not receive a specific numeric ranking (top 10, 20, 33, 50, or 75 percent). ***If you do not have a specific numeric rank, you cannot estimate a ranking cohort not specifically shown on the Grade Distribution Chart provided by the Law School Registrar. Doing so constitutes an Honor Code violation.
If you are just below a ranking cohort, you may not round up to estimate yourself into that cohort. You may, however, show that you are close by giving your GPA and showing where that cohort ends ("GPA=3.41. Top 20%=3.49. Top 33%=3.30.").
The highest attainable GPA is 4.3. If you list your GPA as x/y, then y is 4.3 ("GPA=2.72/4.3").