What is the etiquette for putting future employment on your resume?
March 10, 2004 9:52 AM   Subscribe

What is the etiquette for putting future employment on your resume? I will be a summer associate for a law firm between May and August, but am circulating my resume to other employers in anticipation of the interview process next fall. Is it acceptable to put "[Law Firm] - Summer Associate, May 2004 - August 2004" on a resume that you are handing out today?
posted by PrinceValium to Work & Money (15 answers total)
I would just mention it in your cover letter.
posted by hyperizer at 9:53 AM on March 10, 2004

It should definitely be on there. I'd perhaps play it up more anyway, make more of a deal of it as something you've achieved. (Depending on the protocols in your area for CVs).
posted by biffa at 9:56 AM on March 10, 2004

I think it's perfectly acceptable to put it on your resume. The people who look at your resume will be smart enough to know that it's not May 2004 yet, and since they work at a law firm they're very familiar with the summer associate concept. Maybe you could ask your classmates and see what they do, or the law school career counselor?
posted by Tin Man at 10:03 AM on March 10, 2004

In my mind... a resume lists accomplishments. You shouldn't list things you are going to do ("... in the future I will discover a cure for cancer..."), except perhaps in a cover letter, where it might be more appropriate.

IMHO, of course...
posted by jpburns at 10:05 AM on March 10, 2004

Response by poster: Problem is, this is in a job-fair context, where I'm tossing out resumes like salad and they are unaccompanied by cover letters. In the law school world, it is a "merit" statement, just like GPA and scholarships, to show that you have a job offer for your 1L summer. I would want to highlight that fact if I can - as well as not give employers the false impression that I am looking for a summer job.
posted by PrinceValium at 10:21 AM on March 10, 2004

Response by poster: Another option is to put the "expected" tag in front of the dates, much like my degree in the education section (Juris Doctor expected 2006).
posted by PrinceValium at 10:22 AM on March 10, 2004

"Expected" definitely works and I think it solves the problem completely. That's what I'd go with. I went to law school and although I didn't do the summer associate thing, I think lots of my classmates used that phrasing.
posted by Tin Man at 10:25 AM on March 10, 2004

PrinceValium, don't mention the end date and I think it'll look better.

"[Law Firm] - Summer Associate, May 2004 - "

This is similar to what people put on their resume when they're currently working someplace.

"[Company] - Senior Wage Slave, July 1997 - "
posted by substrate at 10:39 AM on March 10, 2004

didn't career services tell you how to list it? we were told specifically, repeatedly, that we could not list accepted offers for summer associateships on our resumes, but should refer to them only in our cover letters.

in the context of resumes-only it was verboten at my school. some folks did it anyway, and placed it under their GPA and journal membership as "anticipated" or "offer"
posted by crush-onastick at 10:52 AM on March 10, 2004

You should definitely put it in there - your resume lists you job history and accomplishments and this fits the bill nicely. I would put a brief explanation after it stating that you have been accepted for this position, otherwise potential employers may think it is something that you are hoping to do and putting expected with it will make them think the same. Anything that you say you are expecting to do will tend to be seen as pretty useless by employers. As with all things in your resume, make it a positive statement rather than something wishy-washy.
posted by dg at 1:36 PM on March 10, 2004

I would put it there, especially if it's guaranteed that you're doing it. A potential employer should know that you're working already, even if it's not a regular gig. I would not put 'expected' or any other qualifier--The dates are enough. By the time it gets looked at, or scanned for their systems, you'll have started it anyway.
posted by amberglow at 1:53 PM on March 10, 2004

The first source for resume questions should always be your career services office. However, if they don't give you guidance or you don't like their answer (nothing says you have to do what they say), I would personally recommend you put it on your resume, listing the expected duration, with perhaps an accepted (but not expected) qualifier, if you feel one is necessary. Another alternative might be to write something like: "I have accepted a position for the summer at XXX, a general practice/specialty law firm." This also solves the problem of what to put in the space that job descriptions normally go. Finally, since you will be looking for 2L summer positions, you might just want to wait to send out resumes until this summer, as I don't think most law firms start looking at 2Ls until summer or fall anyway.
posted by EatenByAGrue at 2:53 PM on March 10, 2004

Also, I had a similar problem with an upcoming judicial externship at the time I was interviewing, and I went ahead and put it on my resume without anyone complaining.
posted by EatenByAGrue at 2:54 PM on March 10, 2004

I've run across similar things in resumes sent to me. When I see them, I almost automatically discard the resume because I see it as an indication that the applicant is puffing up the resume. If that portion is puffed, how can I believe any of the rest of it? (Reasoning: job history is supposed to indicate experience -- how can you gain experience from a job you haven't worked at yet?)

That said, remember that I'm a crotchety old cuss whose company is nowhere in the line of work you seem to be seeking. Since I also seem to be in the minority in this thread, you should probably take my input as cautionary rather than significant.
posted by joaquim at 3:43 PM on March 10, 2004


i have heard exactly that sentiment expressed in hiring committee meetings at Major American Law Firms.

which is why my school advised against it.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:24 AM on March 11, 2004

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