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After busting my ass this summer, I received an offer from my firm which was later rescinded because my firm rescinded everyone’s offer. How should I note this on my resume, if it all?
Dear Resume Roadkill,
Sicily Philadelphia, 2003. Penn Law OCI. A sprightly blonde law student walks into one of the interview rooms and hands an O’Melveny& Myers attorney her resume. Under “Interests,” her resume lists “historical disasters.” The interviewer asks her what she means by that.
“You know, things like the Titanic, the Hindenburg, the Challenger,” the student explains. “I LOVE that stuff.”
“Oh, so did you ‘love’ 9/11?” the interviewer snaps.
In the distance, a seal is clubbed.
That law student, dear readers, was me.
As the above example demonstrates, jobs are won or lost in the details of a resume. Writing “Offer Retracted” sounds harsh, and implies that they took the offer back because they discovered something horrifying about you, like you don’t wash your hands after using the bathroom or are in a book club. You need to phrase it in a way that succinctly conveys the facts of the situation while blaming the firm and completely exonerating yourself. Since many ATL readers are in similar resume predicaments, I’ve compiled a list of suggested positive resume spins for the bad news:
Offer Received Then Later Revoked Through No Fault of Own
Invalid Offer Received
Srsly Don’t Ask
Offer Retracted, Outrageously
Offer Rescission Statement from Firm Attached as Annex A
Offer Redeemable in Narnia
Offer Exchanged for Store Credit
Why Do You Think You Have My Resume
Do Not Get Me Started
Offer Refunded for 2 Cent Deposit in CA, MA, NY & PA
I hope this helps.
*Valid while supplies last
Worst. Advice. EVER. after the jump.
I’m not going to lie, you are in a really difficult spot. You want to indicate that you did receive an offer so as to distinguish yourself from summers at other firms that were no offered outright. You also need to avoid the implication you weren’t really deserving of an offer in the first place. You can’t look like you were fired. But you can’t crap all over the old firm in the process, lest you look like a bitter, angry, self-entitled associate that nobody wants. And you only have one line on a résumé to make all of this happen.
“Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead only try to realize the truth. There is no spoon.”
Leave off your summer experience entirely. Don’t put in an entry for your 2L summer associate year. Don’t mention that you almost got a job. Think about it, there are probably lots of jobs that you almost had, but I bet those jobs aren’t on your résumé. You’re not one of those dudes that brags to his friends about women he almost had sex with, are you? Coulda, woulda, shoulda … nobody cares. Pictures or it didn’t happen.
If people want to know what you did with your 2L summer, I guess they’ll have to call you in and ask you about it to your face. At that point, you’ll have ample opportunity to explain the obvious. But you’ll also show that you think your credentials are strong enough that you don’t need a superfluous summer program to make you look better. I’d walk in there and be like “I got an offer, then they revoked it, obviously there are management issues going on over there that I was not aware of. I’ve moved on.”
There’s no prize for second place, don’t act like you need one.
Great idea – leave off your summer entirely. Did you get C in Torts? White that shit out, too. And while you’re at it, change that pesky “Howard” to “Harvard.” Perfect. Resume looks great.
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