How to get your legal CV noticed
8th May 2014
In the competitive market that is the legal sector, creating a CV that stands out against the many other candidates of equal skill and experience can be a daunting prospect. With so many qualifications and relevant experience that could help your application it can be immensely difficult to know how to package all this information in a manner that is most appealing to a potential employer or law firm.
Help is at hand to make the perfect CV that displays your expertise to its full potential, helping you to land interviews for the best lawyer jobs in London and the rest of the UK. Have a read of these tips before uploading your CV to the LAW Absolute website.
Firstly, the CV layout is one of the most important aspects of a legal job application. As the field is hugely competitive it can be all too easy for a firm to breeze past CVs that don’t look appealing or are difficult to navigate. The perfect legal CV layout consists of all the relevant information that a prospective employer wishes to know in order to make their interview cuts, presented in a manner that is easy to read and aesthetically pleasing.
The perfect CV layout consists of the following headings:
- Personal details
- Professional qualifications
- Work experience/ employment history
- Activities and interests
Within these headings it is important to keep in mind that the more qualified and confident within your experience and abilities you appear, the more appealing you will seem to a potential employer.
The personal details section should be precise and to the point, with only the necessary information included. The same goes for the education section as it is a common sight for CVs to include too much irrelevant education information – GCSEs and A Levels should be summarised into how many were earned and what grades were given, leaving out the subject details. Higher education is more important at this stage.
Within the employment and work experience history section, be sure to briefly list the skills attained through each role that would be applicable to the role you are applying for now.
Then the activities and interests section is where you can really shine and stand out from other candidates, be sure to tailor this section to each application, including interests and activities relevant to the specific company or firm where you can. It is also important to include any interests or activities that may be out of the ordinary; although this may not secure the position it can make you memorable and spark conversation during the interview stage as well as highlight further skills.
Further to tailoring certain sections of your CV for the specific role you are applying for, this is good practice for your application in general. Spend time researching the job role and the firm you are applying with in order to appeal to their specific tastes and mode of working. The smallest of things, even using the same font as particular firms use on their website, can make a difference and make your application stand out. It may sound small and insignificant, but design appeals to the recruiter’s subconscious, where the smallest of details can make a difference.
A clean uncluttered CV will be the most appealing to a legal recruiter trying to find someone for some of the top lawyer jobs in London, and the easier to read it is the better. Bullet points and clear formatting should never be underestimated as sometimes the most simple-looking CVs are the most successful. Be sure to leave enough time to thoroughly proof the document to ensure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes as this can also lead to a CV being overlooked.
If directly applying for a specific law job, the cover letter and CV personal statement are where candidates have the opportunity to really sell themselves as lawyers; this not only provides the chance to pitch your credentials to your potential employer, but also provides a way in which to demonstrate the persuasive skill so important in the legal profession.
So when it comes to the CV layout of a legal job application remember to keep it precise and clear to read whilst showcasing your skills and experience to best match that of the specific job role and firm. If there are any other tips you think we’ve missed, why not share them of the LAW Absolute Facebook page?
Image Credits: the Italian voice (flickr.com), NAN728 (shutterstock.com)