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Add Value – CV and Interview

Aug 2014

You can add value in different areas of your professional life: adding value to client care and effectively addressing client relationship management. You can also add value to your job and how you operate, specifically finely tuning what you are doing with a view to improving the standard of service you provide. (Give everyone the red carpet treatment).

1. Adding value to the interview

  • Preparation – know the firm/organisation, get informed on the specific area of law, on general market issues etc.
  • Empathy with the interviewer – thorough preparation will allow for some level of this.
  • Focus – you have to demonstrate this at all levels – personal and professional – show that you are focussed, give examples
  • Responsiveness – be proactive – get as much information as possible, be interested don’t just ‘react’.
  • Strategy – demonstrates a strategic mind when articulating your decisions about what industries in which to compete and how to compete in them.

Think complementary strengths when considering which firms you would like to be working for. Do you share common cultural values? The cultural fit is becoming increasingly important in light of the importance of adding value and constantly improving service.

Lawyers at all levels look for quality of work as well as a long-term career path.

You should also be considering how effectively you can work for the firm and its clients. In private practice and industry, when our clients are recruiting they look at the same issues, so clearly we need to be identifying that lawyers and interviewing firms/organisations share the same concerns but are coming from different perspectives. If you can take this awareness into the interview, then you are already adding value to your candidacy, because you are thinking like your potential employer and will be demonstrating like-mindedness and the potential for complementary strengths.

2. Adding value to the CV

First you should reflect on where your current role is taking you. Think roles, responsibilities and achievements, think layout in a clear, concise and accessible manner, and think relevant information.

If there is any information you feel requires further explanation or detail then either expand in your CV content or seek advice on how best to approach this. Think of your CV as the most important marketing document that you’ll have to write. It has to be made up of brief descriptions and accurate summaries. It has to be persuasively written and not just a listing of your experience.

What about your professional development – how do you articulate this in your CV?

You can add value through demonstrating a commitment to further education, through your CPD, or indeed through a general interest in developing a specialist area. Another area you could focus on developing is information on your hobbies and interests, particularly as this can be an opportunity to demonstrate increasingly sought after ‘softer skills’. Firms and organisations are looking for dynamism, enthusiasm and a commitment to personal and professional development in an increasingly competitive market. As we have said before, this is what will make you stand out, set you apart from the competition and you will soon feel the benefits of developing your own unique selling proposition.

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