When it comes to marketing yourself, your CV is your most important asset. Our guide outlines exactly what you need to do to stand out to the law firms you want to work for.

The Essential Ingredients

To make sure your CV is read by law firms and legal departments, your details should be formatted in the following order:

Personal Details – ie Name, Date of Qualifying, Preferred Area of Law, Preferred location.

Academic subjects and grades should always come before your career history.

Career History should read in chronological order starting with the most recent experience first.

Although weekend or holiday Work Experience is important, this should come after your legal work experience.

Hobbies & Interests should always appear last on your CV.

Our standardised format is tried and tested across thousands of candidates. But what can help make it that bit different so that you stand out from the crowd is what you choose to say in the CV:

The Icing on the Cake

Because the format is standardised, recruiting partners are looking for information about what motivates you. We encourage you to add some of your own personality to your CV!

Include as many interesting examples of work and/or cases you have worked on. For example, include details on how you “motivated/worked” as part of a team, “managed” your caseload or “succeeded” in “marketing” the firm and its services.

Detail the ideas you generated which were implemented by the firm/organisation, the “negotiations” you handled or any interesting work you experienced out with your day-to-day responsibilities.

Avoid listing anything that can bring into question your level of professionalism. Only keep something in if it is relevant to your professional experience and your personality.

If adding a bit of you means mentioning any political or religious affiliations, then be prepared to face questions about the ensuing time constraints this association may make on your work commitments: Are you more committed to this than your career?

By breaking the CV down into the format above, the process of writing it will become less daunting. Remember, your CV is your way of getting a recruiter’s attention. Make the most of it.

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