by Catherine Wasilewski | 28 January 2016
As some of you may know, before I joined Sellick Partnership as a Recruitment Consultant in October, I was previously a practising solicitor. Now that I am a recruiter there are several things that I know that I'd wish I'd known when I was a candidate and I thought I would share my top five:
1. CVs: The two page myth
I am not sure where it came from but I had always had it drilled into me that a CV should be exactly two pages long. Cue many hours spent fiddling about with margins and font size. Whilst two pages is a good length for a CV it is by no means a hard and fast rule and sticking to it can lead to important information (usually a comprehensive overview of previous relevant roles) being missed.
2. Don't forget business development
It is no secret that business development is a key part of being a lawyer, whether you are an NQ or a Partner. However, for some reason (and I too was guilty of this) when it comes to writing a CV or even at interview, candidates often forget to sell their experience in this respect. Make sure to include the relevant details in your CV and prior to an interview make sure that you have a comprehensive plan of how you will build your network or win new work in your new role.
3. Don't be afraid of speculative approaches
As a candidate I never let recruiters send my CV to a firm on a speculative basis, fearing that I would seem desperate or that my looking for a new role would get back to my current employer. It wasn't until I became a recruiter that I realised how effective such approaches can be especially in a market which is, at the moment, largely candidate driven. As for confidentiality fears, there are ways that we can manage this, for example sharing your details and experience without identifying you.
4. Be honest and show us your personality
When speaking with recruiters it is all to easy to pretend to be who you think we want you to be. However, if you are not yourself, or aren't honest with us as to your reasons for leaving a role, this makes it very difficult for us to match you with firms that are good fit for you. Likewise, if there is anything in your past which is likely to be relevant to employers (e.g. previous findings or conditions on your Practising Certificate) make sure you tell us. These things will always come out in the wash and by being honest about it at an early stage, we can manage it better with the firms you are applying to.
5. Be prompt
When you are going through a recruitment process it is all too easy to forget that there will be others out there vying for the same role. Therefore, coming back to us promptly is key to enable us to better manage the process for you. Recruitment often moves very quickly and if you delay you could lose out. Of course, we appreciate that it is not always possible for you to talk to us during working hours but we are always willing to schedule calls at a time convenient for you.
If you would like to discuss any of the above in more detail and to discover more about what Sellick Partnership can offer you, then contact me on 0113 2439775. Alternatively, check out our latest private practice roles here.