by Chelsey Newsom | 14 February 2019
A legal recruiter’s job is to match the right legal professional with the right employer, and we are often looking for a particular set of skills and experiences based on a specific job specification. To get noticed your legal CV needs to catch the eye of a recruiter (or hiring manager) as they can make or break your legal job search.
Getting the structure, font size and language right is just the beginning. There are a number of things that legal candidates should avoid when preparing their CV to ensure it goes to the top of the pile!
1. Accurately define your legal job experience
Often recruitment consultants will refine the information you have provided into a branded CV format before they send it to the employer so they can tailor it for the particular role. Be sure to include as much appropriate information as possible, so the recruiter can get your CV ready quickly. Use bullet points, tailor your experience to the role and always include up-to-date and relevant information.
You should also ensure your legal qualifications are listed in full and temporary and locum roles are not grouped together. Separating these out and being super clear will help the hiring manager get a picture of your legal skillset. Remember to explain gaps in your career history, for example if you took a 6 month break to travel or study.
2. Try not to make your legal CV too long
Whilst you do not have to strictly stick to the two page rule, you still need to make sure the information is easily digestible so make sure it is clear and concise. Using bullet points is a good way of doing this.
At Sellick Partnership we deal with hundreds of legal CVs a week, and reading through a 20 page CV is time consuming. Always keep in mind how busy the individuals reading your CV might be, so make it to the point, focused and most importantly, memorable.
Need a hand? Check out our handy Legal CV template as a basis to condense your CV and ensure you are including the most relate information.
3. Check your legal CV thoroughly for grammar and spelling errors
It is reported that more than 9 out of 10 CVs contain spelling errors, something you need to avoid at all costs. Think about your legal CV from a recruiter or a hiring manager’s point of view – if you received a CV full of spelling errors, incorrect punctuation and sentences simply not making sense, how would you perceive that candidate? It would instantly suggest that the you have a lack of attention to detail which is hugely important in the legal profession.
Make sure that you spell check your CV and get your family, friends or recruitment consultant to read over it – a fresh pair of eyes is invaluable and will help you spot mistakes and recognise where things do not make sense, as well as areas for improvement to ensure your professionalism remains intact.
4. Avoid strange fonts and confusing layouts when writing your legal CV
Always remember that a CV is a representation of you and your personal brand so getting the format right is really important. From the font that is used, to the layout and terminology, it gives an impression of what your personality may be like, as well as being a reflection of your skills, experience and values. A well-written legal CV is the biggest asset for every successful candidate, and putting time and effort into this important sales tool will ensure that those who read it will get a strong first impression of you and your potential value to their organisation.
Still need a hand getting your legal CV up to scratch? Our legal candidates love our resources section packed with all the advice you need to land your ideal legal role. Why not head over to our candidate resources section and check out our guide to writing the perfect CV or chat to one of our consultants who can give you legal CV advice. Alternatively, you can check out our latest legal jobs here.