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Drafting a perfect CV

Your CV is a vital tool for you to sell yourself to a prospective employer. It is a snapshot of your background and experience and should make you stand out from the competition. A prospective employer will want to see clearly at a glance if your experience will make you a suitable candidate for the role and team you are interested in. So what should and shouldn’t be in a CV, and what could damage your chances of securing an interview or getting the role before you’ve even walked through the door? Here are a few pointers to consider –

• Long personal statements are a turn-off. Your CV should be factual and present your experience, it shouldn’t be a summary of how amazing you think you are!

• Be concise, don’t use too much narrative. Try and use bullet points to make it easy for a prospective employer to draw out your relevant experience.

• Avoid a long list of achievements that aren’t relevant to the job you are applying for. Keep your CV relevant, you don’t want irrelevant information detracting from the important content.

• Don’t use jargon or slang or too many abbreviations. Make sure your English is clear, accurate and polished.

• Never inflate your academics, qualifications or skills. You will be questioned thoroughly on your CV at interview stage and background checks/references will always reveal the truth.

• Take off your referees, you don’t want the dangerous situation of your current employer being contacted before you hand your notice in.

• Don’t attach a photograph. Even if it’s your best holiday snap it’s your experience the employer is looking for!

• Always proof read your CV, spelling and grammatical errors may mean you are not selected for interview, even with the best experience.

These are just a few tips you should consider when drafting your CV. The key to remember is be concise, relevant and tailor your CV to the firm and role you are applying for. This is your one and only chance to create an impression and sell yourself, so don’t let a poorly drafted CV mean you miss out on the perfect role for you.

For more information contact Louisa Phillips at BCL Legal.

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