Articles From the Team
Is my CV too long, does size really matter?
Yes, size matters.
As a legal recruitment consultant the topic of CV writing often comes up when advising a candidate on what works best. First of all, there isn’t really a one best way to this, it can be structured as you wish but there are certain do’s and don’ts. Generally speaking in the legal world, gimmicky CVs do not go down well so it’s not really an opportunity to express your ‘creative’ side! However, it is an opportunity to bring out essential information and personal qualities and experience that an employer requires (i.e caseload and responsibility levels).
At BCL Legal, no matter which consultant you are dealing with in connection with specific vacancies, each should be able to tell you what the employer’s essential and desired personal qualities and experience are. There is no rule against ‘tweaking’ your CV to make it more appealing. However, over embellishing your CV is certainly not acceptable. There is a balance to be had, you don’t want to undersell your experience but we never want to over egg the pudding!
What is very relevant is all previous related work experience. It doesn’t matter if you qualified as a solicitor in 2005, where you trained is still relevant. The caseload at the first firm you practiced at may not be relevant to the job to which you are applying but you should still mention what it was you did. Other essential things include education (including A level and degree results – yes it does matter even if it was years ago!) and any relevant qualifications. Interests outside of work do need to be mentioned, future employers do like to know you have a life outside of work.
Size wise it does matter, however, I don’t go for the “never go beyond two pages” rule (remember there are no rules to this). I generally advise to keep it to around three pages but if it goes onto a fourth don’t lose any sleep. As long as the information documented is essential and focuses on your personal qualities, it should fine.
If you are ever in doubt, just speak to a BCL Legal consultant.