Articles From the Team

Is your CV working for you?

Are you finding that your CV is getting the attention it deserves? I’ve seen both sides of the coin and honestly, even when reading answers on application forms, I rarely read the full text supplied – that was when my sole role was internal recruitment. I would like to point out I met with everyone who applied, so I justified it in that I would speak with the applicants face to face. But, imagine if you’re a partner in a law firm and you have an inbox full of emails, conflicting priorities, meetings and recruitment on top. I cannot stress how important it is that your CV is engaging and relevant. Relevant is probably the most important factor here. Especially when you’re a junior candidate and applying for lots of different roles, I appreciate the need to keep your options open, but it’s worth taking the time to tailor your approach. I often receive CVs for Insurance roles where the personal statement will mention an interest in something completely different e.g. family law. I’m able to call that candidate and discuss this, but a partner will throw that straight in the bin, and I don’t blame them, communication skills and attention to detail are two strengths/weaknesses that your CV will give away.

It can be difficult to know where to even start with a CV, so have a look at the best practice page on the main BCL Legal website. This guide tells you to keep it simple and present 4 sections: Education, Legal Experience, Relevant non-legal Experience and Interests. You’ve probably heard no more than 2 pages, but provided it is relevant 3 or even 4 pages can be necessary as a more experienced candidate. The content, however, should be clear and concise. Lengthy paragraphs should be avoided and replaced with bullet points and key words. Where you have had a part time role as a bar tender during University, this is great to show you maintained work through education, but a partner at a top tier practice doesn’t need to read elaborated paragraphs on your responsibilities. The dates and job title is sufficient. If you’re struggling as to what is relevant when applying to a particular role, speak to the appropriate consultant and we can talk you through what is important to the client. This way, you’ll have the best possible chance of being invited to interview and you will be one step closer to securing your next job.

For more information contact BCL Legal.

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