Amy McLaughlin
Amy McLaughlin
Associate

Articles From the Team

Is your legal CV showcasing the best version of you?

It can be hard to sell all your qualities on a CV, and as they say, actions speak louder than words. However, a CV is the first impression you give someone and it’s the decider as to whether you’re successful for a first interview or not. I thought it would be useful to give some advice when it comes to writing your CV to make sure you stand out from the competition!

CV writing 101

First and foremost, grammar! There’s nothing worse than poor grammar or spelling errors on your CV. And with the help of spellcheck, there’s no excuse to have spelling mistakes. Get someone else to read it (a legal recruiter or friend) and make sure it reads with impact.

Hello, my name is...

Add a short personal summary at the start, but keep this brief. Detail relevant career aspirations along with what you could offer the potential employer (just enough to keep them intrigued). A top tip: always tweak the opener for each job you’re interviewing for; it keeps it personal and shows you’ve researched the firm and position.

Don't be fluffy

Keep the format basic: don’t use fancy fonts (never comic sans!). List your qualifications and then your job history in reverse chronological order. Potential employers want to see your most recent experience first. Also, ensure all your dates are correct and detail reasons for any gaps from employment. Never lie about this! It’s ok to have time off for personal reasons, travelling etc. – whatever the reason is, be honest about it. A nice segue to my next point…

Mislead... and fail to succeed

As a legal recruiter, I review CVs on a regular basis and there’s nothing more frustrating when a candidate lies on their CV. I often say people apply for the jobs they want, not what they’re qualified to do. I can’t stress how important it is to be honest on your CV as you’ll get asked about your skills and achievements (in-depth) at an interview. There will always be someone better than you at something in life, but if you have the right attitude and showcase ambition and drive with your current experience, this will stand out to many hiring managers. Honesty is everything.

Lastly, don’t make it too long. I always suggest two pages as sufficient (sometimes three at a push) but you want it to catch the attention of the potential employer and leave them wanting more. List your skills in bullet points, rather than it reading like an essay. You want it to be easy to read, straight to the point and leaving the client impressed and intrigued.

Of course, it's hard to sell ourselves on paper; we always perform better face to face. And as a recruiter here at BCL, we don’t just send a CV and wait for a reply. We liaise and advise our clients, but it's crucial that the initial impression is the best version of yourself as possible.

Happy CV editing!

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