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How to make firms respond to your CV

How to make firms respond to your CV

A well written CV can help position you to obtain the role of your choice, writes Janina Loch.

A well written CV can help position you to obtain the role of your choice, writes Janina Loch.

Those who have spent most of their working career in the one firm often find themselves with a blank canvas to fill, having last applied for a role at the graduate level. So what constitutes a well written CV for an experienced lawyer?

The below will provide you with some guidance.

  • The date you were admitted to practice is the first thing a firm will look for. Always include your date of admission (month and year) as well as the relevant jurisdiction.
  • Larger firms are very interested in academic results, so if you graduated with honours, make sure you highlight that.
  • List accurate dates and include both the month and the year. Do not just state the year as it provides very little clarity as to how long you were actually in your role (for example, stating 2012-2013 could mean up to two years or as little as two days).
  • Be clear about the timing of promotions.  If you became a Senior Associate one year ago, then make it clear that this is when the title applied from.
  • Avoid describing your role in the same way as a position description. A partner of a law firm is going to be interested in the matters you have worked on, so describe several matters.  Use dot points to describe each matter and be concise. Three to five lines per matter is a good rule of thumb.
  • Don’t use fancy formatting, colours or include a photograph. The best way to stand out is to ensure that the matters you’ve worked on are described well.
  • Be aware of client confidentiality – if you feel uncomfortable about disclosing something in your CV, then don’t! However, you could alter it so that the client cannot be discerned.
  • Finally, don’t just rely on spell check to proofread your CV. Get a third party to proofread it for you, and make sure your contact details are correct.

Part of what we do at Taylor Root includes assisting candidates with finalising their CV. So don’t hesitate to be in contact with us, should you want a third party review or opinion at any time.

Janina Loch (pictured) is an Associate Director at Taylor Root.

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