My next Move: How important is a good CV?
Careers | 20 March 2012 | Jonathan Walmsley, principal, Marsden Legal Search & Recruitment
A good CV can make all the difference in securing an interview. A poorly written CV will exclude you from the interview process.
A good recruiter will advise you on your CV as well as the recruitment process. Recruitment partners will only review your CV once, so you need to make a good first impression.
Our top tips for CV writing:
1. Make sure that there are no
typos or errors.
2. Think about your selling points. For example, if you have first or second-class honours, this should stand out on your CV. Any academic prizes and awards should also be mentioned. If you are working with a top-tier firm, your employer should be stated on the first page.
3. A good format usually include personal details, education and admissions, and then employment history and details of the work you have undertaken.
4. Work experience should include matters/transactions that you have worked on, including details, where not confidential, the type of transaction/matter, and your involvement. High value deals/matters and bluechip clients are always worth mentioning.
5. Your seniority should be reflected in the experience section. If you have worked on a number of transactions/matters in your career, you can always separate this from the main body of your CV by having a deal list or an appendix. This is a very tidy and acceptable way of showing that you have depth of experience.
6. Never include anything on your CV that you are not able to talk about competently during an interview.
7. Remember, recruitment partners are conservative and many do not like to see lawyers who have moved firms often. If you have worked at a number of firms before your current employer, be careful how this looks (visually) on your CV. Avoid having a long list of employers under an employment history section. Do not include any clerkships or paralegal positions which make this list look even longer.
8. Referee details: I like to say that referees will be provided on request. You want to ensure
that referees are contacted when you want them to be contacted and not before, even though this rarely happens.