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 If you google top tips for CVs, you will see articles proclaiming to be able to give you the best CV to guarantee you an interview, but more often than not these are not industry-specific. They include the basics like grammar and spelling, formatting, including relevant information - but these are all things those working in the legal sector are pros at. Attention to detail and excellent written communication are a given for this field, so here’s some better advice on how to make your legal CV stand out.

  1. Use numbers - lawyers love facts, so use it to your advantage. Use your statistics to impress - the number of cases won, average billable hours, pitches put forward, clients brought in - all these will highlight exactly why you’re a desirable candidate. 
  2. Be concise - legal professionals read reels of text daily, make your CV stand out by being clear and to the point. Use sub-headers and clear guiding formatting to highlight all your selling points. Don’t include irrelevant experience or commentary, but similarly, don’t make it so short that it looks like you’re not the best person for the job! 
  3. ALWAYS personalise - I cannot stress enough how important this is. Every law firm is looking for something different irrelevant if the job title is the same. So if they are looking for an employment lawyer, double-check the description and tailor your CV accordingly. If they’re looking for someone to support marketing and BD for the department, showcase your skills in that area. If they want a professional support lawyer, highlight your previous track record in internal communications, training and leading L&D initiatives. Needless to say, don’t apply for roles you don’t want just because the job title matches what you’re looking for. 
  4. Show you’re the right fit for the culture - nowadays law firms are looking for a team fit almost as much as technical experience. Do your research on the firm and identify similarities between you and current employees, and let it be known in your CV. If the firm is big on Work/Life balance, add about any flexi-working initiatives you have been part of, or if they are keen to show diversity and inclusion, include any panels you were part of or events you help run. These will showcase your compatibility and pique the firm's interest. 
  5. Show what you have to offer and not just what you’ve done in the past - experience is credible and desired of course, but most firms are keen to employ someone they see a future with. Recruitment and training are expensive for any business, and so most firms would rather invest in you. If you are working on current qualifications, or are looking to apply in the future, divulge it on your CV. It shows a dedication to your sector, interest in professional development and future technical experience for the firm. All great things. 

If writing your CV has left you feeling frazzled and these tips haven’t helped clear the fog, get in touch with our team here who will be able to guide you, and ensure your legal CV looks the best it can. 

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