How to make your CV
Your CV is your introduction to your potential boss. Before the more technical aspects, there’s a basic outline that should be followed when it comes to crafting a good CV. Here’s what you should do.
Personal details: At the top of the page, include important details such as your name, address, email and phone number.
Profile: Write a brief introduction to your personal qualities and skills, along with the type of opportunities you’re seeking. This should be a few sentences long and in the third-person. A new personal profile should be written for every job you apply to.
Education and qualifications: Detail your qualifications, such as the Legal Practice Course (LPC), Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), your university or universities, degree(s), degree modules, A-levels and GCSEs (or equivalent).
Legal work experience: List your legal work history in reverse chronological order, including where you worked, the length of time worked there, job title, responsibilities and the skills and knowledge acquired. Use your legal work experience to demonstrate your passion for a career in the field, and the key skills essential for a qualified lawyer.
Non-legal work experience: In reverse chronological order, list any non-law-related tasks, responsibilities and contributions. Outline what you gained from this work and how that will help you in the legal industry. Your should refer in particular to transferable skills, such as commercial awareness, time management and multi-tasking.
Personal achievements, interests and other relevant experience: Highlight any positions of responsibility you've held or awards you've gained. You could also include sports and volunteer work. Again, transferable skills should be highlighted.
IT and language skills: Write about your experience with Microsoft Office and mention any additional languages that you speak.
References: Writing that they are available on request should suffice.
A few more pointers
Any CV that’s in line with industry requirements needs to be tailor-made. Each application should be treated as a separate project. Do thorough research and think about why you’re applying to a particular firm. Are your values in line with those of the firm and the potential clients the firm represents? Regularly checking the news sections of firms' websites will allow you to talk about current cases and projects in your application.
Keep the information relevant, concise, engaging and clear. Check your spelling, grammar and layout. This may seem insignificant, especially if your qualifications and experience are stellar, but accuracy and attention to detail is everything in law.
Don’t be excessive or try too hard, but also don’t come out short or give insufficient information. Write about two pages of A4 paper and preferably use bullet points to give information, such as the duties performed in prior jobs.
Along with the perfect CV, always submit a cover letter. This should explain why you’re applying for this particular job at this particular firm, and what skills and qualities make you a suitable applicant.