How to write a vacation scheme CV
Seeing as landing a vacation scheme is important because it helps massively when it comes to training-contract applications, we thought we’d give you a bit of advice on how to put together a CV for your vacation-scheme application.
There's not much to be said about this part of your vacation-scheme CV. Your name should be in capitals at the top, followed by your address, phone number and email address. If you have LinkedIn (which you really should consider getting), stick a URL on there also. It goes without saying that your email address should be something a little bit more professional than firstname.lastname@example.org
This part of your CV should be no longer than 200 words. It should outline what you’re doing now (studying hard at university, of course), your career aspirations and any relevant experience you might have. Don’t go into too much detail—that’s what the covering letter is for.
You should also have a few lines spare for your career aims. Rather than explaining your plot to become a senior partner of a top law firm within five years, mention how you hope to secure a vacation scheme and training contract and wish to specialise in a specific area.
Education & qualifications
Again, a relatively straightforward section of your vacation-scheme CV. You should list your most recent qualifications first, so begin with details about what university you’re attending, when you expect to graduate and what degree classification you're predicted to get.
After this, you should list where you studied your A-Levels and what grades you got. Do the same for your GCSEs.
This is the real juicy part of your vacation-scheme CV and hopefully you have plenty of things to list here. Note that we haven’t called this section of your CV "work experience". This is because, realistically, not everybody will be fortunate enough to be able to litter their CV with details of legal work experience.
If you do have legal work experience (perhaps you shadowed somebody or worked as a paralegal over the summer) then, by all means, put it on your vacation-scheme CV. However, you can also note down any involvement you’ve had in your university law society and even work experience that isn’t necessarily related to the legal sector but shows your commitment and proactivity.
No, we aren’t referring to your ability to throw some crazy shapes on the dance floor every Saturday night. Rather you should mention here your general competencies, like being able to work independently or as part of a team, your ability to research and analyse vast amounts of information and your familiarity with computer programmes.
You should include two references on your vacation-scheme CV. One of them can be your tutor or lecturer, the other could be your law-society president or somebody you worked for. For a longer explanation, take a look at our article on law references.
The vacation-scheme application process is a lengthy one, and you shouldn’t neglect one part for another. As soon as you have the CV nailed, you can move on to the cover letter and application form.
If you've found these tips useful, why not take a look at our list of vacation schemes and get applying!