Many of you attended our Crafting Your Best Legal CV event.
If you missed it then register your interest as we might run it again for you!
In the meantime, for this month’s Your Sunday Career Space, Vikki Pratley of Skylark has interviewed me about CV writing…
Crafting your best legal CV
Clara, as the owner of a specialist legal recruitment business you must see a lot of CV’s and know the right and wrong way to do it.
Q: Many of us really struggle to even get started, what would be your top tip for someone starting off with either writing or updating their CV?
A: Think about your audience. Who will read this and what are they looking for? It is normally partners at potential new employers that you want to understand the breadth and depth of your knowledge and experience to date. Rather than thinking about ‘selling yourself’ think about helping them to understand everything that you are capable of and who you are as a person.
Q: There is a lot of (conflicting) advice out there about length and format of CV’s. What are your top tips for a legal CV?
A: Your CV should be as long as is necessary to give a full account of your skills and experience to date. If you are saying something that is relevant then it should be included. If you have lots of experience then going over 2 pages is totally fine. In terms of format it needs to read well and scan easily.
Q: You’ve mentioned that if the length of a legal CV stretches beyond two pages that is fine, if it is relevant content. What content should I prioritise?
A: The most current and the most focused on the job you want should be the content that you focus on.
Q: The market has changed a lot since March 2020. Your business navigated lawyers through the recession in 2009. What did you observe then, which lawyers can benefit from now when thinking about changing roles or if they’ve been made redundant and are seeking a new role?
A: Keep faith, all things will pass! Hold onto your long term goals, if you are contemplating changing roles then ensure that you are moving into something that is ‘better’ for you in terms of what you are trying to achieve. If you are out of work then focus on being ‘employable’ rather than ‘employed’. Keep your skills up to date, keep up with the happenings within the legal world and keep talking to people in the profession. Consider things outside of the box whether in terms of geography, area of law, working set up etc, to make sure nothing passes you by.
Q: How can Clara Rose Consultancy support lawyers with their needs?
A: We are here for you whatever your situation. We are talking to lots of individuals to help them handle everything from drafting a CV to exploring the market for appropriate opportunities. Most people that we talk to are within a role which they are looking to improve upon for whatever reason. You will benefit from our understanding of the market and our knowledge what is happening out there. You will have us as a support throughout your career and throughout the job-finding process so that you have someone in your corner when you are handing in your notice, or negotiating a deal with a new employer, or even just to dry run an online interview.
Q: Would any of your answers so far be any different for lawyers working in house?
A: In terms of CV drafting my only real change for in house lawyers is that you need to be aware that outside of your organisation the market might not know anything about what that business does. A brief summary of the business that you work in and your place within it always sets the scene for the detail of the legal work that then follows within your inhouse role.