Knowing how hard to sell yourself in your CV is an age old challenge. Matt Craven, Personal Branding Expert and Founder of The CV & Interview Advisors tackles this subject from a Legal sector perspective and offers some interesting insights.
I call this ‘knowing where to set the dial’ – your average Legal sector job seeker tends to set the dial too low, largely because it’s uncomfortable selling yourself and the legal industry often errs on the side of caution. It creates a feeling of self-consciousness that doesn’t sit well with many people.
I used to train people in customer service and I would often say that if you don’t feel slightly uncomfortable with how nice you are being, you are probably not being nice enough!
The same could be said of writing a CV; if you don’t feel slightly uncomfortable with what you are writing, you are probably not selling yourself hard enough.
I’m not advocating being braggadocious or using unsubstantiated superlatives, but if your CV doesn’t communicate that you are good at your job then how will anyone know?
I’ll often mention during coaching sessions that there’s no osmotic force, no telepathy, no higher-being telling the world how great you are! If your CV (and maybe LinkedIn profile) don’t communicate your professional worth, then no one will ever know.
The trick to it is to back everything up with examples; that way, you feel more comfortable with your assertions and avoid ‘imposter syndrome’.
A good CV will have plenty of achievements in the career history, which focus on the outcomes you have driven for your firm or clients (obviously avoiding any breach of confidentiality) – these outcomes should be backed up with tangible, opposed to anecdotal, evidence of success.
A liberal smattering of mini case studies can also work well. Depending on what kind of role you do within the legal profession, we recommend having three on page one. The idea is to elevate your three biggest and most relevant achievements onto page one, giving them enough context to stand alone by writing them in case study format.
Obviously, there are many more tricks to creating a great Legal CV, so Simply Law Jobs are running a one-hour Advanced CV Writing workshop on Monday 3rd February at 7.15pm – we’ll talk more about case studies, personal branding and selling yourself in this session.
You can register for free here:
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