The law sector is one of the most competitive for employment, with many recruiters receiving hundreds of applicants for roles, particularly at the bigger law firms with the best reputations.
The average amount of time a recruiter will spend looking at your CV is less than 20 seconds, meaning it needs to be packed with compelling content that makes them want to read more.
Here are the four key elements to include in your law CV to boost your chances of receiving an interview invitation:
Begin with a punchy professional profile
The top section of your CV needs to be powerful and include all of the in-demand law skills and experience that you possess.
Start with a bold statement that concisely summarises your law expertise and your main work delivered to date. Follow this up with a paragraph that describes your key specialisms including results/outcomes and details of the most relevant experience to the role.
Include detail concerning the areas of law you have most experience in, for example, perhaps you’ve trained in corporate law or held a work placement in construction law.
Add impact with a core skills section
In your core skills section, you need to create a list of your related law skills, such as Investigation and Evidence Collation, Contract Negotiation and Drafting, or any other skills that are relevant to the type of law role you are applying for.
Refer back to the job description to decipher which skills are listed as requirements. You’ll need to pepper your profile, core skills and experience sections with these skills and keywords in order to prove you’re a suitable match for the role.
It’s best to format into short bullet points so that your skills add real impact and stand out on the page.
Detail your law expertise
Whilst most applicants will have had similar education to you, what employers will be particularly interested in is seeing the expertise you’ve developed in the area of law which they’re recruiting for.
Use specific examples of work you have delivered in the field that they are most interested in, providing facts and figures to back up your examples wherever possible.
Recruiters want to see the direct impact that you have had, so talk about work that you’ve personally delivered. Avoid passive voice, too, or you risk detaching yourself from being the key driver in achieving the results.
Wow with your academic prowess
One area that you can really expand on if you don’t have much on-the-job experience is your academic results.
As well as just including your grades, you can refer to specific projects and course modules, especially if they’re relevant to the area of law you’re applying for.
If you have been awarded any academic awards or outstanding results that show off your academic prowess, make sure you include it to get the edge over other candidates.
If you cover off these four elements, then you will significantly improve your chances of success in landing your dream law job.
Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.
Want more advice about your CV? Download our guide below:
When it comes to writing a high-quality CV for a legal role, one of the grey areas which tends to confuse people is whether to include hobbies. There are arguments both for and against including your hobbies, so check them out below and use them to inform...
In order to stand out from the crowd an impressive and interesting cover letter is essential.The legal sector is highly competitive so securing an interview requires a strong CV and a cover letter that grabs the employer’s attention. What should a cover...
People often underestimate the importance of a good cover letter. They’ll happily spend hours crafting their CV to perfection but don’t show the same level of dedication to writing a high-quality cover letter. But this can seriously impact their chances of...
Applying for your first law job after graduation can be daunting. With the law job market being such a competitive area, it’s highly important to spend considerable time on a well-written and perfectly presented law CV.Ensure your CV is of the highest...
A cover letter could be the difference between you being invited for an interview or not, so it’s worth taking the time to consider what key points you want to include. Whether you’re an experienced solicitor, or you just received your LLM, you’ll need to present the...
In the legal industry, competition for jobs is fierce. In order to land your ideal role, your solicitor CV needs to stand out with strong and relevant skills. As well as sharing your experience, achievements and job history, your CV should highlight your...