So, you’ve completed your law degree after years of hard work and are now a fully qualified solicitor.
The next step of your journey is going to be exciting, but first, you need to start the process of applying for jobs – which is probably unchartered territory at this stage.
Law is a particularly competitive job market and there will be numerous high-quality candidates applying for each job. Therefore, an effective, well-written and achievement-focused CV is essential to landing an interview.
Here are some of the key do’s and don’ts for an NQ solicitor CV:
Do: Go into detail
As a newly qualified solicitor, you’re unlikely to have much relevant work experience to refer to, but what you can do is go into detail regarding your training and the seats undertaken during your placement.
Drawing upon this experience is a great way to demonstrate your specialisms and show recruiters that you’ve already gained extensive experience. This, in turn, will prove your ability to perform the role to a high standard.
Trainees who show greater competency will often be trusted with more responsibilities on their placements, so don’t be afraid to go into in depth detail about the work you delivered.
Do: Quantify your achievements
Recruiters will be looking out for impressive achievements which set you apart from other candidates. Therefore, do make sure that these stand out – often, using bullet points is the best way to go about it.
To really prove your impact, you should also quantify each achievement. Use metrics to show your impact – this could be numbers, values, percentages or timeframes.
For example, working to deadlines is a key requirement for solicitors. Describing your experience in meeting tight deadlines, and quantifying it by including timeframes, is sure to impress recruiters.
Don’t: Underestimate structure and format
Sometimes you can be so keen to get all your achievements and experience into your NQ solicitor CV, that you neglect the importance of structure and format.
Remember that most recruiters will be receiving huge volumes of high-quality applications and will generally scan-read your CV in the first instance – why not make it easy for them to do so?
Format your CV in a way that makes the document scannable and helps key information, skills and achievements stand out. Refer to CV templates that show the most effective ways to format your CV and use bold text and bullets to draw attention to the most important areas.
Breaking your CV up into tidy sections, ensuring there’s white space between them, can also make it more readable.
Don’t: Recycle your CV
Want to immediately put a recruiter off your application? Well, just use a generic CV that is not tailored to the role.
If you’re applying for multiple similar jobs, you may believe that they won’t be able to tell. But the truth is, interview-winning CV’s are always tailored around the specific job specification and the firm being applied to.
To do this, figure out what experiences, skills and achievements are most relevant to the job in question and adapt your CV accordingly. Never recycle an existing CV for different roles.
By following these newly qualified solicitor CV do’s and don’ts, you’ll be able to significantly increase your chances of gaining a face-to-face interview and landing your first ever job as a solicitor.
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 on your CV? Download our helpful CV guide below:
[simplyjobs site_url=”https://www.simplylawjobs.com/” placement=”post” site_name=”Simply Law Jobs” username=”SEO_TEAM” password=”fmgseo” feed_identifier=”blog_solicitor” category=”solicitor jobs”][/simplyjobs]
Most lawyers, especially those who have been practicing law for some time, tend to be naturally drawn to one particular type of law over another. And for many, such a preference has been determined early on in their profession, or possibly even earlier, during their...
Our partners, The Student Lawyer are currently running the third round of their mentorship scheme, where they aim to match aspiring lawyers from underrepresented backgrounds with mentors in the legal profession. The last few years have seen a much-needed focus on...
Are you looking for the best universities to study in and become a great lawyer? Well, you have come to the right place. The world is a big one and you can choose any country to study in. Each of them has law universities you can study in, but not all can make you a...
Whether you want to be a paralegal, a lawyer or a solicitor, the law industry can be very competitive. Because of this, it’s crucial that you do everything in your power to boost your CV. This is particularly important in the legal industry because lots of law...
Complicated, time consuming applications There is little more frustrating than when you’re short on time and trying to apply for a job, only to find yourself being taken through a convoluted application process. Filling in masses of information every time you apply...
What is a candidate profile? Candidate profiles are a brand-new addition to Simply Law which are designed to give you the perfect platform to showcase your experience, skills and qualifications in a professional and engaging way. We have all experienced the struggle...