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Senior Solicitor - Cambridge
How to Draft a CV
The curriculum vitae or resume, otherwise known as your CV is a factual account of your education, qualifications and career history. This is the first opportunity for you to make a positive impression on a new employer. A Manager will look at your CV and think ‘Why should I interview this person? What will they bring to my company?’
Who will read your CV?
Eventually your CV will go to the hiring manager, but prior to this it may go to Human Resources (HR) or a Practice Manager for short listing for the interview process. You need to demonstrate what you do, describe your responsibilities, list the type of legal work you get involved with, list your duties and give clear examples of work undertaken.
CV Hints & Tips
‘16 years experience, SRA qualified in 2004, managing private client work in a small partnership, dealing and meeting a variety of clients, manages own diary, interested in a position in the southern home counties.’
History of your employment beginning with the most recent:
The format of your duties read better as bullet points.
It is important to state you are a Solicitor, Partner associate or legal support, accompanied by the responsibilities held and duties performed. Include relevant information relating to the types of clients you work with, frequency of meetings, ideally annual billings, how you network and noteable cases. Also explain supervisory and training duties that you may have undertaken.
Reason for leaving: Note this at the end of each job as this can demonstrate progression, or unavoidable redundancy. If you worked as a locum, temp or contractor make this clear, as it can explain why you may have had a lot of jobs in a period of 2 years.
What not to put on a CV.
Irrelevant personal information - Don’t pad your CV out with irrelevant personal information, proud of whom you voted for, weight, height, family circumstances. It is OK to mention an unusual or interesting hobby as this can be a talking point during the interview, but be warned that being a school governor or in the territorial army can require additional leave. Therefore think about if this will interfere with the job you are applying for and if so, leave it off of the CV.
Spelling errors, typos and poor grammar - there is no excuse, use your spell checker and also ask someone to proof read your CV.
Unexplained gaps in employment - if you went travelling, took a sabbatical or were out of work or sick for a period, explain this, it will make a future employer less nervous.
Lying or misleading information - there is no harm adding some sparkle to your CV but do not inflate salary, qualifications, job title or achievements. Employers do background checks, they will request proof of your SRA or CILEx certificates and payslips.
Meaningless introductions - "Dynamic, enthusiastic, sales oriented I.T. literate, results driven manager with several years people management experience seeking exciting and challenging new opportunities.” This says nothing about you or your experience, it is bland, and does not distinguish any usable qualities.
How many pages should my CV be?
Keep your CV short, punchy and to the point. This means it shouldn't run to more than 2 – 3 pages. Stick with fonts such as Arial or Times New Roman at font size 10 or 12. Use italics sparingly and don't use any colours, backgrounds or borders.
Where to send the CV?
Your CV is a personal document about you. Control where it goes and send it only to reputable legal recruitment companies, Law Consultants firstname.lastname@example.org or directly to job adverts.
To ensure your details do not go into a spam folder due to a companies IT firewall, send it in Word format.