How to write a winning CV for the Legal Industry
To start the process it is important to know what the role is and who your target employers are:
1. The Role
- Find out exactly what the employer wants to see on your CV.
- Talk to your recruiter and discuss the requirements of the role you would like to pursue and link them to the skills and knowledge you have.
- There will be a list of key competencies that you should be able to show in your CV.
- You will need to provide real life examples to prove these competencies.
2. The format of your CV
- It is very important to keep your CV concise and easy to navigate.
- Restrict your CV to no more than 2 pages ideally, 3 at a push. If you have extra examples of work or transactions you would like to include these can be added as an addendum on a separate document.
- Divide your CV in to clear headings.
- Keep the font and the format simple. NEVER use any colour other than black.
- Put your latest role first and work from there.
- Always proof read your CV for spelling and grammar errors. Have a friend or family member also proof read.
- Name, Address and Contact details at the top of the Page
- Employment – Current
- Employment – History
- Professional Membership and Accreditations
4. The Profile
- This is crucial. This is the first thing your recruiter and potential employer will read about you and they will already start to form an opinion.
- This should be a short paragraph describing your key skills and knowledge and it should demonstrate how dynamic you are.
5. Previous Employment
- Start with you current employment, begin with a short summary of the role and then include in bullet points your key responsibilities and key achievements.
- Education can be at the beginning or end of your CV. If you are looking to change your area of expertise and have no relevant experience but have studied in the area then it makes sense to add this to the start of your CV (after profile). Otherwise it is advisable to have your education details at the end of your CV. List your education in bullet points beginning with the last course.
- Dates and place of study should be included, with a short description of the course and degree awarded. It is advisable to include the grade achieved.
7. Professional Membership and Accreditations
- Any professional membership and accreditations should be listed in bullet points. If you have anything extra that you would like to add like Lecturing or Publishing experience or fluency in languages other than English, this should be added before your interests.
- If you have any recommendations from global legal directories like Chambers & Partners or Legal 500, it is advisable to include on your CV and can also be added to this section.
- This should add value to your CV and can show whether you will be a good fit to the culture of the Firm.
Keane McDonald is an international executive search and selection firm specialising in the recruitment of legal professionals for private practice law firms and in-house legal departments.
Keane McDonald offers definitive advice tailored to your specific need to find a position most suited to your job search. We have offices in Dublin & Sydney.