Top Tips For An Effective CV

Having a polished and professional CV is key to getting noticed by recruiters and the likes. Here are our best tips to assist you!

1. Conciseness – think of your CV as an appetiser to a potential employer, not a main course. You don’t want to give them indigestion!

Focus on key facts and try to be concise and effective with your choice of words. Don’t feel that you have to list every exam you have ever sat for, or every extra-curricular activity you have ever been involved in – only include which are the most relevant and/or impressive. The longer and more detailed your CV is, the harder it is for an employer to grasp your achievements.

Remember that your CV is your tool in gaining yourself an interview. During your interview, you will have the opportunity to go into further detail about your experience and achievements.

2. Gaps of Time – Whether you’ve taken time out from your career to go travelling, spend time with your family, or have returned to university – be prepared to explain why you took time out of the workplace, and what you achieved in that time.

It is essential that your CV tells your story and that the employer can clearly see how you have spent your time through career breaks or other employment you may have engaged in. It is equally important to ensure that your CV is written in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent role.

Put yourself in the seat of the person looking to hire you. The obvious question employers will ask is, ‘are you prepared to stay or do you need another career break?’ If you’ve no longer got the travelling bug, make it clear that the year you took out has been just that and that you have every intention of committing to a new role.

3. Quantify Your Accomplishments – Focus on what you did in your role/s, NOT what your job was in the firm, there is a difference. The accomplishments you include in your CV should be unique to you, not just a list of what someone else did or what your position description lists as the key performance measures of the role.

It is a good idea to include any highly specific achievements that present a comprehensive picture of your marketability to a potential employer. This will quantify your achievements to the reader which will ensure greater confidence in you as a potential applicant for the role you are applying for.

4. Bullet Points – lengthy CVs are often disregarded by employers as they can often receive hundreds of applications for any one position they are recruiting for. Ensure that you use bullet points to list the responsibilities you have held in each of your roles. When discussing your experience in different areas of law, always provide specific examples in dot point form of the document work you have experience in preparing. For example, if your background is within Commercial Litigation, list the names of the documents you have experience with (e.g. Preparation of Court documents including Statements of Claim, Default Judgment, Warrants of Seizure and Sale, etc.).

This not only displays your comprehension of relevant terminologies in your area/s of specialty, it also shows a potential employer that you are familiar with the process involved in your particular area of law.

5. Layout – your CV should be carefully and clearly formatted. Ensure that it isn’t too cramped and don’t leave large empty spaces. It is a good idea to use bold and italic typefaces for heading and important information, as this will help guide the reader’s eye.

Make sure that you don’t print your CV double-sided. Each page should be on a separate sheet of paper.


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Top Tips For An Effective CV

Having a polished and professional CV is key to getting noticed by recruiters and the likes. Here are our best tips to assist you!