This is a free CV review for a website user who submitted their CV with permission for us to undertake a review and post a redacted version of their CV plus our advice below. The CV is first, our advice follows below it.Free-CV-Review-for-Final-Year-Law-Student
Thank you for sending your CV. Please find our comments below.
Nicely laid out with a very good use of bold, headings and capital letters to highlight and divide the different section. Your use of bullet points is effective and the font is clear, a good size and easy to read.
I noticed that you have limited your CV to 2 pages but I wouldn’t worry about this. It used to be the case that CVs were restricted to 2 pages but this is when we generally sent everything via the post. These days with the majority of correspondence done online this need has become irrelevant. At your stage in your career it would not be unusual to see CVs of 3 or 4 pages long! For qualified solicitors CVs of 5 or 6 pages are not unusual. So, bottom line, don’t feel you need to restrict what you write unless it is a load of waffle!
This section is fine – good to see your address on your CV as a lot of candidates miss it off but employers do like to see where you are based.
We are seeing more and more CVs with a link to candidates LinkedIn profile so if have one worth adding on. Just adds an extra smidge of professionalism and makes you look social media savvy.
Conventional to have a short personal profile section after your personal details. This is 2 or 3 sentences to say what you are (i.e whether paralegal or solicitor), what fields of law you have experience in and what role you are looking for/future ambition. Don’t need any more than that really. Keep it objective. We see a lot of CVs using subjective language things like “an ambitious, team player with excellent communications skills” but I would advise using phrases like this. Anyone can say things like this but doesn’t mean it is true. Save subjective statements for interview where you can back them up with evidence.
Education and Qualifications:
This section is very good and you look on line for an excellent degree result. Don’t forget to add it in when you know it!
If there are any particular modules where you had a very high mark worth listing them. Also, worth listing if you have a particular interest in a specific area of law and you did well at it.
To add a little colour and interest to what can be a dry, rather boring section you could add in your degree dissertation title if interesting. Makes for an easy interview question as well.
For future reference, if you go on to do the LPC add in your LPC electives especially if relevant to your career and your LPC result especially if you got more than just a pass.
Good to see that you have split this up into legal and other and put the legal work experience section first – this is exactly what we would advise to do.
Legal Work Experience:
I like your use of bold and heading in this section – it is nice and clear to read.
A couple of tips:
What I would consider is under the company name is to write a sentence or 2 to explain who the company are who you worked for, especially for your current role. Would be useful to have a couple of sentences to indicate size of firm in terms of number of partners and turnover as well as main areas of practice of the firm and whether or not a high street or commercial practice.
Also worth mentioning if the firms are members of the Magic Circle or Legal 500.
Obviously most of your roles where vacation scheme or volunteer roles so the following not as relevant if you were only there for a short time but going forward with roles, what I would like to see is some facts & figures for each role – things like: your size of caseload, or for your present role number of interviews per week you conduct.
Other things to include in future roles would be: size of contractual disputes/litigation matters for litigation roles, for family roles whether legal aid or private individuals and size if high net worth, for commercial roles size of commercial contracts, value of conveyancer for property roles etc.
And a final note, make sure you include everything you do in a role (I am wondering whether you could add in a few more points for your current role – do you just conduct interviews or do you do any other admin tasks like typing, filing, court bundles, research, submission of legal aid applications etc ) and be specific so if you deal with any particular forms say which ones etc.
Other work experience:
This is fine – it will become less relevant as you progress so you can reduce the section and eventually not bother putting on your CV. Always put a location on for the company if not obvious.
Positions of Responsibility:
This is good. Again as with your work experience section a couple of sentences to explain what the company is and their main aim would be good. For instance I have not heard of Solidaritee – reading between the lines I suspect they are a charity making T-shirts to sell to raise money for asylum seekers but I might be wrong so you need to make it clear who they are.
Regarding your role as an interviewer, again who are High Fliers Research, what have they go to do with The Times and what data were they gathering?
I don’t think you need this section. Anything law related put in your education and qualification section at the top of your CV
Everything else should probably go in the next section.
Candidates don’t seem to put a lot of effort into this section. I don’t know whether this is because they assume it is irrelevant or that they think no-one will read this section. Most CVs we see either miss this section off like yours or it contain a few words only. However, it is actually quite important for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it is a way of adding some colour to your CV and a way of making you stand out from the crowd especially if you have an unusual or particularly impressive interest.
Secondly, it is a way of showing you are a rounded individual and have a life outside work.
Thirdly, you just never know but if the person reading it shares a similar interest or is so intrigued by what you have written that it might get you an interview.
So from the previous section I am gleaning that you have an interest in the environment and do karate. This is great and really interesting. I’d just transpose what you wrote about karate from the extra qualifications section and put it in this section instead.
With regards the environmental interest you could put something along the lines of “Keen interest in environmental issues and sustainability. Carried out a Sustainability in Action module (??? Where – was this as part of your law degree and was it an optional section), looking in detail at the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals and discovered how, as a society, we can become more sustainable.
Finally, couple of sections that you should put on a CV:
This section should include any languages you speak at a reasonably high level (state degree of fluency), IT skills including any specific legal software packages, case management systems, legal databases you use and your driving license if you have one. Convention to write: Full, clean driving licence
If you have 2 references lined up put their names, organisation they worked for, job title and contact details on your CV. One should be ideally from one of your most recent legal roles
Or it is acceptable to write “Available on request” if not quite sorted them yet or don’t want to use up a load of space on your CV.
Hope the above helps.
Happy to answer any queries.