If you are making an application for a legal job or speculatively approaching a law firm for any type of position including solicitor work or paralegal/work experience, you need to make a decision on how you send your details over. Do you need to handwrite a covering letter, send a covering email or print out a covering letter to send with the CV? Is it better to post, email, fax or turn up in person? The answer to this is that it probably depends on the employer in question.
However, as a rule of thumb we would recommend sending your CV by email wherever possible. This is because it is easier to circulate in the office and to file, instead of posted copies which will just go in a pile on a desk or be thrown in the bin.
Attach your CV to the email and actually write the covering letter in the email. Do not attach the covering letter as it is unlikely anyone will read it and instead simply go for the CV directly. This is particularly important if you have specific circumstances that need to be considered by an employer and you draw attention to those circumstances in the covering letter.
There is plenty of advice on our website as to how to write covering letters but in a nutshell keep it to 4 paragraphs maximum. Don’t spend the time telling the employer about what a good opportunity it will be for you to join them. Instead spend the time telling the employer what the benefits are for the firm employing you.
Do not simply send the CV and then ignore the fact that you have sent it. Always follow up your CV with a chasing email followed by a telephone call within 7 days. This is the hardest bit of looking for work and something the majority of law students find very hard indeed. In fact law students find this so hard most of them do not bother doing it.
CV Writing Services for Lawyers and Law Students are available at www.ten-percent.co.uk/careersshop