A free legal CV review for an LPC student. The LPC student has given us permission to provide advice with their name redacted. For details of our CV Review service, please visit www.ten-percent.uk – our legal careers site.Free-CV-Review-Part-Time-LPC-Student
Thank you for sending your CV. Please find our comments below.
Nicely laid out with a good use of bold, headings and capital letters to highlight and divide the different section. Your use of bullet points is fairly effective and the font is clear, consistent a good size and easy to read.
If anything, I would say there is a bit too much capitals lettering on your CV. Try experimenting with just keeping the main headings in capitals. I think it might help the CV to look a little less “busy”.
I’d probably suggest you putting the start and finish dates first in all your sections for consistency and readability.
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. As you progress through your career it would not be unusual to see CVs of 5, 6 or even up to 8 pages long! So, bottom line, don’t feel you need to restrict what you write unless it is a load of waffle
I would advise to put your location into your personal details. You don’t need your full address if you don’t want to – London would suffice. However, a location means that a potential employer can see that you are UK based. If you are applying to a fairly local firm then your location will be an additional bonus to your application.
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.
To add a little colour and interest to what can be a dry, rather boring section you could add in your LPC electives if relevant to your career and add in your degree dissertation title if interesting. Makes for an easy interview question as well.
You have listed your modules for your degree. What I would suggest is that you put in brackets after the module the percentage score for any that you did particularly well in.
For your LPC is you have a predicted grade you can put this on.
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:
Firstly, this section should be the main section and form the bulk of your CV with plenty of details in each role. You should give the most space to your current role. In short I think this section needs a lot more information in it as it is the main section that employers look at to ascertain if you have the right skills and experience that they are looking for.
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 have been internships or volunteer roles so the following not as relevant as you were only there for a short time. However, 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 perhaps the number of assessments per week you conduct – by the way – I wasn’t sure why this was in your legal work experience so you need to make it clearer how it is a legal position.
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 deals for property roles etc.
And a final note, make sure you include everything you do in a role. I think you definitely need to add in a few more points for all your legal roles – you should list all 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. Have a bullet point for each task.
For your virtual workshop for instance you haven’t said what project you made. I don’t know what area of law it was or anything about it.
Again, with your McKenzie Friend work – you haven’t told me anything about the cases you helped with. I also want to know what forms and applications you assisted with? How many court hearings did you attend? What were the cases? What was the outcome?
With your Greek internship – again I don’t know what areas of law you were dealing with. What research did you do? Did you attend Court? Did you gain any trial bundling experience? Did you sit in with clients? Any notable cases? Did you do any legal admin and if so what?
Other work experience:
This will become less relevant as you progress so you can then reduce the section and eventually not bother putting on your CV. Always include start and finish dates and put a location on for the company if not obvious.
Again this will become less relevant as you progress so you can then reduce the section to just a couple of lines.
Languages – good, wouldn’t change anything.
IT efficiency – good but would change the heading to IT Skills and include any specific legal software packages, case management systems, legal databases you might use
Communication & flexibility and Legal Research and Writing Skills sections – I don’t think these are needed. These should be obvious from your work experience section. With your skills sections it has to be skills that are objective and measurable so language skills, specific IT skills, your typing speed if particularly fast etc. Anything else really becomes quite subjective and wastes space on your CV as you are repeating yourself.
If you have a driving license you can mention that in this section (or in your personal details section if you prefer). Convention to write: Full, clean driving licence
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 you need to add on 2 or 3 interests with a line or 2 for each to give some factual information. For example, you wouldn’t just write “running” and leave it as that. What we would advise is that you indicate a few details such as whether track or cross country, what sort of distances you run, whether you belong to a running club and if so how often you meet and names of any notable races you have competed in.
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 assignments.
Or it is acceptable to write “Available on request” and sort them out at a later date.
Hope this helps.
Happy to answer any queries about any of the above.