It’s graduate season and you’re almost ready to walk out in to the world of work. But how do you demonstrate the skills and experience you’ve acquired to a prospective employer?
If you’re searching for your first professional position, you’ll need a CV that sets you apart from the crowd. If you want to increase your chances of success, simply read on to find out how you can impress with your law graduate CV!
Not sure where to start? Simply Law Jobs has a CV template that can be downloaded here. If you are from a background that is traditionally underrepresented in the legal industry, you should also check out the TSL Mentorship Scheme for the chance to be assigned a personal mentor to help you fine-tune your CV and provide assistance with your applications throughout the year.
You’ll likely have an idea already of what path you wish to take within the law, so be prepared to tailor your CV to reflect just that. If the firm you are applying with is the first step towards your desired future, then your CV should demonstrate that you have the experience they want. You should also aim to impress the company by identifying with their values, and showcasing personality traits you think will impress them.
Ultimately your aim is to show the recruiter that you have ticked all of their boxes – so if you have a CV that is unrelated to the job description or firm’s values etc. you might not make it to interview stage.
The professional summary part of your CV is essential. This is the first paragraph a recruiter will read about you on your CV, so we cannot stress enough to you that is should impress.
If you have no previous work experience, boast the skills you acquired at university e.g. ambition, interest in intellectual law, ability to work independently etc.
If you do have work experience (a serious advantage for this industry), briefly mention it and why it’s relevant to the role you are applying for now e.g. was your experience within the same sector you are applying for now? Did it provide you any of the foundation skills you need to succeed in the law?
Communication skills, client-care and research ability will also impress.
As previously mentioned, having work experience under your belt before you have left university is a huge advantage over other candidates applying for graduate jobs. But it’s important not to let this opportunity slip by – ensure you highlight the most important skills you acquired from this experience – tailor it to the job application.
For example, if you completed your work experience in property law, but wish to find a job in employment law, instead of talking about the ins and out of property, you should focus on the skills you picked up at this role, like speaking to clients on the phone, running research tasks for your team, booking in meetings with clients on behalf of solicitors, or preparing court documents. Any of these skills will be welcomed by a legal firm.
Chances are though, you won’t have a lot of experience to fall back on. If this is the case, putting a few line duties and achievements will suffice. Just be sure to demonstrate where possible any successes you’ve achieved in practical ways. This will help you to quantify your output, and help the recruiter understand your key responsibilities, and/or your ability to meet targets.
We understand that the most difficult time for perfecting your CV is when you’re applying for jobs as a law student. So if you take the time to get it right from the beginning, it makes the entire process of getting a new job much simpler. By using the advice above and practicing your interview skills, you could find your dream job much quicker than you thought.
Need more advice? Why not download our graduate CV guide? It’s got plenty of helpful tips to help you create a powerful CV. You can also visit our graduate hub for more advice on finding your first job after graduating.
Advice provided by Simply Law Jobs.
At Simply Law Jobs, we specialise in advertising thousands of the latest job vacancies across all levels of the legal sector. We are the UK’s leading legal niche job board, providing businesses with a cost-effective and efficient alternative to generic job sites. Job seekers are at the core of what we do, so we offer candidates a site tailored entirely to their industry. Our promise is simple, we ensure quality over quantity and provide the very best approach to candidate targeting, delivering an outstanding return on investment.