Writing a Legal CV (Part 1)

5 Mins

Crafting your first legal CV?


Your CV’s goal is to land you an interview offer, so your CV is like a sales pitch tailored to impress whoever is reading it. These are five common questions you might have when you’re writing that all-important legal CV:


  1. How long should my CV be?


This is a hotly debated topic! For an entry level position (such as applying for a pupillage or training contract), we advise you to stick to 2 pages. Being able to be succinct and condense complex information effectively is all part of being a lawyer.


  1. What if I want to keep my job options open?


Okay, so you don’t know if you want to be a barrister or a solicitor yet, or if Firm A has the dream job or Firm B. You always need to tailor your CV to the job you want. So, you may need to create more than one CV, and you certainly need to tailor any CV to the firm you’re applying to.


  1. What is the right way to layout a CV?


There’s no one way, but an important thing to remember is that space is of a premium. So don’t have lots of empty space in one column and squished content in another. Find a layout that looks clean, use a font that’s easy to read, and avoid unnecessary logos, images and flourishes that don’t add value.


  1. Should I have a reference section?


No. They only need your references once you’re past the interview stage. Your CV’s job is to land you the interview. So don’t use up precious CV space.


  1. Does my education go before or after my work experience?


Which one is more impressive? Your CV’s job is to persuade someone to offer you an interview. So, if you have impressive academic achievements, put that above your work experience and vice versa. Both are equally wonderful? Education can go first