Skip to main content

Legal CV Advice Update from Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment

Legal CV Advice Update

We have recently given CV advice to a client and thought that some of this was relevant to a wider audience of law students, graduates and solicitors.

The advice relates to specific fields of the CV.
1.  Personal Profile and Details

I have kept your profile very short and to the point. This is because the profile is there to instantly tell a recruiter or partner exactly who you are, coupled with the personal info at the top of the page, in less than 5 seconds. It needs tailoring to the post you are applying for on every occasion. For example if the post is for an Associate Real Estate Solicitor (ie you are applying to a larger commercial law firm who use different terminology to many others) you will need to describe yourself in this manner or at least get the keywords across in the profile.
Very often the first person to see your CV will be a HR Assistant or fairly junior member of staff who will not really appreciate your worth as much as more senior people.

If you want to add any more try to keep off anything subjective - eg enthusiastic, good communication skills etc.. etc.. - always come across as meaningless.
2. Schooling.

(this client is fairly senior in years).

It is still worth including your A level and O level results, particularly if you have 3-4 A levels at grades A-C. We get asked as recruiters (Ten-Percent is a legal recruitment consultancy working with solicitors firms of all shapes and sizes) for school results for solicitors even when they are 10, 20 or 30 years PQE. Obviously if your results are not very good then can leave off the CV.
3. Work history

I have concentrated on your most recent post. This particular aspect of the CV will need tailoring depending on the post you are going for. I have conveyancers on our books who have 3 CVs - one for residential, one for commercial and another for a mix of conveyancing and private client work. This is because the focus on work for each is completely different.
It is always better putting everything you want an employer or partner to know about you in the most recent piece of experience.

Law firms tend to be interested in the following:  
  • number of files worked on at any one time
  • typical values of transactions
  • billing levels
  • billing targets
  • exact work undertaken
  • detailed history as to whether these have been met
  • remuneration and package, particularly if there is an element of profit share or commission
  • examples of cases with a bit of detail on each
  • number of staff responsible for
  • IT ability - can you work with or without a secretary
Marketing and networking needs expanding on, particularly if you have a following. What do you do exactly or what have you suggested? Is it quantifiable - ie can you say for example that an initiative cost £7k and brought in £25k in fees? Can you outline the initiatives you have been involved in or have suggested? What groups are you a member of - chambers of commerce, FSB, BNI meetings, groups of potential leads - ie golf clubs, rotary, round table etc.. etc..
Management can be added in as well. Usual things are business development, planning, financial management, performance targets for team members, employment and HR issues, disciplinary matters.
Our Legal CV Template contains quite a few examples of different fields of law and entries on CVs.
Jonathan Fagan
Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment -  
Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment - Online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search or download our Vacancy Database or view our Candidate Database online.


Popular posts from this blog

Overpaid Charity CEOs - top 40 of high paid employees - updated 2022

In 2014, we wrote an article about high pay in the charity sector after the Charity Commission started to require all charities to disclose pay of senior executives earning more than £60,000.    We have updated the list for 2022, with a comparison chart so you can see the difference between 2014 and 2022. We have included the source of the most recent salary levels and the year refers to the accounts year we extracted the salary information from.   2022 Top 40 Chart of High Paying Charities Charity Highest salary Year Consumers’ Association £390k-£400k 2020 MSI Reproductive Choices £240k-£250k 2020 Save the Children International £285k-£300k 2020 Cancer Research UK £240k-£250k 2020 The British Red Cross Society £170k-£180k 2020 Age UK £180k-£190k 2020

Is it possible to work as a Paralegal when you are a Qualified Solicitor

  This question comes up all the time and is quite a common query that we imagine the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) are getting better at answering due to the sheer number of people asking the question. Many years ago the advice seemed a bit varied at times, but we have recently had a candidate who wanted to work in a locum role in the short term and waiting to go back on the Roll and get a practising certificate after some time spent outside the profession. She has been given fairly concise advice on whether she could work as a paralegal whilst waiting to be readmitted which we are repeating here. This article is written as a discussion point and is not intended to be advice in any shape or form. For full advice on your particular set of circumstances please speak to the SRA (or whoever else you like, but please do not depend on the information in this article!). The SRA have a simple online test to determine if you need a practising certificate and this i

What questions are asked in an Investors in People Assessment?

Recently Ten Percent Legal Recruitment was assessed for the investor in people accreditation. We worked very hard on this and spent some time as a company ensuring that all our procedures and policies were in place and that our staff were aware of the various requirements of the Investor in People process. We wondered how the assessment would go and also what the questions were likely to be during the interviews. The assessor was very friendly and explained from the outset what she was wanting to do and we were already aware that we would have thirty minute interviews with the directors and managers and twenty minute interviews with the staff. We also had the Investors in People programme so we were able to look and see what the actual questions would be based on, but there was nowhere to indicate what questions would be asked in the investor in people assessments. So if this helps anyone else, here are the questions we were asked in our investors in people accreditation: The assessor