Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Monday, November 05, 2012

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.