How to make legal recruiters love your CV

Published: 24 Feb 2016 By Victoria Blackwell, Sellick Partnership

Victoria Blackwell Sellick

Victoria Blackwell, specialist legal recruiter at Sellick Partnership provides the inside scoop on how to make recruitment consultants love your CV.


Imagine receiving 100 applications for a job vacancy, and having to read the CV attached to each as well as the cover letter. Sound exhausting? Welcome to the world of the legal recruiter!

A recruiter’s job is to match the right candidate with the right employer, and they are often looking for a particular set of skills and experience, based on a specific job specification. To even get a look in, your CV needs to hit the sweet spot with your consultant, as they can make or break your job search.

There are a few pet peeves that all recruiters have, so take heed to ensure your CV goes to the top of the pile!

1. Include accurate information and full details

Often recruitment consultants will refine the information you have provided into a branded CV format before they send it to the employer, so they can tailor it for the particular role. Be sure to include as much information as is appropriate, so the recruiter doesn’t have to waste time contacting you for further information.

Other pet peeves include legal qualifications not listed in full, and grouping temp and locum roles together. Remember to explain gaps in your career history, for example if you took a 6 month break to travel or study.

2. Don’t make your CV too long

Whilst you don’t have to strictly stick to the two page rule, candidates need to have common sense and make sure the information is easily readable and won’t put off any potential employers.

Rayhaneh Tehrani, Principal Recruitment Consultant at Sellick Partnership says “We deal with hundreds of CVs a week, and reading through a 20 page CV is time consuming. It indicates that the candidate needs to be more focused and should refine key information.”

Keep in mind how busy the individuals reading your CV might be, so make it to the point, focused and most importantly, memorable.

3. Check thoroughly for grammar and spelling errors

Think about it from a recruiter’s point of view – if you received a CV full of spelling errors, incorrect punctuation and sentences simply not making sense, how would you perceive that candidate?  Perhaps it would suggest that they had a lack of attention to detail, are potentially careless and presentation isn’t important to them?

Make sure that you spell check your CV and get your family, friends or recruitment consultant to read over it – a fresh pair of eyes is invaluable to pointing out mistakes and where things don’t quite make sense, and areas for improvement to ensure your professionalism remains intact.

4. Avoid strange fonts and dodgy layouts

Always remember that a CV is a representation of you. From the font that is used, to the layout and terminology used, it gives a first inkling of what your personality may be like, as well as being a reflection of your skills, experience and values.

A well-written CV is the biggest asset for every successful candidate, and putting time and effort into this important sales tool will ensure that those who read it will get a strong first impression of you and your potential value to their organisation.

Sellick Partnership Legal are market leaders in the provision of locum, temporary, contract and permanent legal professionals within private practice, public sector and not-for-profit organisations. 

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