In this guest article, the experts from TopCV offer their advice on how to optimise your legal CV for job hunting during a pandemic.
It may be hard to believe, but despite the pandemic, employers have begun to resume their recruitment drives, and more legal vacancies are appearing every day. However, the job hunt landscape looks very different compared to early 2020, and getting hired during Covid-19 has a slightly different rulebook.
With that in mind, here is how you can optimise your legal CV for Covid-19 job-hunt success.
Tailor your CV to the role
One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to CVs. You must tailor the document to every vacancy, particularly with legal roles as there is a range of specialisms and niches in the industry.
Read through the job spec and think about it from the employer’s perspective – if this is the job they are hiring for, what will they be looking for in a CV? We recommend extracting keywords and phrases from the document and incorporating them naturally throughout your CV.
For example, if the job in question is an Immigration Paralegal vacancy and the essential requirements are to have completed the LPC and be able to speak fluent Russian, you best be sure to directly mention these specifications in your CV (assuming you have these skills, of course).
Bolster your CV with facts and figures
With legal jobs, the day-to-day involves making an impact. Your CV should be no exception to this. Firstly, use assertive and positive language throughout your CV. By maintaining an upbeat and snappy tone, you demonstrate your confidence.
Secondly, don’t fall into the trap of listing your duties in the experience section. Instead, bullet point your key achievements and support each claim with tangible evidence, such as facts and figures. This will help prove your competency.
Showcase your industry knowledge
Legal professionals should be hyper-aware of the constantly changing regulatory environment and be in the know with current legal industry trends and compliance requirements.
If you can, when listing your work experience, try to tie in your examples with recent changes in legal regulations. Not only will it show that you are a committed and dedicated legal professional with valuable insights, but it will also indicate that you are flexible and a safe pair of hands if you are working on cases that are affected by any further regulation shifts.
Ensure your CV is polished and professional
The layout of your CV can affect your application’s success rate. As a rule of thumb, all great CVs are quick and easy to read, uncluttered and pleasing to the eye.
To help you achieve these objectives, don’t ignore the importance of white space on your CV as it can help guide the recruiter’s eye seamlessly. Fail to use negative space appropriately and your CV will seem dense, cluttered and displeasing. For the perfect balance, use clear headers for each section, lean towards a simple font like Arial or Calibri between sizes 10 and 12 point, and use page margins between 1.5 centimetres and 2.5 centimetres.
Don’t forget to proofread either, or all your hard formatting work will go to waste. Use intelligent spellcheckers like Grammarly and read your CV aloud to yourself to uncover typos and clunky sentences.
The fallout of the pandemic has led to plenty of job-search challenges, and since competition for legal jobs is fierce, you can’t afford to make any mistakes. If perfecting your CV seems a little daunting, pass the responsibility to a trained CV writer who will remove the guesswork and help you feel confident in delivering an impressive CV.
Laura Slingo is a regular contributor to TopCV, the leading CV-writing service in the world. TopCV offers a range of CV-writing services including expertly written and keyword-optimised CVs, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles. Request a free CV review today to find out if your CV is ready to land you your next legal role.