5 Top Tips to Improve Your Legal CV

Erika Ruig, Head of Market Intelligence

Your CV is the starting point for telling your story. A fundamental stage in the recruitment process which, done well, will secure you that all-important interview. We understand, however, that it can be very difficult to portray exactly who you are in this format, so it’s important that you use your CV to entice the recruiter or HR professional to want to learn more about you.

Although there is no one way of creating a perfect legal CV that will guarantee an interview, there are elements that will help you to stand out.

1. Be Clear, Precise and Succinct 

Long, verbose resumes are never looked upon favourably by recruiters or hiring managers. Make life easier by including the most pertinent information, getting rid of the jargon and sticking to the facts. 

2. Tell a Story

Without rambling, you can still tell a compelling story about your career journey within your resume. Harvard Business Review authors, Herminia Ibarra and Kent Lineback advise that “everything in the resume must point to one goal — which is, of course, the climax of the story you’re telling.” In other words, storify your accomplishments as opposed to listing your responsibilities – but keep it concise. 

3. Provide Examples and References

Back up your statements with examples to show the reader exactly how you have gained knowledge and particular skills. Include references that are persuasive and compelling to demonstrate hard work, adaptability, motivation and leadership.

4. Showcase Additional Skills and Attributes

While listing your legal and sometimes non-legal work experience is essential, also include any notable awards, achievements or positions of responsibility. The recruiter will be keen to know what was involved and this opens up an opportunity for you to discuss other relevant skills and attributes you have. Remember that technology is shaping the practice of law and changing how services are being delivered, so any experience with software solutions and new delivery models are also worth noting.

 5. Think Readability   

Your CV needs to be easy to read, not only grammatically, but also aesthetically. Think about the layout, sentence structures, font and the amount of content you have to fit the page. Stick to Times New Roman or Arial in size 10-12, make headings bold and keep it to two sides of A4. Before submitting, check, check and check again and send it to a friend for the final review. 


Need more CV advice? Get in touch –


Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.

– Michelle Obama

For more information on salary trends, market updates and the general process in securing a role.
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