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An effective CV

Make your CV stand out

An effective CV grabs the reader’s attention and prompts them to interview you. A well-produced CV does this by representing simply what you have done to date and by focusing on information that the reader is interested in.

Layout

  • Two pages maximum.
  • Adequate sized font and margins.
  • Page 1 needs to impress while Page 2 should reassure.
  • Chronological with all information latest first – unless another format works better.
  • Avoid splitting up blocks of information over two pages.

Content

  • Neutral person – with no ‘I’ or ‘my’.
  • Everything presented in easy to understand and consistent way.
  • Make sure there are no unexplained gaps in dates.
  • Keep bullet points short and start them with action verbs.
  • Provide as much information as possible about achievements and associated benefits.

Additional information

  • Profiles / Summary statements should be drafted to engage / interest the reader.
  • Include brief notes of earlier and non-legal work experience.
  • Include brief information about personal interests.
  • Provide as much information as possible that is relevant to job applied for.
  • Do not include any mention of referees.

In summary

  • Check that everything is simple and easy to understand.
  • Take out all unnecessary detail.
  • Avoid jargon, clichés and abbreviations.
  • Change unnecessary capitals to lower case.
  • Have document carefully proof read by people skilled at this and eliminate all errors.

More on CV preparation

More detailed information and guidance on CVs is available to solicitors in the Careers Advice section of the Law Society website (solicitor login required).

Other Tips

For more helpful information to support your job search, see our Job Seeking Tips.