Take Pride In Your Work
Your CV for your training contract applications may turn out to be one of the most important pieces of work you ever produce.
That’s right, you should be looking at it as a piece of work that you take pride in rather than something that just needs to be thrown together to enable you to submit job applications.
The Importance Of Your CV
There are a few key things you always need to keep in mind when you set about writing your CV:
- Your CV, together with your covering letter, will be the first introduction you are making to your potential employer.
- It will be viewed in competition with many other CV’s.
- It will form the basis of much of what you will be asked at interview.
Take Time & Care
Time and care should therefore be taken over your CV, both in terms of its content and its appearance.
If this is your chance to make a good first impression and to stand out from the crowd then a poorly laid out or worded CV will often blow that chance for you.
Help The Recruiter
Make things easy for the recruiter by writing short and succinct points rather than long wordy sentences.
The job of wading through lots of different CV’s is extremely time consuming for graduate recruiters. They will therefore be grateful to those candidates who make their job easier by presenting them with the right information in an easy to read and understand format.
What To Include
A CV for a training contract should usually fit onto two pages of A4 (except where extraordinary experience or skills need to be displayed, eg in the case of mature students, or where all relevant experiences are not sufficiently covered in two pages).
A common format for a law CV would include the following:
- Basic personal details (not your religion, favourite colour, waist size, etc)
- Education and qualifications going back to secondary school (and including relevant electives)
- Legal work experience (paid or otherwise)
- Non-legal work experience (if can demonstrate key competencies such as commercial awareness or team work)
- Other law related activities and experience that display your interest in the law
- Interests, activities, positions of responsibility and achievements
- Additional information including IT skills and other relevant skills (include your driving licence if you have one as some smaller firms might require this)
Consider All Your Experiences
Many CV’s accompanying training contract applications can be quite one dimensional, particularly if there is little legal work experience on them.
If this is the case, then non-legal work experience or interests/activities should be highlighted in order to demonstrate skills that might be valued by a law firm.
As for positions of responsibility and achievements, some people add these as a bit of an afterthought and miss the chance to use them to demonstrate additional skills.
Always try to flesh these out to something more that just a record of what you have done. Expand them to describe those aspects which demonstrate relevant skills and competencies, such as working as part of a group.
Think About The Interview
You should also remember that in an interview you will most likely be asked about the interests you put down on your CV.
This is therefore a great opportunity for you to develop rapport with your interviewer so think through which of your interests will best lend themselves to an interesting discussion at interview.
One To One Help With Your Search For A Training Contract
If you are struggling to succeed with your training contract applications, interviews or assessment centres in the current market one to one help is available.