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How to Create a CV That Stands Out to Law Firm Recruiters

As a recent graduate, you might feel you lack the experience law firms seek when hiring. But don’t forget, many graduates will be in the same position as you are, and there are skills from your degree and training that can be relevant to your career. Landing your dream job in a law firm may seem daunting, but with the right approach, you can craft a compelling CV highlighting your potential and setting you apart from the competition.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

Emphasise Relevant Skills and Experiences

While you may not have legal experience yet, you likely possess skills and experiences that are transferable to the legal field. There are several skills law firms want you to be able to demonstrate – we’ve put together a list of what these include here. Highlight any relevant coursework and critical thinking classes that have allowed you to demonstrate these skills. Additionally, showcase any part-time jobs, hobbies or volunteer work that involved analytical thinking, research, or communication skills.

Showcase Academic Achievements

As a student, your academic achievements can speak volumes about your potential as a future lawyer. Include your results, relevant coursework, and any awards you have received. Highlight projects or papers demonstrating your ability to analyse complex issues and effectively communicate your findings. 

Demonstrate Passion for the Law

Law firms are looking for genuinely passionate candidates about the legal profession – it’s not an easy career path. So, use your CV to showcase your interest in law through extracurricular activities – think outside the box; this doesn’t just need to include a debate club or a sports team. Remember to highlight any leadership roles or initiatives you've taken within these activities or clubs. 

Include Relevant Work Experience

While you may not have had legal work experience, any paid or unpaid work experience can still be relevant if it demonstrates skills that apply to the legal profession. For example, if you've worked in a customer service role, you can highlight your communication and interpersonal skills. If you've volunteered for a business, emphasise your ability to analyse data, talk to clients and make informed decisions. 

Tailor Your CV to the Legal Field

While highlighting your transferable skills and experiences, tailor your CV specifically to the legal field. Use terminology and language relevant to the legal profession, and emphasise skills such as research, writing, and critical analysis essential for a lawyer's success.

Keep it Concise and Professional

Aim to keep your CV concise and focused on the most relevant information. Use a clean, professional format with clear headings and bullet points to make it easy for recruiters to scan. Avoid cluttering your CV with unnecessary details, and be mindful of spelling and grammar errors.

Stay Persistent and Optimistic

Landing a job in a law firm may take time and persistence. It is a very competitive process, and lots of factors are at play. So, try to stay positive, keep refining your CV based on feedback you’ve received from recruiters and network with professionals in the field.

Don't be afraid to seize opportunities for growth and development along the way! If you want to find out which firms are currently hiring, head to our careers page.