Legal CV: how to tell your success story in plain language


There are on average eight active CVs per lawyer vacancy. This is one of the most competitive professional fields. How do you make sure that your CV is chosen? The easiest option is to seek help from a legal resume writing service, but if you choose to write your own resume, use these tips.

Fewer narrow professional terms

It's hard for lawyers not to use professional terminology when describing their experience. But it's not a fellow lawyer who looks at a CV first, it's the recruiter. It is good, if he himself came from the legal field or specializes in legal recruiting, but what if he does not? For this reason, it is best to describe your experience in a way that is understandable even to a person without a deep knowledge of law. It is better to avoid professional acronyms and complicated terms.

It is worth deciphering all abbreviations that are not commonly used. The language of a legal document is useful in a transaction or during a lawsuit. But it is better to avoid habitual turns and long sentences in your CV.

The main problem of lawyers is that for work they write long texts with de-particular turns. They are difficult to read. They make the same mistake when they write a CV: they use the same complicated turns to formulate their duties.

Name the specialisation and area of responsibility

Indicate the specialization, if there is one. Put it in your job title to give the employer a clear picture of your occupation. For example: "Lawyer (legal claims work)", "Corporate Counsel" or "Tax Lawyer".

Name the position in your CV so that the function is clear. Even if it sounds different in the company where you currently work, use simpler and more precise wording.

If the candidate has had merger or acquisition projects, this too should be mentioned. Intellectual property protection, IPO projects, public-private partnership projects, public procurement procedures, bankruptcy proceedings support - these are things you should write about in your CV.

Outline the scope of the company and your area of responsibility. This information will give the recruiter a sense of what set of tasks you might be working with. The scope of the organisation, the number of legal entities, the number of staff - you should write about that too. Write down under whom you worked and what kind of team you managed, if any. Describe the perimeter of tasks you are responsible for, what regions and areas of work you are responsible for. Try to give a more complete and accurate account of your work experience.

Lawyers may be restricted by confidentiality clauses - few details of completed projects can be publicly disclosed.

A good solution is to state only the scope of the company and the general direction of the work, without disclosing the amount or participants, specialists in consulting on confidential projects do not write the name of the client company, but indicate the scale: "Support for the IPO for a large industrial holding company on such-and-such a stock exchange". You can see the scale of the project, you can see the work that has been done, but the confidentiality is maintained.

The key rules are to express duties and achievements in language understandable to a person who is not versed in law, and to add dynamics by using verbs instead of nouns and complex phrases. Such a summary looks convincing and is easier to read.

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