Law CV mistakes: Our ten biggest pitfalls

We’re often asked about the worst law CV mistakes, read on for some of the biggest culprits. Why is it important to get your CV right? We have all experienced that feeling of walking into a really nice shop or hotel and thinking, ‘wow, this place is amazing’. Retailers spend millions of pounds each year on marketing and making sure that their shops are a pleasant place for people to shop in and this goes a long way to enticing you to spend your money there. Take Apple as an example and think about their stores: they always have great presentation, the key information about products is presented quickly and there is a sense of simplicity when purchasing products. There’s something to learn from big retailers like Apple when applying for jobs and the most important lesson for applicants is: your CV is a method by which you sell your skills – it’s like putting the products in your store on display for your future employer. A great CV is a way of showing off your skills and attributes and encouraging a prospective employer to invite you for an interview. However, lots of applicants make some very common law CV mistakes. Here are the top 10 law CV mistakes: 1 Poor presentation Think of poor presentation like going to an interview with an unironed shirt – it wouldn’t come across very well! In the same vein, you want to present your CV nicely because it shows a prospective employer that you care about presentation. 2 Dense text Having clear headings and bullet points will make your CV easier to read and anything which...

CV faux pas: Phrases to avoid putting on your CV at all costs

Putting your CV together? Unsure about the kind of language you should use? You aren’t the only one. Hopefully we can help. CVs are formal documents and they should be written as such. But a serious, formal tone is one thing. Meaningless jargon and clumsy corporate speak is another. So don’t confuse the two. You’d be amazed how many CVs we see with the same tired old phrases in – phrases that prove nothing to a recruiter or employer. Our team went to a seminar recently where we saw approximately a thousand CVs in one day. We didn’t keep a log but from memory we reckon that give or take 999 of them were from “conscientious team players with good communication skills”. To quote just one old chestnut that keeps rearing its ugly head. How many employers are looking for conscientious team players with good communication skills? Pretty much all of them. How many are going to believe you fit the bill just because you say so on your CV? A lot fewer – and that’s putting it mildly. Put yourself in the shoes of your audience: Imagine you are an employer or recruiter with 100 CVs on your desk and very little time to go through them. Your CV is your chance to prove your worth as quickly and efficiently as possible. To make yourself stand out from the crowd. You do this with powerful phraseology backed up with relevant facts and achievements in the right places. Not by regurgitating the same meaningless platitudes as the other 99 candidates. So get rid of your old favourites like “confident...

Top ten CV mistakes to avoid at all costs – part two

We spend nearly half our waking lives at work and most of us aren’t that happy about it. We all know CVs or résumés are a crucial weapon in our bid to land the jobs we crave – that’s why it surprises us how bad some can be. So for want of anything better to do, the kindly folks at CV Specialists have put together our top ten CV mistakes to avoid at all costs. We ran through the first five last week (click here if you missed it), so it’s just getting towards the interesting stage. OK maybe interesting is pushing it but here’s our top five anyway. Dust down the edge of your seats chaps – I’ve got a feeling you’re gonna need them… 5 Focus on your achievements and avoid vague like the plague Time and time again we see CVs that are full of meaningless woolly rubbish like “I am a conscientious, hard-working team player who delivers results…” You want your CV to stand out so if you do genuinely deliver results, prove it. With facts. Don’t say “I was in charge of a large team and managed to improve profits” say “I was in charge of 20 people and increased profits by 50% – £5m”. Now we’re talking. Which brings us on nicely to… 4 Read the job advert carefully and push the right buttons It’s easier to just have one generic copy of your CV that you can send to various different employers. It’s also easy not to wash and to sit in front of the TV all day eating ice cream but...

Top ten CV mistakes to avoid at all costs – part one

Already doing your dream job? If so, don’t bother reading on – there’s nothing to see here. If you are still on the lookout, you are in the right place. A stunning CV is a damn good start – but we’ve seen some criminal résumé and CV mistakes in our time. I’m not talking about CVs that our clients have asked us to work on. I’m talking about ‘completed’ CVs that many of our team received in their past lives as recruiters and employers. So if you are thinking of writing your own we’ve put together ten top tips to help. So without further ado, drum roll please:- 10 Be careful what you call your CV – and what you call yourself Let’s start off with one that often slips through the net: As an employer if I saw a file named “Jane Smith Journalism CV” I’d be wondering if the next employer was getting “Jane Smith PR CV”, “Jane Smith Press Officer CV” or “Jane Smith Lion Tamer CV”. For example. I wanted to know the candidate was the perfect fit for the job I advertised – not just spamming CVs to every vacancy they could find. Likewise, be careful about your email address. “Beermonster@hotmail.com” might suggest you are great mate potential but employee potential? Not so much. The same goes for your social media profiles of course – assume employers will try and track you down so be careful! 9 Send your CV as a PDF to avoid formatting issues This one does what it says on the tin really – send your CV as a PDF...