Law is an extremely competitive profession, with the best firms looking to hire exclusively the very best candidates for any role. They’re going to be judging you based solely on your CV if you make an application, so you are obviously going to be under pressure to get that document up to a very high level. But how do you make your CV stand out from the crowd, if you’re looking to become a professional lawyer, without actually being one already? Here are a few ideas of ways you can enhance your experience in real life and on paper.
Part time legal jobs
A simple solution, although perhaps not the easiest, is of course to try to secure a part time position working for a law firm or in a similarly relevant role. Everyone will expect you to start off with minor responsibilities and work your way up, but if you can excel when working for a respected employer in the sector it will reflect well on your overall CV.
Remote lawyer jobs
As an alternative to traditional part time work, you might be able to try something more modern if it suits your studies or other work. Remote law jobs or working from home for a virtual law firm can be ideal for consultant solicitors and freelance lawyers, as much of your work may be consultancy-based and you will be able to communicate remotely and potentially travelling for meetings every so often. Being able to handle the unique pressures of remote work will demonstrate flexibility and autonomy. Continue Reading
If you’re applying for jobs, your CV is always of vital importance since it’s generally the first and only thing employers see when making their initial decision about whether to take your application further. However, when it comes to creative roles such as interior design jobs, advertising, digital marketing, product design, space planning and so on, the design and content of your CV might be even more important. Use resources and templates from well-known graphic design sites like Creative Market or Deviantart. Designer recruitment agencies like Careers in Design can also provide solid CV building advice for specific creative jobs.
Here are a few more key areas you should consider to make sure you stay on the right lines.
Try to keep your entire CV under two full pages in length. If you go over this then you’re probably including too much information and you need to be more concise. You can expand on some key areas in your cover letter, which should just be a few paragraphs.
You need to cover everything mentioned in the job description, and employ some reading between the lines to determine what is expected of you as an applicant. If you can make a good guess at what the job will entail, make sure you talk about your experience in these areas. Continue Reading
A resume template or cv template allows you to choose the information that you want to present to your prospective employer and plug it into a template that showcases your particular experience and abilities in the best fashion. Resume templates are fairly simple and place the emphasis on the format you have chosen. You fill in the blanks, save and print. A cv template will also follow the format you have chosen, but it tends to be more detailed. Avoid some of these common mistakes:
- Choosing a template that is too ‘busy’. You want the most important information to immediately stand out and not be subverted by design, detail, or minutia.
- Choose a template that’s short and simple. Having too many pages with too much information may bore your employees. They are most likely to check the first page of your CV and decide based on that information only.
- Using a template that is not appropriate for your profession or industry. If you are applying for a position at a brokerage firm you do not want to use a cv that is more appropriate for an academic position.
- Not trying more than one template. You may think you have found the perfect template, but it pays to try out a few. Have someone you trust to take a look at it. What stands out to them? Would they hire you based on your cv?
- Forgetting to proof and edit your final draft.
- Find a template with a readable font. They are more likely to read more of your CV if the fonts are easy on the eyes. It’s ideal to stick with default fonts such as Arial, Tahoma or Calibri.
Finally, do not make it difficult to verify your past employment and education. Call the sources beforehand and obtain correct numbers for the person who does the verification for the business or educational institution. Do not rely on old numbers or your memory.
A CV template or resume template provides the perfect starting place for you to begin building your CV or resume. The template is your guide to creating a well-formatted document that will impress employers. As a guide, however, it does not limit you to writing your CV or resume exactly like the template. You can add information or delete it as necessary.
Types of Templates
A CV template for a graduate student is going to look much different than that of a mid-career professional. For example, the number of articles or books published is likely to be more for the mid-career professional. The student’s CV will likely be much shorter and concise.
Use the length of the template appropriate for your situation as a guide as to how long your CV or resume should be. It is best to stay within the appropriate page range so that employers will not throw your CV or resume away before they even finish reading it. The content of your resume or CV should also generally adhere to the template. Where you have worked, gone to school, dates, your contact information, lists of your job duties, awards and accomplishments are important in any CV or resume.
Finding Your Template
Search through the available templates to find the right CV template or resume template for you. Look carefully at the template to determine what kinds of information you will need to complete your CV or resume. Gather this information, and then start thinking about the formatting of your CV or resume.
Creating Your CV or Resume
The text should be a common font, like Times New Roman or Arial. The font size should be no smaller than 11 or 12. Include plenty of white space between headings, sections, paragraphs and in the margins. Be consistent in your formatting, and avoid using too much bold or italicized type.
A CV template or resume template is the best place to start to build your own CV or resume. It helps you create a professional-looking document that employers will want to read. Avoid making your resume a boilerplate copy of the template, however. Let your own style and information shine through in your wording and formatting.
Studies have shown that as many as 35% of people actually stretch the truth on their CV and exaggerate certain qualifications or experiences in order to make themselves look like better candidates. However, just because a lot of other people have taken this approach, does that means it’s acceptable or advisable?
Some people may not be surprised to hear that it’s common for the contents of people’s CVs to be untruthful, at least in part. However, thinking about your own workplace, it may be a little more disturbing to consider the consequences of this trend. How many people in a similar position to yourself have got there because they weren’t truthful in their applications? This is all before we consider the fact that it’s actually not legal. In the past, people have been prosecuted for fabricating their qualifications in order to land desirable roles.
However, you might be thinking that as long as you’re not backing yourself into a corner by telling a completely outrageous lie about your own abilities, perhaps there’s nothing wrong? Many people see lying on their CV as simply levelling the playing field, because they assume other candidates will be trying similar tactics to get ahead of them. This could be seen as a way to stop jobs that should rightfully by theirs going to other people.
The problem is that employers are getting better at checking their facts. It usually only takes a smart phone call or two to figure out whether a candidate is exaggerating or completely lying about something from their past. Many employers have either found that prospective candidates had been trying to pull the wool over their eyes, or worse, already succeeded and landed a position under false pretences.
Overall it’s fair to say that it’s not going to be worth lying on your CV. Even if you’re successful, you’ll constantly be looking over your shoulder and the risk of losing your job after you’ve been given a position simply isn’t worthwhile. You’d be better off spending your time actually improving the presentation and content of your CV to make the best of the experience you actually have.
People from many different background could be suitable to qualify for a job teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) in another country. This works out brilliantly for people who are interested in travelling and experiencing new cultures but need a way to finance it. The skills required can be learned relatively easily, but before you can go ahead and get a placement you’ll need to tailor your CV to suit the role.
Firstly, you will need to ensure you’ve completed the required qualifications for your chosen scheme and you have certificates to that effect. Sometimes you will also need to get a visa for the country you wish to travel to and make other important arrangements in advance. As long as these things are sorted out, you shouldn’t have a problem.
The good thing about this kind of work is that you won’t usually be expected to have directly relevant work experience, since this is usually highly unlikely to be the case. However, it will help if you can discuss past roles or situations where you have applied the required skills. If you have ever lived abroad this could be particularly relevant to mention and describe.
You will still need a section to explain what you have done in the past, just like you would for any other kind of job application. Professional experience is always relevant to some degree so it should be detailed in full. Personal details such as your name, date of birth (more relevant in certain countries than others) and contact information always need to be included, of course.
When applying for a job teaching English in another country, you might want to follow a format similar to this:
- Personal and contact details (name, date of birth, address, phone, email)
- Personal summary (short profile about your experience and skills)
- Any relevant teaching experience if you have it
- Other experience (past job roles in reverse chronological order)
- Education (starting with university education and including past details if relevant)
In general, you should ideally be focusing on relevant aspects of your teaching qualifications and experience. You can discuss your TEFL qualification in detail, including any particular specialisms. Additional things may be relevant to include, such as extra curricular activities during your studies and other interests. It’s up to you to decide what you can describe in a way that makes it relevant to the role you are applying for.
It can be tricky to figure out how to pitch your CV, especially when you’re trying to find a format that will work for several different job applications. There is a certain pressure to stand out from the pack, but at the same time, you want to make your CV seem somewhat familiar so that prospective employers don’t become frustrated trying to read it quickly and compare it with others.
Different recruiters have different objectives, but overall there are a few things that tend to stand out on candidates’ CVs for the wrong reasons. These are all things will want to avoid whenever possible.
Template cover letters
If you don’t tailor your cover letter for every job you apply for, it’s going to be immediately obvious from the moment someone starts reading it. You need to show that you have thoroughly read the job description and candidate specification, and persuade the reader that you are an appropriate person for the role.
Although some distinctive details and features could help your CV stand out from the crowd, your potential recruiter won’t have time to analyse your unique format and go hunting for the details they need if you get too creative. Work history should always be the priority, and leading with skills can come across as more generic than you think.
The first thing someone sees on your resumé should be a previous job with a high degree of relevance to the position you’re applying for now. Your background needs to be strongly related to the job you want, otherwise you will be dismissed as the wrong candidate. You should make sure only the most relevant details of your past positions are listed.
Lack of focus
Sometimes it will be obvious from your CV that you don’t know what you want to do with your career. Flitting between unconnected jobs is not something a recruiter would see as a benefit. You should try to come across like you know what the next step on your personal career ladder will be, but you aren’t in a desperate rush to do that elsewhere.
Many people try to add buzz words as filler content on their CV, but this is a mistake as it’s clear to any experienced employer that you’ve simply run out of facts to provide. A personal statement should not consist of vague adjectives, but rather a summary of what a candidate as achieved in the past and skills they have developed as a direct result.
Key details missing
Before submitted a CV for any role, you need to make sure that you haven’t forgotten to include any vital details. It should be clear within a few seconds what job you are applying for, what you have done in the past and how to contact you.
Keeping your CV concise, honest and highly relevant while being creative and persuasive with your presentation is an extremely complex task. When you factor in the added pressure of being in one of the most competitive industries of all, acting, you might be facing a really tough challenge.
To make this task easier, we’ve spoken to some experienced experts in the field. The International School of Screen Acting, one of the leading TV and film acting schools in London, has helped us compile this list of hints and tips for building up your CV more quickly and making it more effective at what it’s designed to do – sell your talent.
- Understand what needs to be included above all else. You need to start with the basics every time to make sure your CV can pass any initial checks as quickly as possible. This will include your name, address and vital contact details.
- Follow a clear and defined structure for your CV which enables you to get all the important details onto one page if possible.
- Provide concise and realistic statistics that will be useful to establish what parts you’re able to play, including age range (how old you look, rather than how old you really are), eye colour, hair colour and height.
- Include your main headshot (this is essential if you expect to be cast) as well as a small copy printed onto your CV just in case the two become separated.
- List any accents you can do, and make it clear which one of these is your natural voice.
- Specify your range if you can sing, and mention any training and experience you have, which also goes for dancing.
- Don’t include many irrelevant qualifications, which usually includes anything before degree level except in rare circumstances.
- Focus instead on professional training and experience you have had as an actor, especially anything that is particularly unusual. Include all your past credits, but don’t be too discouraged if you don’t have a long list.
- Only one particular skill or quality needs to shine through for you to be selected for an audition in many cases. Don’t worry too much about the complete picture not being perfect yet, as long as you cover the important basics and start to add some highly respectable points to your CV.
We’re now assuming that you have the basics of forming a successful CV mastered. It might not be perfect yet, but if you’ve ironed out all the most common mistakes (and perhaps this is an area we should cover again soon…), you may be ready to move onto the next stage. Let’s focus on a few ways you can really take your resume to the next level and persuade employers that you’re the best candidate for any role you turn your hand to.
1) Categorise carefully and consistently
Split your work experience into sections to make it easy to understand at a glance, especially if you have worked in multiple relevant areas. Don’t highlight certain roles as more “relevant” than others, because ideally all your experience will be influential in some way. Make your key points concisely and make sure the way you divide your categories is logical and consistent.
2) Explain your motivation and skills
When describing your past job roles, don’t feel the need to launch into an essay. Instead, pick out the key points and summarise them concisely. You need to explain quickly what qualities you demonstrated in a particular role, and even just using bullet points can be effective.
3) Quantify your impact
When discussing any past role, you should be able to give clear examples and explanations of how you impacted the success of your team or workplace. Spell out clearly what you personally contributed to a situation and how it directly led to a good outcome. This will show off what you’re bringing to the table, and hopefully it will be just what your recruiter wants. Continue Reading
For people going into graphic design, there is a huge amount of pressure to come up with something outstanding when it comes to your CV design. After all, employers are going to be looking for someone who can demonstrate their creative flair. If the job you’re interested in is connected to advertising and marketing, it’s pretty much essential that you prove you can advertise yourself effectively before an employer lets you loose on their business. Here are some of the best ideas around to produce an unusual and appealing CV that will stick in your prospective employer’s mind.
You may choose to present your CV as one giant infographic, which creates an instant impact and you can be sure it won’t look like anyone else’s. You can use this format to demonstrate your creative skills with graphic and layout design while presenting your skill level, experience and interests in an interesting and engaging way.
There are many ways of taking this approach, but using a newspaper theme is a great way to get started if you’re looking for an interesting and eye-catching way to present your skills and experience. You can make use of headlines and striking visuals the same way as real newspapers would, which will make your CV instantly impressive with a clear message. Continue Reading
There are lots of pitfalls with creating CVs, and although you may not be experienced enough at this stage to know what these are, chances are your prospective employers are more than familiar with common mistakes. In fact, there are lots of issues that will get flagged up instantly and could result in the content of your application being ignored entirely. Equally, there are simple tricks that will help you immediately stand out from the crowd. Here are some of the most crucial points to bear in mind.
1) Consider the format
If you’re sending an electronic CV, which is extremely common these days, you need to ensure you make use of an appropriate format. A Word document might not display correctly on someone else’s computer, and it may be impossible for them to open at all. A PDF is the best solution as it will always display in exactly the same way. Continue Reading