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Rebecca Thompson interviews, cv, resume...

Did you know that most recruiters take as little as 60 seconds to decide whether a candidate is suitable for a role? Therefore, it is essential that your résumé is to the point and has the right key terms in your professional profile. You may not think to update your CV very often, but it may be a good idea to edit your resume if you are planning on a career move. It’s very common in recruitment that we see résumés that have formatting issues or are just too long to read. Here is a list of the top things recruiters look for when deciding whether a candidate is right for the role.

1. Format

This may seem obvious but over the years we have seen some interesting uses of font in a résumé. To make your résumé clear and concise is to use a simple font such as Times New Roman or Ariel and keep clear of any coloured text that may divert the eye away from key points the recruiter may be interested in.

2. Keywords

Avoid using jargon or clichés, keep it simple! If you’re applying for a certain position, make sure you use the keywords associated with it.

3. Role and Responsibilities

For each role you apply for you will need to tailor your résumé to match the role’s criteria. Therefore, it’s vital that the job titles and the responsibilities you include in your resume are relevant for the job offered. Although you need to clarify your previous roles, it’s important that your résumé offers more than just a list of your responsibilities.

4. Experience

Your résumé will be scanned over by a recruiter for what experience you have and whether this is applicable to the role. If your experience does not match what they are looking for its likely your application will go no further. For example, if you apply for a legal associate role at 3 years PQE and you only have 1, this will be picked up straight away as you may not have enough experience for the role you’ve applied for.

5. Education

In professional careers such as law it is expected that you have a list of all relevant qualifications on your résumé. The order in which you state these should be with your most recent qualification first. It is also important you put where these qualifications were gained (University and Location) and in what year it was obtained. This is key when a recruiter like ourselves may be looking for a candidate that is UK or Australian qualified. If you have stated clearly on your résumé where you completed your qualifications this will give the recruiter a good idea where you are qualified to practise law.

6. Company recognition

If you have worked for or had experience working with a great law firm, make this known in your résumé! It is not unusual for people to write down all the places they have worked because some would see it as irrelevant. But if you had a placement at a magic circle law firm for example make it clear on your résumé.

7. Irrelevant information

You may have 12 GCSE’s in an array of subjects but to go into detail about this may not always be needed on a professional CV. Obviously state that you have these qualifications but don’t waste word count delving into what after school club you attended. Also, if you put in personal hobbies at the end of your résumé try to come up with something that makes you unique. Do you go to training conventions, read new books on your chosen field? This makes stand out as it shows that you have a greater passion for your career that’s outside your working hours.

9. Keep it short and sweet

A recruiter does not have time to read everyone’s résumé in detail so at the most keep it to two pages.

So why not take a look at your résumé and see if you can make any changes to yours before applying for new roles ?       

Are you a legal professional looking for a new opportunity? Nexus Legal Recruitment can help

Nexus Legal are a leading recruitment firm that works within major financial and growth markets that has successfully placed candidates in the best law firms in the world. We operate in 6 continents and can tailor your job search to exactly suit your skills and experience. Our highly experienced senior consultants aim to find the perfect job match for their candidates and therefore find the best candidates for the world’s biggest law firms.

To speak to one of our International legal recruitment consultants contact, or call: +44 161 870 6776